National Moot Court Finals – October 2014

Last weekend, we took part in the National Schools Moot Court Competition semi-finals and finals in Pretoria and Johannesburg respectively. Our team of ‘counsel’ consisted of Hayley Knol and Rebekah Nathan. We took part in two rounds in the semi-finals. In the first, our girls presented the Applicant’s case in an appeal to the Constitutional Court on the fundamental question of the right to freedom of expression. We won the first round convincingly. However, the second round was very close. We had to argue the Respondent’s case against Grenville from Rustenburg in the North-West province. When the results of the semi-finals were announced on Saturday evening, Grenville had been placed 2nd overall, while we were placed 10th (out of a total of 40 schools from all the provinces of this country).

The next day, Grenville took part in the finals between the two top-placed schools at the Constitutional Court itself before five judges, including two actual judges of the Court, Judges Khampepe and Madlanga. On the day, Grenville narrowly beat Gibson Pillay from Lenasia in Johannesburg, thus winning the competition outright. And yet we had almost held our own against Grenville on Saturday afternoon in the previous round. That’s how close it was!

On balance, though, the whole event was a truly wonderful experience for the girls, who also visited the Old Fort Prison and Freedom Park during the weekend and had the opportunity to hear the inspirational judge and author, Edwin Cameron, speaking to all participants at the Constitutional Court, as well as the renowned South African artist, Judith Mason.

I believe that our placing was a wonderful achievement at the first time of entry into such a fiercely contested national competition. We’ve learnt a lot and will, no doubt, be back!