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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is delighted to announce the successful presentation of the 13th edition of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, which was for the second time wholly held online.  The team of Strathmore University, Kenya, composed of Sumaya Nur and Sanjana Ragu, claimed the title as 2021 winners. The runner up team is Universidad Central del Ecuador, Ecuador.  Strathmore University also won the Christof Heyns Commonwealth Memorial Prize, which was presented for the first time.

Ordinarily, the World Moot Court Competition, which focuses on the UN human rights treaties, takes place annually at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. However, in light of the continued threat posed by the current global pandemic, the World Moot for the second time took place virtually. While the Moot ordinarily takes place around Nelson Mandela’s date of birth (18 July), the 2021 Competition saw the preliminary rounds spread out over two weeks, from 3 to 16 July 20121, and the Competition culminated in the Final Round on 16 July 2021.  

The two teams made it to the final round by advancing through two grueling preliminary rounds, surviving an intense quarter-final round, and emerging as winners in the semi-final rounds. The other semi-finalists were Oxford University (United Kingdom) and Kabarak University (Kenya). The Preliminary Rounds of the Competition took place separately in English and Spanish. For the first time in its history, in 2021 the Final Round of the World Moot Competition saw teams from different language groups arguing against each other. 

The Final Round was presided over by an esteemed panel of four judges from the European Court of Human Rights  (Judge Ivana Jelic), the United Nations International Law Commission (Professor Chris Maina Peter), the Global Campus of Human Rights (its President Professor Veronica Gomez) and Mr Yashasvi Nain of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Professor Maina Peter, and Judge Jelic have served in numerous capacities within the UN human rights system, including as members of human rights treaty bodies, and that Professor Gomez has extensive experience within the Inter-American human rights system.

In the spirit of the Moot Competition bringing the world together, this year’s edition had participants from 39 universities, from over 20 countries, representing the five UN regions and covering three language groups – English, Spanish and French.  

The Nelson Mandela Moot Court Competition is organised annually by the Centre for Human Rights,  together with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of the Washington College of Law, American University, Washington DC, and in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

This year the Commonwealth Secretariat came on board as a partner, and in the memory of the late Professor Christof Heyns will on an annual basis present the Christof Heyns Commonwealth Memorial Prize. Professor Heyns was not only prominent and much appreciated within the UN human rights system (both as UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings and as member of the UN Human Rights Committee), but also conceptualized and initiated the World Moot Court Competition.  The Competition initially took place in Pretoria, at the University of Pretoria, but had been presented in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2014 to 2019.  This Prize is presented to the team from the Commonwealth which proceeds the furthest in the Competition. This year’s inaugural prize goes to  Strathmore University in Kenya.  The ambition of the Commonwealth is to encourage greater participation by smaller Commonwealth states.

The closing ceremony was well attended. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Michelle Bachelet in her remarks congratulated participants for reaching the final round and celebrated all those who joined the Competition and for their interest and dedication to human rights. Ms Bachelet added that World Moot participants form “part of an inspiring generation”.

Professor Claudia Martin, the Co-Director of the Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Professor Elsabe Schoeman, the Dean of Law at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Law also congratulated participants and celebrated their dedication to human rights. The Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Professor Frans Viljoen, thanked everyone involved in organising the Moot.  While emphasizing that it is a team effort, in particular of staff of the Centre for Human Rights, he highlighted the dedication and professionalism of the Moot Coordinator, Dr Eduardo Kapapelo. Prof Viljoen affirmed that the Moot Court Competition should be back in Geneva in 2022.

As part of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, the Second Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was held virtually on 14 July 2021. Former United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navi Pillay, led a panel discussion consisting of Dr Gay, McDougall, member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Ms Edna Maria Santos Roland, Chair of the Group of Independent Eminent Experts on the Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, Ms Mona Rishwami, Chief Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The panel which focused on contemporary forms of racial discrimination reflected on the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and programme of Action (DDPA), its achievements and continued challenges. The co-hosts of the lecture were the African Group of Ambassadors in Geneva and the South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

The Moot is made possible through the assistance of the Global Campus of Human Rights, and the government of Switzerland.
The Competition is unique in reaching a broad base of participants, including from those parts of the world where regional human rights systems have not been established, or have only been recently introduced.

In 2021, the World Moot brought together the following participants during the preliminary rounds:

Africa Group

1. Cote d’Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire Institut Universitaire d’Abidjan
2. Kenya Strathmore University
3. Kenya African Nazarene University
4. Kenya Kenyatta University
5. Kenya Kabarak University
6. Nigeria Lagos State University
7. Nigeria Benue State University, Makurdi
8. Tanzania University of Dar Es Salaam
9. Uganda Makerere University
10. Uganda Justice Defenders

Asia Pacific Group

1. Bangladesh East West University
2. India Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University
3. India Gujarat National Law University
4. India National Law Institute University, Bhopal
5. India Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab
6. India The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
7. India Symbiosis School of law, Pune
8. Indonesia Atma Jaya Catholic University
9. Malaysia University of Malaya
10. Singapore National University of Singapore

