The twenty-second African Human Rights Moot Court competition, hosted by the University of the Western Cape marks not only the 22nd year that this competition has been running, but also the twentieth year since the creation and implementation of South Africa’s interim constitution. The competition aims to bring together human rights lawyers from every corner of the African continent and aspires to create awareness and informed individuals that will use their skills and knowledge to the betterment of the continent.

The 22nd African Human Rights Moot Court competition officially kicked off on Sunday 1 September 2013. Participants from all over Africa made the journey to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport and eventually to Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa.

The competition officially started on Monday 2 September 2013 where teams were registered and participants briefed. At lunch time the student participants and faculty representatives had the opportunity to explore some if the surrounding areas of Cape Town, with the Eastern Food Bazaar as their first stop. Here participants got the opportunity to savour some of the diverse cuisines offered by South Africa.

The rest of the day was dedicated to the official briefing and the opening ceremony. Participants and faculty representatives were briefed on the programme that was to be followed for the remainder of the week, along with a clear and thorough understanding of how the courtrooms were to be conducted. During the briefing, a drawing of lots was conducted to determine the team numbers as well as the order in which the various teams would compete.

Participants also had the opportunity to sit back and relax while they were entertained by a live band. The briefing however, was not only to serve as a platform to inform participants and faculty representatives of the rules that would determine the next few days, but it was also an opportunity for the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape Professor Julia Sloth-Nielsen to address participants on the importance of the Moot Court.

At the opening ceremony, the participants, volunteers and faculty representatives were honoured to be addressed by the Executive Mayor of the city of Cape Town, the Honourable Patricia De Lille. After the Mayor’s words of wisdom and advice to participants, the evening was concluded with a cocktail dinner where participants and faculty representatives had the opportunity to unwind and relax before returning to the hotel were they would prepare intensely for the first day of preliminary rounds of the Moot Court Competition.

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