The Geneva Academy Team Qualifies for the Oral Rounds of the Mandela Moot Court

The Geneva Academy team – Charlotte Volet and Sonali Wanigabaduge, enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) during the 2019–2020 academic year – successfully qualified for the oral rounds of the Nelson Mandela moot court.

Our Teaching Assistant Pavle Kilibarda is coaching the team. As such, he oversaw the team’s preparation for the written submission and is now working with Charlotte and Sonali for the oral rounds and the presentation of arguments.

In order to qualify for the oral rounds, Charlotte and Sonali had to write a long and detailed memorial, arguing two sides of a fictitious human rights litigation. They competed against other universities from the UN regional group Western Europe & Others, including Oxford and Yale.

‘We are very proud of our students who managed to pass the first round along with other top-tier universities’ explains Professor Gloria Gaggioli, Director of the Geneva Academy.

Postponement of the Oral Rounds due to the COVID–19 Pandemic

The oral rounds were originally scheduled for July but had to be postponed due to the COVID–19 pandemic.

As such, the preliminary oral rounds will take place from 19-24 September and the teams that qualify will participate in the finals in December where the best 10 teams from each UN region argue two-sides of a hypothetical case on issues of international human rights law before a ‘bench’ of human rights experts and judges from international courts and tribunals.

An Integral Part of the MTJ

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 High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Two MTJ students can participate following a competitive selection process carried out by a Geneva Academy jury. This participation forms part of the Clinical Work Track of the MTJ, aimed at providing a solid exposure to practical work and situations to MTJ students.

‘Participation in this moot court allows students to put in practice the notions and legal tools they have learned in class. For students wishing to work in transitional contexts, it is an opportunity to explore issues of redress and accountability that form part of transitions following armed conflict or massive human rights abuses’ underlines Pavle Kilibarda.

Students of the MAS in Transitional Justice during a class at the Geneva Academy