Two students from the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Faculty of Law argued this week in the quarterfinal rounds of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, becoming one of three teams from South African universities to make it to the final rounds.
Third year LLB students Lazola Nomkala and Kamogelo Maila argued in a hypothetical case before the African Court of Human and People’s Rights. Each team had to argue the case twice - once as lawyers for the applicant and once as respondents, and their written submissions were also assessed.
UWC was in the quarterfinals with two other local teams, from Stellenbosch University and the University of Johannesburg, as well as teams from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Senegal.
The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is billed as the largest annual gathering on the continent of students and lecturers of law. This year, the competition followed a hybrid form with a combination of online and in-person interaction. Professor Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, Professor Nicola Smit, Dean: Faculty of Law at the University of Stellenbosch and former Constitutional Court Judge, Edwin Cameron, as Chancellor of the University of Stellenbosch, addressed teams on Tuesday ahead of the semi-final rounds.
While single-university teams battle it out in the preliminary rounds, the two teams facing off in the final round tomorrow, Friday, 24 September, will be a reconfiguration of finalists from different universities.
Wessel le Roux, head of the Department of Public Law and Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law and the team’s coach, said: “UWC actively seeks to integrate practical legal training into legal education. One way of doing so is through moot courts. The Faculty has a very active Moot Court Society and Kamogelo and Lazola are the latest successful mooters to come through the programme.” He added that the African Human Rights Moot Court is the oldest and most prestigious on the African continent and that while UWC didn’t make it to the semi-finals, taking part in the final rounds is a significant accomplishment.
“UWC has consistently participated in the moot for the past 30 years. Kamogelo and Lazola's achievement reconfirms the place of UWC among the top mooting universities on the continent.”