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V WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS MOOT COURT COMPETITION

8-10 December 2013


University of Pretoria, South Africa

COMPETITION RULES
1.

GENERAL

The World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is an initiative of the Centre for Human Rights,
Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, undertaken with the support of the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
With the support of the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in
Southern Africa, the V World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held in Pretoria, South
Africa, on 9 and from 8 to 10 December 2013, culminating on International Human Rights Day.
Participation in the Moot is open to students from all universities in the world.
1.1

Host University

The preliminary and final rounds of the World Human Rights Moot Court Competition ("the
Competition") will be held at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, on 9 and 10 December 2013.
The administrative authority over the Competition rests with the Steering Committee, which is
comprised of representatives of the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria. The
University of Pretoria does not participate in the Competition.
1.2

Composition of panels of judges

The judges in the Competition will be panels consisting of representatives of the participating law
schools (law faculties or law departments) ("the faculty representatives") in the preliminary rounds.
These representatives should ideally be human rights law lecturers and in the alternative must
have a legal background. Additional observers may be added to the number of judges where the
Steering Committee deems that the number of judges in a particular court is insufficient.
In the final round two-thirds (2/3) of the judges will comprise experts in international law and human
rights as composed by the Steering Committee. In order to ensure adequate representation of the
language groups in the final round at least one judge will be a faculty representative as selected by
participating students in a forum to be held after the preliminary rounds. The Steering Committee
can also appoint other similarly qualified individuals as additional judges.
1.3

Competitions Official Programme

An official programme for the Competition will be issued by the Steering Committee at the start of
the Competition, indicating the time and venue of each session.
1.4

Hypothetical case to be argued

A hypothetical case or problem will be posed for argument by the Steering Committee and will be
made available to the participants in advance.
1.5

Selection of teams for preliminary and final rounds

Every university in the world is invited to enter a team of two students, preferably one woman and
one man. A hypothetical case focusing on one or more human rights issues is set. Students are
expected to argue the case, as if they were before a hypothetical World Human Rights Court, and
to do so on the basis of the two main United Nations human rights conventions and other
applicable international human rights instruments.

Teams submit memorials (heads of argument) in the prescribed format, which are evaluated by a
panel of experts from around the world. The best three teams from each of the 5 UN regions are
identified on the basis of the written memorials (see appendix B memorials scoring sheet).
The Steering Committee reserves the right to select fewer than three teams from a particular
region if less than three teams from that region obtain 50% or more for their submitted memorials.
In order to achieve a total number of 15 teams, the Steering Committee may select teams from
other regions. The Steering Committee may invite the winning teams of the following regional
Human Rights Moot Competitions to participate in the World Moot, in addition to the 15 teams
identified through submission of memorials:

African Human Rights Moot Court Competition;


European Human Rights Moot Court Competition; and
Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

1.6 Preliminary and final rounds


The teams as indicated in 1.5 will be invited to participate in the preliminary and final rounds in
Pretoria. Team memorials will be made available to the judges in advance. However, teams are
not bound to their memorials when making oral arguments. Memorials will not be taken into
consideration when the teams are scored in these rounds. Lots will be drawn at the beginning of
the preliminary rounds and before the final round to pair the opposing teams during a particular
round.
1.7 Final round
The two best teams in the preliminary rounds advance to the final round of the Competition. These
two teams must not be from the same UN region.
1.8

Moot website

All official documentation and other practical information necessary for team preparation are
available on the World Moot website: http://www1.chr.up.ac.za/index.php/projects/world-moot.html

2.

SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY

The Competition is open to students studying for their first law degree from all institutions of tertiary
education in the world. Although participation in the Competition is not restricted to law students,
the latter are particularly encouraged to take part.
3.

TEAM MEMBER ELIGIBILITY (New)

Each team must consist of two members, each of whom:


a) is registered for a first (or 'undergraduate') degree in any discipline; or
b) is registered for a second (or 'graduate') degree in law in a country where law studies can only
be undertaken by students holding a first ('undergraduate') degree.

4.

ASSISTANCE

Assistance rendered to a team in the preparation of its case, including assistance by Faculty
members, must be limited to a general discussion of issues, suggestions as to research sources
and decision-making. Substantially, the presentation has to be the original work of the students.

