The Makerere University School of Law emerged victorious in the just concluded third edition of the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Human Rights Moot Court Competition.
The University, represented by Ms. Apica Angela and Mr. Percy Mpindi Christopher beat Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in the final rounds held on Saturday, 10th December, 2022 (International Human Rights Day).
The Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Human Rights Moot Court Competition is a program of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Gambia that allows law students to argue human rights issues before a regional human rights Court using African human rights mechanisms and norms.
It started in 2020 and is named after the first President of the Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara in honour of his contribution to protecting and promoting regional human rights in Africa for example in the development of the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights.
This year’s competition based on the theme, “ The State must guarantee the Right to Remedy, Reparations and Accountability for Atrocity Crimes’’ was held at University of the Gambia.
The moot question concerned an imaginary state, Kunta Kinteh, a West African country grappling with critical questions of accountability for atrocity crimes, right to remedy and reparations, transitional justice and right to life among others.
Different Countries like Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda participated in the competition from 5th December, 2022 till 10th December- the International Human Rights Day.
The opening ceremony was attended by a myriad of distinguished guests like the Gambia’s UNDP Representative, the West African Regional Representative for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Ambassador of the Suisse Embassy Dakar.
The final rounds were graced by the United Nations Development Program representative, the UN Resident Coordinator of Gambia, the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Gambia and the Dean of Faculty of Law, University of the Gambia among others.
In the final rounds adjudicated by a number of distinguished Judges led by Gaye Sowe -Executive Director of the Institute of Human Rights and Development in Africa, Mpindi Percy Christopher of Makerere University, Uganda emerged best oralist earning himself a whopping 15,000 Gambian Dalasi (887,000 Uganda Shillings).
The winning team -Makerere University earned itself 100,000 Gambian Dalasi (5.9 Million Uganda Shillings).
In an exclusive interview by The Legal Reports with the competition’s best oralist, Mpindi Percy Christopher, noted that participating in the competition was a great opportunity.
Percy who has been serving as President of the Makerere Law Society, the Makerere Law Students lobby however expressed disappointment in the University for failing to purchase for them tickets to travel to the Gambia so as to attend the Moot competition physically.
“ I got to witness different perspectives on handling human rights violations from the students of the different countries and I made so many friends,’’ a euphoric Mpindi mentioned.
“We did not manage to raise the ticket fees. Sponsors pulled out at the last minute. Makerere University should do more.” He added.
On her part, Apica Angela – Mpindi’s co-partner on the winning team noted the importance of teamwork in securing the win.
“One thing that stood out for me in this experience is the power of team work. It had probably never made as much sense to me as it did throughout this moot’’ Apica said.
Owach Rita is a law student at Makerere University and Staff writer at The Legal Reports.
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