Great Zimbabwe Universtiy performs exceptionally at the prestigious world human rights moot competition

​ OWN CORRESPONDENT MASVINGO - On June 3, 2016 Great Zimbabwe University qualified to compete in the oral rounds of the 2016 Nelson Mande...





OWN CORRESPONDENT

MASVINGO
- On June 3, 2016 Great Zimbabwe University qualified to compete in the oral rounds of the 2016 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot competition.
The oral rounds of the said competition took place between July 18 and 20 at the Palais de Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
This phase of the tournament comprised of 25 teams, as five of the best law schools from each of the five United Nations regions were selected to take part in this viva voce leg of the competition.
The tournament was open to both undergraduate as well as postgraduate law students, which means that even masters law students with real working experience were eligible to participate.
All participants were provided with the same hypothetical (fictional) case to which they were required to apply their human rights and international law knowledge in coming up with arguments for both the applicant and the respondent.
The structure of the competition was such that each team would appear a total of at least four times before the judges – twice as applicant and twice as respondent.
Each side would argue for a maximum time of thirty minutes per round, addressing the judges on legal issues arising from the hypothetical case and attempting to persuade the judges to agree with their arguments.
The Applicant would be entitled to an additional five minutes to rebut the respondent's submissions.
During the presentations, the judges would be entitled to ask questions and seek clarification from the students.
The judges in each of the five courts that were set up for the tournament are human rights experts drawn from widely varying and highly regarded organisations and institutions the world over such as the international criminal court, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Harvard Law School and the South African Constitutional Court.
For each round, the judges would award marks rated out of a possible hundred (100) to each individual speaker. The total between a team's two speakers would become the team's mark for that specific round.
After each team had completed its four oral rounds, the proceedings adjourned and the organisers of the tournament tabulated the scores awarded to the teams during their submissions to the judges and came up with average scores for each team.
GZU participants put up a sterling show that was nothing short of astounding, as the Masvingo based university came a whooping fourth place out of the 25 teams that had been selected to take part in the oral rounds of the moot competition.
On aggregate, GZU scored 84.6% whilst Kenyan-based British college Strathmore University which took third place scored 85%.
The top two Universities – Moi University from Kenya and Patrick Henry College from the United States of America – both scored just under 87%.
There was therefore hardly a difference of 2% between GZU and the three law schools that ranked above it.
Tawanda Zvobgo, the team coach, said, "GZU's performance was exemplary. Our students worked hard for this outcome, and perhaps with a bit more luck, they could have brought home the world title.
"But in saying so, I take away nothing from them; they went up against some of toughest law schools in the world, such as Yale University School of law, and decimated them with such ease and confidence that it almost seemed effortless.
"If these students could accomplish this within just the second year of the law school's establishment, then the world had better watch out for Herbert Chitepo law school – its students will go far."
Dr Thompson Chengeta, a Harvard International law scholar, an Extraordinary Professor at the Center for Human Rights and the Author of the Hypothetical case that was argued at this year's tournament said, "The team that represented the Great Zimbabwe University performed exceptionally well at the recent World Human Rights Moot Court Competition held in Geneva, Switzerland.
"I am very proud of team GZU. The first time I saw the team arguing before some judges, I was proud to be Zimbabwean.
"Even though it was the first time that the university participated in this competition, they made it into the top 5. Listening to the GZU team making submissions was an immense pleasure; I am not surprised that the majority of judges referred to Kudakwashe Muzenda and Blissful Dzimiri as 'finalist material', subsequently scoring both of them within the range of 90 to 100% in some of their rounds. These two are surely going to be excellent lawyers".
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The Mirror: Great Zimbabwe Universtiy performs exceptionally at the prestigious world human rights moot competition
Great Zimbabwe Universtiy performs exceptionally at the prestigious world human rights moot competition
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