5.

TEAM SELECTION

A team consists of two student members only, preferably one woman and one man, from a single
School or Faculty. Team members are to be chosen through a democratic and transparent method
approved by the responsible authority within the School or Faculty. For the purposes of the
Competition, notice to one team member constitutes notice to both team members. Teams that are
unable to come to Pretoria will be disqualified and, if possible, replaced.

6.

MEMORIALS

Each team must prepare memorials for the Applicant and the Respondent. These memorials must
be emailed to armand.tanoh@up.ac.za
6.1

Memorial general format

The memorial must consist of the following:


A standard cover page, which must be identical in style and content to Appendix A. The cover
page should not carry any mark that identifies the team, such as the name of the university or
names of team members.
A summary, stating in brief the main arguments, which must not exceed one page.
The memorial proper, which must not exceed 3,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding
the summary and table of authorities).
A table of authorities should be included.
Spacing:
Form:
Margins:
Font:

Double-spaced.
Typewritten.
Top: 2cm, Bottom: 2cm, Left: 2cm, Right: 2cm.
Arial 12.

N.B:

Failure to follow the prescribed requirements may result in penalties being imposed.

6.2

Submission of memorials

One copy of the memorial for each side (one for the Applicant and one for the Respondent) must
be submitted to the Steering Committee on or before 30 August 2013. Both memorials should be
attached to the same email message.
Memorials received by fax or by post will be rejected.
Any team that fails to submit an electronic copy of the two memorials to the organisers before the
deadline will be disqualified.
Teams must submit 5 copies of each memorial (Applicant and Respondent) at registration in
Pretoria, as indicated in the official Competition programme. The Steering Committee cannot
provide computer and photocopying facilities to participants during the Moot Competition.
Each team must have a compilation of the materials referred to in its memorials available during
oral pleadings.

6.3

Memorial marking

Memorials will be marked by independent experts.

6.4

Memorials in oral rounds

During the preliminary and final rounds, the applicable memorials submitted at registration by the
teams will be made available to the judges.
6.5

Use of opposing teams' memorials

As far as the preliminary rounds are concerned, no team may view in advance, or otherwise
become privy to the memorials of any other team before these are made available to them by the
Steering Committee. In the final round, the Steering Committee will make copies of the two
separate memorials (used in the preliminary rounds) available to their opponents at least three
hours before the commencement of the final round, and to the judges.
6.6

Best memorials

The team with the best memorials will be announced at the end of the Competition during the
prize-giving ceremony.

7.

ORAL PLEADINGS

7.1

General procedure

The order of pleadings will be: Applicant team, Respondent team, rebuttal by Applicant team. All
team members must act as oralists during any round. No team may argue for longer than 30
minutes (including rebuttal) during the preliminary 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. Time for rebuttal should be reserved in advance.
7.2

Ex parte procedures

Where a team fails to arrive for a scheduled round, the Steering Committee, after waiting for ten
minutes, may announce a new team against which the other team will argue, or allow the round to
proceed ex parte. In an ex parte proceeding, the attending team presents its oral pleading, which is
scored by the judges. In such a case, the team that fails to arrive for the scheduled round forfeits
all of the round's points. If good cause is shown, the Steering Committee may arrange for an
additional round for the absent team later during the Competition, if time and administrative
concerns permit. The Steering Committee may also, at its discretion, decide that an ex parte
procedure may take place where special circumstances, such as translation difficulties, so require.
7.3

Scope of pleadings

The scope of a team's oral pleading is not limited to the scope of its memorial. The scope of the
Applicant's rebuttal is limited to the scope of the Respondent's oral pleadings.
7.4

Scouting

No member of a team may attend a preliminary round or view the memorials of any other team
unless they are themselves competing in that round. Teams violating this rule may be disqualified.
All rounds will be open to the public. Audio and video taping of oral pleadings are prohibited unless
authorised by the Steering Committee. The use of mobile phones is not permitted in the venue.

