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14th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition


The Fourteenth 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 18 – 21 July 2022 and the preliminary virtual rounds (online) scheduled to take place from 20 – 31 May 2022.

EN 14th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition Poster

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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 50 teams with the highest memorial grades are invited to participate in the preliminary oral rounds and present their arguments to human rights experts and judges of international tribunals at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

The Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in the world. The Competition is open to students around the world. A team of two students from each university – preferably one woman and one man (gender diversity is encouraged) – is invited to participate in the competition.

The best 10 teams from each UN region are then invited to participate in the preliminary, 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 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 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 2021 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, 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.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact the Nelson Mandela World Moot Court Competition Coordinator, Dr Eduardo Kapapelo, preferably by email at eduardo.kapapelo@up.ac.za.

Organised by

  • 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)