Two student delegates - Claire McNally and Mohamed Kouta - enrolled in the International Human Rights Law MA, and Political Science BA programs, respectively, have just returned from winning the 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition held at the University of Mauritius, in Reduit.
The team did well in their written memorials, which were ranked fifth best (out of 45 teams) in the English stream of the competition. However, they excelled in the oral rounds in Mauritius. McNally was awarded the best oralist prize, while Kouta ranked fifth out of 90 speakers in the Anglophone stream. They were ranked as the best team in the Anglophone preliminary rounds.
They then performed as part of a composite team in the final, held in the Parliament of Mauritius on Saturday, September 23. This team also comprised a speaker from the University of Ghana, and one Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d'Ivoire (winners of the Francophone stream).
Kouta presented argument in front of judges from the African Court of Human and People's Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the South African Supreme Court, and a Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights. They were crowned champions at the final.
The team was coached, and accompanied, by Assistant Professor Jason Beckett; who also acted as a presiding judge during the preliminary rounds.
The African moot competition was started in 1992 by law faculty at the Centre for Human Rights at University of Pretoria, South Africa. It takes place every year in a different African country. It was held at the American University in Cairo in 2002.
The Competition aims to increase awareness of human rights issues on the continent, develop research, writing, and oral argumentation skills of participants, and provide a continent-wide network for information exchange and collaboration. This is the thirteenth time the AUC has competed, but the first time that we have won.