The Steering Committee may make use of video and photographic materials of any round and use
it for promotional and training purposes without compensating the participants. The participants
agree to this when entering the competition.
7.5

Oral and written communication

No oral or written communication may take place between team tables and any spectator during a
round.
7.6

Absence from the courtroom

No team member is allowed to leave the courtroom for the duration of the proceedings of a specific
case in which he or she is taking part. If a team member needs to leave the room in a case of
emergency, an official will accompany the team member.
7.7

Best oralist

The name of the best oralist in the preliminary rounds, based on the points indicated for oral
argument on the score sheets, will be announced at the end of the Competition during the prizegiving ceremony.
7.8

Preliminary and final rounds

In the preliminary and final rounds teams will be scored exclusively on their oral pleadings.

8.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF TEAM IDENTITY

Each team is assigned a number at the start of the Competition and is identified only by that
number for the duration of the Competition, to ensure anonymity..

9.

LANGUAGES

The official language of the Competition is English. Students will be invited to submit memorials
and present oral arguments in English only.

10.

INTERPRETATION OF RULES

The rules will be interpreted by the Steering Committee.

11.

CLARIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM

Participants may submit written requests for clarification of points in the problem which are
manifestly unclear and which must be clarified in order for the participants to develop their
pleadings. When a clarification request is left unanswered, the parties to the dispute have decided
that the point is invalid, has been addressed sufficiently in other materials, or no agreement could
be reached between the parties.
Requests for clarification must be received by the Steering Committee on or before 31 July 2013.
Clarifications will be made available to all participants before 10 August 2013. The onus is on
each team to establish, before the Competition, whether there has been any such clarification or
alteration.

12.

DISQUALIFICATION AND PENALTIES

12.1

Procedure

The Steering Committee has the power to disqualify a team on the basis of violations of these rules
or the spirit of the Competition. It also has the power to impose penalties, in the form of
subtractions from the marks awarded, not exceeding 20 points for each infraction. Judges may
propose disqualification or penalties, but these measures will only take effect once they are
endorsed by the Steering Committee.
When the issue of disqualification or penalties arises, the Steering Committee, on its own motion or
as a result of a team complaint, must ascertain the facts of the situation in order to determine
whether an infraction has occurred. The team initiating the complaint must give timely notice to the
Steering Committee and the accused team. If, on its own motion, the Steering Committee
investigates a possible violation, it must give timely notice to the accused team. The accused team
will be allowed to reply to the complaints made. Where judges intend proposing disqualification or
the imposition of penalties, they must inform the teams accordingly and give them time to respond
at the end of each particular round.
Complaints pertaining specifically to oral pleadings must be submitted to the Steering Committee
within one hour of the completion of the round in which the alleged violation occurred. Memorial
and oral pleading penalty points will be assessed against the total score awarded by the judges to
the penalised team in the particular round.
12.2

Grounds

The Steering Committee may disqualify a team or impose a penalty against a team for behaviour
that substantially prejudices the Competition, including, but not limited to the following:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)

13.

scouting;
late submission of prescribed memorials to the Steering Committee;
failure to meet memorial length and form requirements;
communication between counsel table and any person (other than judges) during the oral
pleadings;
engaging in poor sportsmanship;
submitting petty, frivolous and verbose complaints;
submitting substantially ill-conceived requests for clarification of the problem;
revealing the identity of a team to the judges of a round before that round has taken place;
dishonesty or other serious breaches of the spirit of the competition.

SCORING

Scoring must be done in accordance with the following documents:

Memorial standard cover page:


Memorials scoring sheet:
Instructions to Judges:
Oral pleadings scoring sheet:

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D

Any matter not specifically provided for in these rules falls within the sole discretion of the Steering
Committee.

14. Contact of the organisers


For more information about the World Moot:
www.chr.up.ac.za

Armand Tanoh
World Moot Court Coordinator
Centre for Human Rights
Faculty of Law
University of Pretoria
PRETORIA 0002
Republic of South Africa

Tel:
+27(0) 12 420 4841
Fax: +27 086 210 4354
Email: armand.tanoh@up.ac.za

Yolandi Meyer
World Moot Assistant Coordinator
Centre for Human Rights
Faculty of Law
University of Pretoria
PRETORIA 0002
Republic of South Africa

Tel:
+27(0) 12 420 5408
Email: yolandi.meyer@up.ac.za