University of Ghana Law Students Stand Out at African Human Rights Moot Court Competition

The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition and Conference is an annual event organized by the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in partnership with a host University, which was the University of Stellenbosch for this year. The programme sees law students, academics and judges from more than half of Africa’s 120 law faculties and schools, argue a hypothetical human rights case and share knowledge and expertise in human rights law. This year marked the competition’s 30th anniversary and the hypothetical case addressed issues on the rights of children, Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the rights of sexual minorities (the LGBTQIA+ group).

The University of Ghana (UG) was represented by Ms. Dorcas Eli Ameonu and Nana Kweku Bosompem. Also with the team were Professor Appiagyei-Atua (Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law), Ms. Jennifer Hall (Lecturer and faculty representative), Mr. Kobby Afari Yeboah (a former moot champion, trainer and alumnus of the UG Human Rights Moot Court Team), Ms. Gloria Korankyewaa Nyarko, Mr. Divine Selase Agborli, and Ms. Ann Accorley (student researchers of the team).

The online preliminary rounds were from May 24 - June 4, 2021, where participants argued their cases to a panel of judges, via Zoom. From there, 8 teams were selected for the quarter-final rounds in Stellenbosch, South Africa. These included Africa Nazarene University, and Kenyatta University from Kenya, Makarere University from Uganda, and University of Johannesburg, University of Western Cape, and Stellenbosch University, all from South Africa, and of course, the University of Ghana which was the only West-African team.

At the quarter-final rounds on September 21, 2021, the UG team beat Kenyatta University and Africa Nazarene University, and then progressed to the semi-final round where our journey unfortunately ended. University of Ghana emerged as semi-finalists for the 30th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, currently renamed the Christoff Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The finals were among the University of Ghana, Kenyatta University and Kabarak University. Nevertheless, UG stood out at the international competition as the award for the Best Oralist (anglophone category) was won by Ms. Dorcas Elikplim Ameonu, for her exceptional skills and performance. Ms. Ameonu commented that, “it was a great way to say a heartfelt Thank You to Prof. Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua, who has managed the team for many years and helped the Ghanaian team win the award for Best Oralist on countless occasions including the years of 2011, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021, just to mention a few”.