The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. This annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Competition aims to prepare a new generation of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.
In 2017, the Moot Court tackle issues related to the rights to development and freedom of expression. The 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is hosted and held at the University of Mauritius from 18 to 23 September 2017, in Réduit, Mauritius.
From Sunday, 17 September 2017, the island nation renowned for its lush tropical vegetation, sugar cane plantations, spectacular mountains, white sandy beaches, lagoons and an exotic mix of Indian, African, British, French and Chinese cultural influences, welcomed students, lecturers, human rights academics and experts from all over Africa for the 26th edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition.
Every year, all faculties of law in Africa are invited to send a team of two students – preferably one man and one woman – as well as their lecturer in human rights or international law, to participate in the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition. Teams argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they are before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This six-day event also includes a one-day international conference and sees the participation of students, academics, judges and experts from all over Africa and the world.
This year, the event brings together 45 Anglophone, 6 Francophone and 3 Lusophone teams.
The 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition would not have been possible without the support of theses donors:
- State Bank of Mauritius
- Board of Investment Mauritius
- Government of the Republic of Mauritius
- Minerva Trust
- State Insurance Company Mauritius
- University of Mauritius Trust
- Tertiary Education Commission
- European Union
- European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC)
- Global Campus of Human Rights
Registration and Opening Ceremony
Students and faculty representatives appeared in their traditional attires and undertook registration formalities at the Raise Plaza New Academic Building (NAC), University of Mauritius on 18 September, where they submitted their memorials (written heads of argument) and received the leading publications on human rights in Africa published by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) as well as branded T-shirts and bags.
The opening ceremony was held at the Paul Octave Wiehe (POWA) Auditorium, University of Mauritius. Mr. Norman Taku, Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights welcomed all participants and guests. He encouraged Moot participants to take full advantage of the Moot Competition and the opportunities it creates for personal growth, urging them to be persistent and determined in working for a better Africa and a fairer world. Mr Taku inspired the students with the life of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Mauritius who with Mr. Taku participated as a moot participant in the 3rd African Human Rights Moot held in 1995.
Dr Geetanee Napal, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Management, Honourable Maneesh Gobin, Attorney General and Minister of Justice who was a moot participant in 1995 and Prof. Dhanjay Jhurry, Vice Chancellor, University of Mauritius, warmly welcomed participants on behalf of the University and Republic of Mauritius.
The keynote address was delivered by His Excellency Mr Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory G.O.S.K, the vice president now the acting President of Mauritius representing Her Excellency President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. The acting president urged the students to be the best they can in life and be conscientious lawyers as they grow in the legal career. He also commended the Centre for Human Rights for taking the initiative to commence the African Human Rights Moot as it has not only served as a source of human rights education but has also contributed in shaping the human rights discourse in Africa.
Preliminary Rounds I and II
Fifty-four universities from across Africa argued twice for the Applicant and twice for the Respondent in the Prelimiary Rounds. These Rounds wre judged by law lecturers and other human rights experts. The scores are verified and audited by Mr Edouard Jacot Guilarmod, Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Human Rights and Chartered Accountant. After the perusal of the score sheets by particpants, the finalists who are proceeding to the final round were announced.
- Rhodes University, South Africa
- University of Malawi Chancellor College
- American University in Cairo, Egypt
- University of Ghana
- Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny Cocody, Cote d'Ivoire
- Universidade Jean Piaget de Angola