12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2020 for Students Worldwide

12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2020 for Students Worldwide

Deadline: April 27, 2020

Can you see yourself arguing a hypothetical human rights case before a panel of international lawyers in Geneva? Apply for the 12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2020.

Each year students who wish to participate in the Competition submit written legal arguments for the two opposing sides in a fictional dispute involving some of the burning contemporary human rights issues. The ten teams from each of the five UN regions with the highest scores for the written arguments are then invited to participate in the final, oral rounds in Geneva, where they argue the case before eminent international jurists, including judges from international tribunals. The final rounds for 2020 will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, at the Palais des Nations, from 13 to 17 July.

The Competition is presented by the Centre for Human Rights based at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


  • The teams that are selected to participate in the preliminary rounds in Geneva are expected to cover their own traveling costs as well as cost of accommodation and meals. Limited financial assistance is, however, available to help cover accommodation and meals.


  • The Competition is open to both undergraduate and master’s degree students from all universities in the world
  • A team of two students from each university is invited to participate.
  • The Competition is presented in English, French, and Spanish. Knowledge of any of these languages is important.

Oral Presentation

  • Both team members must act as oralists during any round. No team may argue for longer than 30 minutes (including rebuttal) during the oral preliminary, quarter-final, semi-final or final rounds.
  • One oralist may not use more than 20 minutes during the preliminary, quarter-final, semi-final or final rounds. Rebuttal may not exceed 5 minutes.
  • Only the Applicant has the opportunity for rebuttal. Faculty Representatives should ensure that both students are prepared to deliver the full argument for the team. In the event that one of the students falls ill or unforeseen circumstances occur, the other participant should be able to argue the case ex parte.


Click here to register

For more information, see FAQ and visit World Human Rights Moot Court Competition.