Nana Tasks Law Students To Protect Human Rights

President Akufo-Addo believed that more can be done in upholding the rights of people than has currently been achieved.

He has therefore charged law students, especially in Africa to help deepen respect for human rights.

This was when he delivered the keynote address at the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition held on the campus of the University of Ghana yesterday.

As the world would be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, President Akufo-Addo expressed disappointment in the fact that the purpose of the instrument has not been fully achieved even though considerable advancement has been made in the universal protection of human rights.

Quoting the late South African President and Nobel Laureate, Nelson Mandela who said “one could hardly think of a better way to advance the cause of human rights than to bring together students who are the leaders, judges and teaches of tomorrow – from different countries, with Chief Justices and Professors, to debate some of the crucial issues of our time in the areas it is existing in a challenging atmosphere of a courtroom, where they can test their arguments and skills against one another in a spirit of fierce but friendly competition,” Nana stressed that Africa has a sacred task to ensure that the fight for the protection and respect of human rights remains a constant one.

On his part, the Director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, (organizers of the Moot Court Competition), Professor Frans Vilijoen expressed delight in the kind of energy and preparation put into the competition by all 19 participating countries while commending authorities at the University of Ghana which is hosting this year’s event for their tireless effort in ensuring that the competition went on smoothly.

Moot Competition

The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa.

The annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The competition continuously prepares new generations of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.

Since its creation in 1992, 150 universities from 50 African countries have taken part in this permanent fixture on the Africa legal education calendar.

The Moot has been a catalyst for the establishment of the leading programmes in the field of human rights teaching and research in Africa.

In 2017, the 26th edition of the Moot Court Competition was hosted at the University of Mauritius. The event brought together 54 teams from 20 African countries.