16th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition
The Sixteenth Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition adopts a hybrid format, with the in-person final rounds scheduled to take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 15 – 19 July 2024 and the preliminary virtual rounds (online) scheduled to take place from 14 – 21 May 2024.
About the Competition
The World Moot is open to undergraduate and masters students from all universities in the world. Teams of two students (gender diversity is encouraged) from every university in the world are invited to submit heads of argument for a hypothetical human rights case. The best 10 teams from each of the five UN region are then invited to participate in the online preliminary rounds. The 50 teams (with the highest memorial grades) have to argue the two sides of the hypothetical case, representing, alternatively, both the Applicant and the Respondent before a ‘bench’ of human rights experts and judges of international tribunals.
The 24 best teams proceed to the in person advanced and final rounds, which is presided over by international human rights experts. The Competition is presented in English, French and in Spanish.
As part of the Competition, an Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture is held. In 2024 the Fifth Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture will held on 17 July. In 2019 the inaugural Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was presented by Retired Justice Albie Sachs – an apartheid struggle icon and former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa - delivered the lecture, along with H.E. Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2021 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, former member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Ms Edna Maria Santos Roland, Chair/Rapporteur 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. In 2022, the Third Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was held at the University of Geneva on 18 July 2022. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of Human Rights in the context of Climate Change, Dr Ian Fry, led a panel discussion. The panel consisted of Dr Ashfaq Khalfan, Director of Climate Justice at Oxfam America, Ms Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan Youth Climate Activist and Ms Therese Arnesen, Human Rights Officer at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2023, the Fourth Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was held at the Nations Business Centre Auditorium on July 18 2023. The participants were warmly welcomed by the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ambassador Václav Bálek, the South African Permanent Representative to the United Nations at Geneva, Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi and the Chief of the Human Rights Council Branch at the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Eric Tistounet.
For more information, please contact the Nelson Mandela World Moot Court Competition Coordinator
Mr Tapiwa Mhuru
- Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
- Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University, Washington College of Law
- The Commonwealth Secretariat, and
- United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
With the financial support of
- European Union through the Global Campus of Human Rights
- Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organisations in Geneva
- South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva and
- The Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)