, 22 June, 2020 / 10:30 PM
The faculty member of the Kenya-based Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) who guided law students in the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot competition where they scooped the Best Regional Memorial for Africa Award, 2020 edition, has shared with ACI Africa about the benefits of the prize.
Referencing the mock judicial proceedings, commonly known as the moot, which characterized the competition, the Moot Court Coordinator at CUEA, Freda Kabatsi said, “Ideally, moot, apart from enriching jurisprudence and a number of legal issues, promotes awareness in this case, about the ICC, so that students can learn from the beginning the mandate and purpose of this court.”
She added, “With moots, when you win, it is easy to get a masters scholarship especially when it is in that discipline (the moot was won).”
“Most students who win moots will get fully paid scholarships to do their masters,” Ms. Kabatsi underscored during the Monday, June 22 interview.
Organized by the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, the ICC Moot Court Competition is an annual event held between May and June in the Hague, Netherlands.
This year’s contest, which brought together 71 teams from 50 countries across the globe was however held virtually because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Drawn from African countries such as Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ghana, South Africa, Gambia, Kenya and South Sudan and others from Asia, Europe, and the Americas, the students showcased their skills as potential international lawyers in what was organized as education and social program.
The contest was adjudicated by ICC Judges and was based on submitted memorials or pleadings. The institutions of higher learning in Africa that took part include Kenyatta University (Kenya), University of Cape Coast (Ghana), University of Juba (South Sudan), University of the Gambia, University of Witswatersrand (South Africa), Cavendish University (Zambia), and University of Makeni (Sierra Leone).
CUEA, an institution of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), was represented by a team of three students of law: Wangui Njoroge, Julius Miiri Wamboi and Brenda Hope Waweru.
Asked how the team was chosen, Ms. Kabatsi explained that the institution held internal moot courts and the winning team proceeded to the international competition.
“The competition was open for students in their third year second semester to those in their fourth year because they do public international law and international humanitarian law,” she said and added, “We asked a number of students to submit written submissions then we did a few interviews and this team went through.”
Students in their first- and second-year program were not considered for the competition because “this was a specialist moot on international criminal law,” Ms. Kabatsi said.
Those eligible to contest were those who “have to have done public international law, international humanitarian law and an added advantage if they do international criminal law,” she clarified.
Last year, CUEA emerged the Winner and Best Overall Anglophone team at the 7th Edition of the Great Lakes Moot Court Competition on International Humanitarian Law held in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
The Institution also scooped the Best Memorial and Female Achievers Award in the same moot court in the Kigali competition.
Established as a department within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in 2005, the department, which is based at the CUEA main campus in Nairobi transformed into the Faculty of Law in 2007 and was formally inaugurated on the occasion of the University’s Convocation in August of the same year.
Accredited by Kenya’s Council of Legal Education, the Faculty offers a four-year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) program.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa