9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition

The Midlands State University Faculty of Law has qualified to participate in the 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The competition will be held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 18 to 21 July 2017. Brian Tatenda Madziba (final year student) and Conrad Melusi Clinton Nyathi (fourth year student) are the students who represent the University in this competition.

The Competition is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, based at the University of Pretoria, with the support of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, in collaboration with the Regional Office for Southern Africa of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (ROSA). The Competition is open to both undergraduate and master’s degree law students. In the preliminary rounds the students submit heads of argument for a hypothetical case, which are assessed by a panel of experts. The best 5 teams from each UN region are then invited to participate in the pre-final and final rounds of the Competition in Geneva. From a total of 30 Universities that registered in the Africa Group, Midlands State University qualified among the top 5 teams to make it to the pre-final round. In the pre-final round, teams have to argue the two sides of the hypothetical case, the Applicant and the Respondent, before a ‘bench’ of human rights experts. The two best teams proceed to the final round, which is presided over by judges from international courts and tribunals.

The objective of this moot court competition is to create a platform for debate, exchange and cooperation between students, academics and experts from various legal backgrounds and human rights systems on cross-cutting human rights issues. The competition aims to make young lawyers and international experts aware of national and transnational human rights is­sues, and to help them master the jurisprudence of United Nations treaty bodies, and regional human rights institutions. Various themes in International Human Rights Law are explored in the Competition: – Discrimination; ethnic intolerance; state responsibility; sexual orientation; freedom of expression; conditions of detention; refugees; environmental impact of development; right to life;  amnesty; extradition; freedom of expression; human cost of natural disasters; extrajudicial killings; child soldiers and disability rights. In a context of massive and systematic violations of human rights around the world, and recent conflicts with far-reaching geopolitical ramifications, the Competition aims to be the forum for discussion and debate on these issues, and provide an opportunity for meetings between countries and universities which would not otherwise be possible.


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