2015 Moot Court – First Round and Workshop

nsmcc-logoFirstly what is Moot Court? Most commonly known by professionals as “Mooting” , it is done with two teams made up of two people. One person in the team takes a senior role and the other the junior. Mooting requires you to research the area of law in question and bring a prepared case to the competition. Mooting is completely different to debating: you must always be polite and respectful to both the judge and other participants, and it is much like an actual court trial. We are given a case and we are expected to argue for both the applicant and the respondent.

The first round consisted of our writing our arguments in form of an essay. They essays are assessed by independent experts prior to the competition. Based on these essays, they then pick 9 schools to compete.  The second round is the provincial round, and the aim of this is to identify the top 4 teams. Time management was a key factor in producing this essay, as one couldn’t simply receive the case and start writing and formulating the argument. We have to present the argument as if we are lawyers, using the correct structure, court room etiquette and appropriate jargon. We had to do a lot of research, as we have to be able to argue and substantiate the argument using facts from the Bill of Rights. We have to refer to Chapter 2, and have to use other instruments such as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the 1989 Convention on the rights of the Child. We have to refer to these and many others in our arguments to substantiate why the judges should rule in our favour. We then attended our first workshop on 12 September at the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court. At this workshop, we spoke to advocates and lawyers and they gave us advice, useful tips and taught us skills that we are able to use during the provincial rounds and hopefully Nationals.

Imaan Mothupi