College of Law Preparing for the Regional Moot Court Competition


By College of Law

Haramaya University College of Law (CoL) is preparing to take part in the 24th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, which is scheduled to take place from October 5-10, 2015 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Bacha Daba

According to Bacha Muleta, staff member at CoL and coach of the participating students, a team made up of two fifth year regular students has been working on writing memorials and oral submissions preparation for the past two months.

Untitled-1Mekdes Sebhat


“The students, namely Girma Gadissa and Mekdes Sebhat, have sacrificed their vacation to prepare memorials for the respondent State and the applicant (each 4000 words) under my close supervision/coaching,” Bacha explained adding that the memorials have already been submitted to the organizers and the oral submission preparation is still underway.

The moot court competition is an annual event that brings together law students, academics and judges from all over Africa to argue and debate human rights issues and was awarded the 2006 UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education. According to the organizers of the event, since its establishment in 1992, 1071 teams from 141 universities, representing 49 African countries have taken part in the competition.

This prestigious competition, which is organized and sponsored by the Center of Human Rights of Pretoria University, is meant to create awareness on African human rights system and the functioning of African human rights institutions across Africa. It serves as a forum for African human rights lawyers, judges and law students to meet and share knowledge on African human rights systems. The event is also meant to shape the participants on how to make oral and memorial submissions before international tribunals.

“Undoubtedly, this is a great opportunity for our Students. Furthermore, it contributes a lot in building the reputation of our university at international level,” Bacha explained his hope and expectation of taking part in this competition, which is the largest and oldest human rights educational initiative in Africa.

The information obtained from the organizers of the event indicates that the moot court competition consists of preliminary rounds, in which teams of students argue a hypothetical human rights case on the basis of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Faculty Representatives serve as judges in these rounds, which are held separately in English, French and Portuguese. The best teams proceed to the final round, where the judges in the final round are international human rights lawyers of the highest standing, and simultaneous translation is provided. Participants attend a high-level one-day conference on human rights in Africa.

The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition has a proud and uninterrupted history of 23 years, in which it has reached over 10,000 men and women – an entire generation of young African human rights lawyers.

It is known that Haramaya University College of Law has a reputation of representing Ethiopia by participating in regional as well as international moot court competitions in the past several years.

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