UP Moot Society wins silver in the Netherlands

NTOMBIKAYISE MKANDHLA

UP Moot Society members, Tinotenda Kakora and Thomas White, who are students at the Faculty of Law, won silver at the 2nd International Children's Rights Moot Court Competition held at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

This year, they were coached by Thandeka Makhoza, a 5th year BA Law student.

Leiden University describes the competition as “a three-day competition, consisting of two days of preliminary rounds, and the final round on the third day”. With the help and sponsorship of the Centre for Child Law in the Faculty of Law at UP, the team flew out to the Netherlands between 29 and 31 March.

According to UP’s website, the team pleaded a fictional case – “Noorzai and Nuratdin vs Bruscium, based on a dispute between a state and refugee children.” This case was brought before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Although the team has seasoned moot competitors, Makhoza admits that the journey leading up to the end of the competition was “tough”. “We all missed out on a week of school,” she said, before adding that Kakora and White had the most work as she was guiding them throughout the whole process. Makhoza participated in the 1st International Children’s Rights Moot Court Competition in 2014 where she and her team came third. Makhoza added that unlike other universities where a lecturer trains the moot teams, TuksLaw moot competitors are trained by other past participants, which enables a transfer of skills.

In this year’s competition, Makhoza recalled competing against an Indian university in the second round who presented a “strong case.” Despite the UP team’s “anxiousness” after contending against the opposing team, they ended up victorious. In an article written for UP’s website, Makhoza said, “At the end of the second day, the top five teams were announced, as well as the two teams that were going through to the finals.” UP’s Moot Society’s members were ranked first in the preliminary rounds and memorials (each of which counted 50%) and the University of Antwerp, a Belgian university, came second.

Despite coming second in the finals, Makhoza is proud of her team and says that the competition has been a “learning experience” for them.

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