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Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Competition

Date: 15-19 July 2019.

Sara Nicola D’Sousa and Akanksha Panicker of Third Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) qualified to represent Kirit P. Mehta School of Law at the international oral rounds of the 11th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The rounds were held at the Palais des Nations- United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland from 15-19 July 2019.

Their qualification to the international oral rounds was based upon a memorial qualification round. The students worked and researched relentlessly for five months on a complex Human Rights moot problem, which involved facets of artificial intelligence, data protection, privacy, autonomous weapons, cultural rights, minority rights and more. On 25 April 2019, shortly after their exams concluded, they submitted a memorial of arguments on the case.

The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is organised annually by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, in association with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union, and Washington College of Law. It selects approximately 10 memorials from each of the 5 UN regions to compete in the international oral rounds. 50 Universities from around the world compete in the oral rounds at the UN Headquarters, and the competition takes place in English, French, and Spanish.

Ms. Sara Nicola D’Sousa and Ms. Akanksha Panicker were competing against nearly 100 other teams from the various countries in the Asia-Pacific UN Region. Their memorial was one amongst the 10 that made it through the stringent memorial qualification round, and they were selected to represent Asia-Pacific at the international forum of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

Following the news of their qualification, Ms. Sara and Ms. Akanksha trained incessantly throughout their summer break and the first week of the new semester. They travelled to Geneva, Switzerland for the competition to be held between the 15-19 July, 2019, and were competing against Law students from other UN regions, pursuing their undergraduate and Masters’ degrees from Oxford University, Yale University, the University of New South Wales, NLU-Delhi, and many more esteemed international names.

Ms. Sara and Ms. Akanksha completed their four preliminary rounds with a team score of 82.48 which qualifies as ‘Excellent’, and have even received compliments from the judges including them being called ‘natural oralists’ and ‘excellent speakers’. They were adjudged pre-finalists since only 6 teams could qualify to the English quarter-finals.

During the final round, they were also able to interact with judges of the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and many such esteemed legal personalities. The representation of our students at the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition has helped bring the name of Kirit P. Mehta School of Law to the international legal community.

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