The 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held at Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 18 to 21 July 2017.

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).
Worth of Award

  • Although no registration fees are charged, participants must cover all their own costs (air tickets, accommodation, meals and medical insurance).
  • As participants have to cover all their costs, they are encouraged to begin fundraising as soon as possible. Donors may include embassies, the UN and EU, bar associations and law firms, corporate donors and their own universities.


  • The Competition is open to both undergraduate and master’s degree law students.
  • A team of two students from each university – preferably one woman and one man – is invited to participate.
  • 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.
  • Here, 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 Competition will be held in English.

The 2017 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will include a one-day event, designed to expose students to the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as the Human Rights Council. This will involve personal interaction with senior staff members of both institutions who are involved key activities and processes. This practical exercise promises to be an eye –opening and personally enriching series of encounters which will add value to what many World Moot participants have already described as the highlight of their university studies.
How to Apply

  • Universities are invited to register once information is made available on the Moot website. Teams can register directly.
  • The writing of memorials should be done by the students themselves under the supervision and guidance of the Faculty Representative. Under no circumstances should the Faculty Representative be directly involved in the writing of memorials.
  • Memorials must be submitted strictly according to the guidelines provided in the Rules.
  • Each team must prepare memorials for the Applicant and the Respondent.
  • These memorials must be emailed to [email protected] by the relevant deadline which can be found on the Calendar.
  • All team members must act as oralists during any round. No team may argue for longer than 30 minutes (including rebuttal) during the pre-final and final rounds. One oralist may not use more than 20 minutes during the preliminary or final rounds. Rebuttal may not exceed 5 minutes. Only the Applicant has the opportunity for rebuttal. Faculty Representatives should ensure that both students are prepared to deliver the full argument for the team. In the event that one of the students falls ill or unforeseen circumstances occur, the other participant should be able to argue the case ex parte.

Click here to register 
Click here for more details and to apply

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