Latin America & Caribbean Group

1. Argentina University of Buenos Aires
2. Brazil Federal University of Bahia (UFBa)
3. Brazil Centro Universitario Curitiba (UNICURITIBA)
4. Brazil University of Sao Paulo
5. Colombia Universidad Catolica de Colombia
6. Ecuador Universidad Central Del Ecuador
7. Guatemala Universidad Rafael Landivar Campus Quetzaltenango
8. Peru Universidad Nacional de San Agustin
9. Peru Universidad Nacional del Santa

Western Europe & Others Group

1. Australia University of New South Wales
2. Italy University of Eastern Piedmont
3. Norway University of Oslo
4. Netherlands University College Roosevelt
5. Switzerland Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
6. United Kingdom Oxford University

Eastern European Group

1. Russian Federation All-Russian State University of Justice( RLA of the Ministry of Justice of Russia)
2. Russian Federation Kutafin Moscow State Law University

RESULTS

1.MEMORIALS (WRITTEN ARGUMENTS) RANKING

All registered teams are required to submit written arguments (memorials). These memorials are assessed, and are the basis on which 10 teams per UN region is selected for participation in the Preliminary Rounds.

Best French-language memorials

Institut Universitaire d’Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire)             73

Best  Spanish-language memorials

1 Universidad Central del Ecuador (Ecuador)  82.5    
2 Universidad Católica de Colombia (Colombia)     73
3 Universidad del Santa          (Perú)   66.5   

Best English-language memorials

1 Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (Indonesia)             84.65 
2 Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (India) 82.75    
3 East West University (Bangladesh)    82
4 Kutafin Moscow State Law University (Russia)   80.25
4 Centro Universitário Curitiba (UNICURITIBA) (Brazil) 80.25    
6 Africa Nazarene (Kenya) 79.25
7 National Law Institute University, Bhopal (India) 77.5 
8 Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (Switzerland)     76.75
8 University of Oxford (United Kingdom) 76.75
10 The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata     (India) 75.75        

2. BEST ORALISTS IN THE PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

Top three oralists in the Spanish-language  Preliminary Rounds

1 Universidad Central Del Ecuador (Ecuador) Lara Elain   92,75
2 Universidad Central Del Ecuador (Ecuador) Boada Vanesa                  85,75  
3 Universidad Nacional de San Agustin  (Peru) Mamani Marco  75,50 

Top ten oralists in the English-language Preliminary Rounds

1 Strathmore University (Kenya) Ragu Sanjana 97.67 
2 Strathmore University    (Kenya) Nur Sumaya 95.17
3 East West University      (Bangladesh) Nishat Nusrat Jahan 95
4 Kabarak University (Kenya) Muchiri Samson 94.33
5 East West University (Bangladesh) Tusar Akhlak-U-Islam 92.5
6 Kabarak University (Kenya) Kipchirchir Kevin 92.17
7 Symbiosis School of Law, Pune (India) Upadhay Bhavya 92.17    
8 National University of Singapore (Singapore) Robinson Shanya 91.33    
9 University of Malaya      (Malaysia) Amaluddin Akmal 90.83    
10 University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) Resi Julia 90.33  


3. BEST TEAMS IN THE PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

Top three teams in the Spanish-language  Preliminary Rounds

1 Universidad Central del Ecuador (Ecuador) 89,25
2 Universidad Nacional de San Agustin (Peru) 74,00
3 Universidad Rafael Landivar Campus Quetzaltenango (Guatemala) 67,50

Top ten teams in the English- language  Preliminary Rounds

1 Strathmore University (Kenya) 96,42
2 East West University  (Bangladesh) 93,75
3 Kabarak University (Kenya) 93,25  
4  Symbiosis School of Law, Pune  (India) 90,83   
5 Oxford University ) (United Kingdom 90,00
6  University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) 89,46
7 West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (India) 88,58    
8  National University of Singapore (Singapore) 88,17
9  University of Malaya    (Malaysia) 88,00 
10 Federal University of Bahia (UFBa) (Brazil) 87,75

4. QUARTER-FINALISTS

Universidad Central del Ecuador (Ecuador)
Strathmore University (Kenya)
East West University (Bangladesh)
Kabarak University (Kenya)
Symbiosis School of Law, Pune (India)
Oxford University (United Kingdom)
University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (India)

5. SEMI FINALISTS

Universidad Central del Ecuador (Ecuador)
Strathmore University (Kenya)
Kabarak University (Kenya)
Oxford University (United Kingdom)

6. FINALISTS

Universidad Central del Ecuador (Ecuador)
Strathmore University (Kenya) 

7. WINNING TEAM  

Strathmore University (Kenya)

 

For more information, please contact:

Dr Eduardo Kapapelo
Nelson Mandela World Moot Court Coordinator
Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4754
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
eduardo.kapapelo@up.ac.za

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Ms Matikomborera Nyamadzi
Moot Court Assistant Coordinator

Tel: +27 (0)12 420 4841
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
m.nyamadzi@up.ac.za

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