Human Rights Commission on South Africa’s Victory at the International School Moot Court Competition

The South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC or the Commission) congratulates the World Moot Court Champions – Team South Africa – on their phenomenal win at the fifth International School Moot Court Competition, which concluded in Gdynia in Poland, on Friday, 31st January 2020.

At the beginning of 2019, the SAHRC became the lead institution in presenting the National Schools Moot Court Competition (NSMCC) with our main partners being the Department of Basic Education as well as the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, providing an opportunity to grade ten and eleven learners to participate in the NSMCC.

The Commission sees the NSMCC as the perfect platform for raising human rights awareness among learners, their friends and relatives with the NSMCC being the major focus of the Commission’s Constitutional promotional mandate of human rights for the 2019/2020 financial year. The NSMCC introduces these learners to the Constitution and human rights.

The 2019/2020 NSMCC began at the beginning of 2019 with the learners writing an essay on a pre-determined human rights issue. Top performers reached a provincial round which consisted of argumentation around a human rights issue, in a simulated court setting. The top performers from this round then proceeded to participate in the National Finals which commenced on Thursday the 26th September 2019 at the University of Pretoria, and consisted of teams arguing the human rights issue against one another. The grand finale was held on Sunday, 29th September 2019, at the Constitutional Court, Constitutional Hill, Braamfontein. The finalists got the opportunity to argue before real Constitutional and High Court Judges where they demonstrated their thinking and oratory skills as well as their understanding of the Bill of Rights and human rights generally.

It is this group of finalists who represented Team South Africa in Poland at the International leg of the School Moot Court Competition and won! The team consisted of Sureshka Naidoo and Caitlin Schwarer from Eden College, Nondumiso Ntshangase and Nosipho Dube from Mathubesizwe High School in Kwa-Zulu Natal, as well as Mihlali Precious Stotile and Ondele Bede from Holy Cross; Okhela Sigwela and Lizalise Dlomo from Hudson Park High School, from the Eastern Cape.

The World Moot Court Champions participated in the the human rights-centred contest where they defeated Team USA from New York City in the final round after earlier wins against competitors from Bulgaria, Romania, Mongolia, St Maarten and Venezuela. The contest simulated litigation before an international tribunal under the moot fact: Scene of Conflict over the past decade in Tabanath”.

The World Moot Court Champions returned to warm welcome by family, friends, officials and members of the SAHRC on Saturday night, the 1st February 2020.

The Commission, along with the rest of the nation brims with pride and hope that South Africa’s Constitutional Democracy and respect for human rights remains secure in the hands of future generations, particularly with our youth representing South Africa so well internationally.

Source: Government of South Africa