By Papisdaff Abdullah
Ghana’s President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has charged participants at this year’s Human Rights Moot Court Competition to use the academic exercise to trigger the necessary political will in their respective countries on the African continent to deepen respect for human rights.
Delivering the keynote address at the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition at the Great Hall, University of Ghana Monday, President Akufo-Addo said that on the 19th of December, 2018, the world would be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The declaration, according to the President, has since been the basis of considerable advancement in the universal protection of human rights. The enforcement of the global instrument in Africa, however, cannot be said to have been fully achieved yet.
President Akufo-Addo thus said the inhabitants of the African continent have a sacred task to ensure that the fight for the protection and respect of human rights remains a constant one.
Quoting from, Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, President Akufo-Addo said, “One could hardly think of a better way to advance the cause of human rights than to bring together students who are the leaders, judges and teachers of tomorrow, from different countries, with Chief Justices and Professors, to debate some of the crucial issues of our time in the exciting and challenging atmosphere of a courtroom, where they can test their arguments and skills against one another in a spirit of fierce but friendly competition.”
On that score, President Akufo-Addo urged the “mooters” to argue out their views on human rights strongly to catch the attention of the leaders of the continent for their necessary action.
Representative of the Organizers
The Director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, (organizers of the Moot Court Competition), Professor Frans Vilijoen, in his address expressed the excitement of the organizers over the kind of energy and preparation being invested into the competition by all 19 countries who are participating in this year’s challenge.
He also commended the University of Ghana for the tremendous investment they have made in ensuring that the competition goes on smoothly.
The Moot Court Competition
The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa.
This annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The competition continuously prepares new generations of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.