Midlands State University Law School Secures Spot at the Moot Court World Finals to be held in Geneva

Midlands State University Law School Excels in Nelson Mandela Human Rights Moot Court Competition

Two talented students from Midlands State University Law School, Rutendo Chikwava and MacDonald Chirima, alongside their coach Ntandoyenkosi Moyo, have secured their place in the prestigious 15th Nelson Mandela Human Rights Moot Court Competition World Finals, an annual event in which university students from around the world come together in Geneva to argue a hypothetical human rights case.

Each year a new case is carefully developed, drawing on current global human rights issues – these range from human rights and artificial intelligence, over terrorism and mercenaries, to the right to not be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Midlands State University Law School Excels in Nelson Mandela Human Rights Moot Court Competition
MacDonald Chirima and Rutendo Chikwava

To participate in the Nelson Mandela World Moot Court Competition students can apply by submitting heads of argument for the hypothetical case, which are assessed by a panel of experts.  The best 10 teams from each UN region are then invited to participate in the pre-final, quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the Competition in Geneva, Switzerland. Once in Geneva, teams have to argue the two sides of the hypothetical case, representing, alternatively, both the Applicant and the Respondent before a ‘bench’ of human rights experts. The two best teams advance to the final round, which is presided over by judges from international courts and tribunals.

Midlands State University Law School students participated in the preliminary rounds of the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Moot Court Competition from the 20th to the 27th of May 2023,  aspiring legal minds were invited to engage in rigorous research, analyze complex legal issues, and present their arguments in a simulated court setting. Impressing the judges and surpassing numerous competitors during the regional rounds, Rutendo Chikwava, MacDonald Chirima, and their coach Ntandoyenkosi Moyo demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of human rights principles. Their ability to articulate compelling legal arguments set them apart from the competition, leading them to secure a place in the esteemed World Finals.

"When I was accepted into MSU Law in 2018, the goal was to strive to be exceptional. 5 years later, that remains the goal. The hard work, sacrifice and determination have all culminated into this result." says MacDonald Chirima in a LinkedIn post. "Participating in the Regional Rounds of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot was a gruesome experience as my mettle was put to the test. I can safely conclude that throughout the course of the competition, I grew as a lawyer and speaker. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this competition. But even more so, I am thrilled that we managed to qualify into the top 24 Teams in the world. All I can say now is that the stage has been set and in Geneva, we will argue to our heart's content! What a spectacular way to end 5 years of Law School!" he continues.

Mr. Ntandoyenkosi Moyo, Assistant Lecture-Faculty of Law and the team's coach expressed immense pride in the student's achievement. He acknowledged their remarkable feat by stating, "Being ranked among the top 24 universities in the world speaks volumes and accredits the level of stellar performance our university has been synonymous with over the last decade."

The Midlands State University team, brimming with talent and ambition, is now set to embark on a journey to the World Finals at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from the 17th to the 21st of July 2023. They will have the privilege of competing against the finest legal minds from around the globe, engaging in spirited debates, exchanging ideas, and gaining invaluable experience in an international legal forum.

The resounding success of Midlands State University Law School students in the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Moot Court Competition is not only a cause for celebration within the university community but also a source of inspiration for aspiring law students across the nation. It is a shining example of Midlands State University's indomitable spirit and dedication to excellence in legal education.

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Mungwadzi Godwin

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