The Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition

The Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition is a unique trilingual (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) competition established to train law students how to use the Inter-American human rights legal system as a legitimate forum for redressing human rights violations. Since its inception in 1995, the yearly Competition has trained over 2500 students and faculty participants from over 294 universities throughout the Americas and beyond. Written on a cutting-edge topic currently debated within the Inter-American system, the hypothetical case operates as the basis of the competition, and students argue the merits of this case by writing legal memoranda and preparing oral arguments for presentation in front of human rights experts acting as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus took part in the Twentieth Annual prestigious Inter-American Moot Court Competition which took place at the American University, Washington College of Law from the 17th May2015. This year’s competition fact-pattern focused on the important topical issue of transitional justice and the important human rights concerns for States during this period in the Inter-American system.

The Faculty of Law of the U.W.I., St. Augustine, was represented by Miss Nyla Kungiesingh and Mr. John Lee, coached by Mr. Timothy Affonso. Miss Kungiesingh and Mr. Lee performed exceptionally well during the oral rounds and were selected as one of the top 20 teams out of 101 teams to advance to the semi-final round of the Competition. Our team represented the victims in the fact-pattern against the fictional State of the Cardenal Republic and made carefully crafted and refined legal arguments about attribution; proportionality in international criminal law; positive obligation encompassed by the right to life and the implications of improper legal systems in a transitional justice period for Convention rights under the American Convention on Human Rights.