25 July 2019
Our two LLM students, Anna Lochhead-Sperling and Paula Padrino Vilela participated in the oral rounds of the Nelson Mandela Moot Court that took place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. A great opportunity to put into practice the human rights notions learned in class, meet other law students from all around the world and train public speaking and presentation skills.
In order to qualify for the oral rounds, Anna and Paula wrote a long and detailed memorial, arguing a case study before a fictitious human rights court both in favour of the applicants and the government. They competed against other universities from the UN regional group Western Europe & Others which notably included Oxford, Yale and Harvard.
Anna and Paula, coached by our Teaching Assistant Pavle Kilibarda, received excellent marks in the preliminary rounds, where they worked on a complex case that involved several human rights violations, including the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to a fair trial, and the right to non-discrimination. The team did not make it to the quarter-finals due to great competition from the other teams, which we congratulate.
‘While we regularly participate in the Jean-Pictet Competition or in the Nuremberg Moot Court, it was our first involvement in this moot court. We are therefore extremely proud of our team’s performance which is all the more impressive as it was our first participation’ explains Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
‘I enjoyed observing how teams approached the case, in particular which human rights violations were identified and how teams either argued for or against these violations during their oral submissions. It was also very good training for thinking on your feet and being able to respond quickly and clearly to questions from the judges on a range of complex human rights issues, as well as procedural rules of the Court’ explains Anna.
‘I really enjoyed the whole experience of participating in the Nelson Mandela Moot Court Competition. While preparing our submissions, we had to research and learn about substantive issues of many human rights in addition to procedures and case law of different international courts which was a great bonus to our human rights course. I value the fact that we were able to become friends with members of teams coming from all over the world, representing more than 40 universities. It was also a challenging exercise to combat nerves and practice public speaking, but overall, it was the perfect final to my LLM’ underlines Paula.
The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is organized by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Office of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Two LLM students can participate following a competitive selection process carried out by a Geneva Academy jury. For selected students, participation replaces two optional courses and can be validated for 6 ECTS.
‘The Nelson Mandela moot court provided our students with an excellent challenge and allowed them to further hone both their substantive knowledge of the law as well as their public speaking and presentation skills. Above all, it helped them meet new people and create new friendships around the world, which is after all what this kind of competition is all about’ stresses Pavle Kilibarda.
Robert Roth, Director of the Geneva Academy and Professor of International Criminal Law tells us about the programme and its novelties for the upcoming academic year.
Ignacio Lepro, Eliška Mockova and Tori More, currently enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, will represent the Geneva Academy at the 31st Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that will take place in Obernai (France) from 16 to 23 March 2019.
We look forward to welcoming graduating students, their friends, families and our professors at the 2019 Graduation Ceremony.
This IHL Talk will discuss the developments in new technologies, such as the refinement of artificial intelligence, the increasing use of block-chain, the expectation of constant connectivity, and the role of social media.
This short course analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Truth Commissions are by now an integral part of the transitional justice vocabulary and practice. This short course will provide a comprehensive, multidimensional and practical examination of this transitional justice mechanism, shedding light on both its aims and the practical challenges it has met or is likely to meet.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
This research project, aims via the drafting of a practitioners’ guide on human rights and countering corruption, to clarify the conceptual relationship between human rights, good governance and anticorruption, demonstrate the negative impact of corruption on human rights and provide guidance and make practical recommendations for effectively using the UN human rights system in anti-corruption efforts.