The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is directed towards everyone who is interested in Human Rights Law, International Law and Humanitarian Law. After being selected to represent the University of Lucerne during this Moot Court competition, we were looking forward to the following six months, during which we worked intensively on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law issues- fields of law we are both committed and passionate about!

L. Ausserladscheider Jonas, J. Brauchbar, S. Fluri

In this competition, teams from all over the world were asked to provide arguments for the applicant and the respondent by writing memorandums using regional and international case law. The hypothetical case included aspects of the right to seek asylum, the right to non-discrimination, the right to life, and international humanitarian law.

Even though writing the memorandums presented itself to be challenging, finding subtle arguments in the oral round for the applicant and the respondent proved to be more difficult. Nevertheless, we submitted both memos almost two weeks prior to the deadline, thanks to our, and our coach’s endless motivation, patience and stamina. The result was worth the effort! Of the over 150 participating teams we made it to the pre-finals, which consisted of 36 teams from all over the world. Thus, we started preparing for the oral rounds which took place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from July 18 - 21, 2017.

Thanks to the Moot Court, we were able to gain so much more expertise than we first imagined. We learned that self-confidence was our most valuable weapon and we soon realized that appearing in a convincing manner before the judges was just as important as the content of our pleading. We were therefore trained in speaking in public while keeping a certain level of self-assertion.

It holds true especially for the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court that “hard work pays off”. This fun and unique experience allowed us to meet people from all around the world. Indeed, we met several eminent human rights experts and other specialist working in the field of International Human Rights Law. Moreover, we had the opportunity to meet teams from all around the world. Finally, the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court is an ideal springboard to pursue a career in the field of international Human Rights- and Humanitarian law. 

Thus, we would like to thank Ms. Ausserladscheider Jonas, our cordial coach for her resilience, for her effort, and for making this competition memorable. We would furthermore like to thank Prof. Caroni and Ms. Hefti, who proofread our written submissions and joined several oral-training sessions.

Joel Brauchbar, Stephanie Fluri

25th October 2017