The University of Pretoria is inviting applications for the Nelson Mandela World Human right Moot Court Competition, organized by the centre for human rights-based at the faculty of law in 2020.

You are cordially invited to participate in the 12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, due to be held from 7 to 11 December 2020, in Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Competition is presented by the Centre for Human Rights based at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is an international human rights law moot court competition. In 2009 the Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Southern Africa (ROSA), organised the inaugural World Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

Since then, the Competition has included the name of Nelson Mandela and changed its location from being hosted at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa to the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Worth of Award

  • Participants are responsible for booking and funding their own flights to and from the Competition. Participants should provide the organisers with their arrival and departure information.
  • All information relating to the Programme will be sent to participants a few weeks before the Competition. Participants should read this information carefully and note all the relevant contact details.
  • The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa in the framework of its cooperation with the Lucerne Academy generously offers two scholarships for the winning team of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition to participate in a fully-funded three-week summer programme at the University of Lucerne.
  • Over the course of three weeks, their students, hailing from across the globe are guided by distinguished scholars and practitioners, in classes focused exclusively on human rights law. They also author a hypothetical appellate brief and participate in a prominent moot court competition


  • Participation in the Competition is open to undergraduate and masters students from all universities in the world.
  • The Competition involves a written phase after which teams are selected for the oral phase. Teams argue a hypothetical case on issues of international human rights law, as if they were before a world Human Rights Court, on the basis of the International Bill of Human Rights and other applicable (such as regional) human rights instruments.
  • The Competition takes place annually around 18 July, which is Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
  • In 2020, and due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Competition has been moved to December.

How to Apply 

Universities are invited to register directly on their website.

Registration is done in two phases:

Phase 1: Faculty Registration

  • In this phase individuals must register the institutional information of their faculty, along with the details of the person responsible for the team. Such individual can be the faculty representative, in the event a team does not have a faculty representative such details can be of one of the team members.

Phase 2: Individual registration

  • In this phase each of the two oralists, including the faculty representative (if applicable) must register so as to record their details. Individual registration is only for the 50 selected teams.

Deadline: Application closes July 30, 2020.


Click here for more details and to apply

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