12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition
Palais des Nations
7 - 11 December 2020
The preliminary oral rounds of the 12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Competition will be held online from 19 to 23 September 2020. The World Moot is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
There is no doubt that 2020 has been and continues to be a difficult and challenging year in which individuals are adapting to new modes of social interactions. We know and value how much effort students from universities all over the world have put into writing their memorials to participate in the World Moot.
With this in mind, the World Moot Organising Team has undertaken all possible efforts to ensure the best experience for the participants of the 12th edition of the World Moot. On 11 September 2020, the best teams from each of the five United Nations regions of the world were selected to participate in the preliminary oral rounds which will be held from 19 to 23 September 2020. Though originally held in-person and at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, this year, the preliminary rounds will take place online.
Forty-four teams from across the globe will be taking part in the preliminary online rounds. The preliminary rounds will be judged by human rights experts composed from various backgrounds such as academia, non-governmental organisations and legal practitioners. They will assess the students' ability to argue complex legal questions with regards to the right to freedom of religion and the right to life, among others. During these rounds the best eight teams will be selected to attend the quarter-final rounds at the traditional World Moot location in Geneva, if COVID-19 health regulations allow.
This first-time hybrid moot experience has already shown positive results highlighted through the diversity of our panel of judges. As organisers, we look forward to providing both an enriching and memorable mooting experience for participants and welcome the opportunity to bring together bright and enthusiastic young minds from across the globe to discuss cross-cutting human rights issues.
The 12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, will be held from 7 to 11 December 2020, in Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Competition is presented by the Centre for Human Rights based at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The Competition will be held in English, French and Spanish.
About the Competition
The Competition is open to both undergraduate and master's degree students. A team of two students from each university is invited to participate. In the preliminary rounds, students submit heads of argument for a hypothetical case, which are assessed by a panel of experts.
The best 10 teams from each UN region are then invited to participate in the pre-final, quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the Competition in Geneva. Teams then 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.
The eight best teams proceed to the quarterfinal rounds, which is presided over by judges from international courts and tribunals. The Competition is presented in English, French and in Spanish.
As part of the week-long Moot Competition, an Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture is held. In 2019 the inaugural Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was held on 18 July. 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 light of the postponement of the World Moot to December 2020 the second Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture will not be presented in 2020.
Animation of the case to be argued at the 12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition (2020)
For more information, please contact the Nelson Mandela World Moot Court Competition Coordinator, Eduardo Kapapelo, preferably by email at email@example.com always with copy to Project Assistant Ana Teresa Khatounian at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
- Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University, Washington College of Law 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)