Tuks Law Team: 2018

The University of Pretoria team are the National Champions at the South African Rounds of the 59th edition of the Philip C Jessup International Moot Court Competition. The team from the University of Pretoria won all available categories: Over-all Best Team, Best Written Submissions and Thomas White, was awarded the prize for the Best Oralist. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. This year, the case dealt with questions of nuclear disarmament obligations, maritime warfare and the validity of arbitral awards. Teams prepared oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.

The University of Pretoria’s team for the International Rounds in Washington DCin April 2018 are Mary-Ann Gettliffe (LLM), Sohela Surajpal (LLB II), Rohula Bilankulu (LLB II) and Thomas White (LLB IV). The team is coached by Gift Kgomosotho, a former Jessup champion and Best Oralist who has been appointed by ICLA.

Gift-Kgomosotho

Gift Kgomosotho – Head Coach, Faculty Advisor

I started participating in moot court competitions back in high school with the 2009 National Schools Moot Court Competition. In 2011, when I started my first year of law school, I once again participated in the Kovsies First Year Moot Court Competition. In 2013 I formed part of a team that represented the University of Pretoria in the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition where our team finished 6th.

In 2014 I represented the University of Pretoria in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. At the South African National Rounds, our team won all available categories - winning the prizes for Best Written Memorials, Best Team and I was personally awarded the prize for Best Oralist. This earned us the rights to represent South Africa at the International Rounds in Washington DC where we finished 34th out of some 120 Teams.

Finally, I participated in the 2015 ELSA Moot Court on WTO Law. At the African Regional Rounds our team finished first and I was once awarded the prize for Best Oralist. We represented African Region at the International Rounds in Geneva Switzerland at the WTO Headquarters.

As far as my coaching Career is concerned, I coached teams that participated in the following competitions:

[2017] – Jessup International Moot Court Competition

[2016] – International Moot Court – the Hague [IMC]

[2015] – Jessup International Moot Court

[2014] – African Human Rights Moot Court Competition

Throughout this time, I have served as an adjudicator/Judge of oral rounds and written submissions in almost every one of these Competitions; and have served on organising committees for some of these competitions as well.


Thomas-Kagiso-White

Thomas Kagiso White – Team Member

I am currently in my penultimate year of an LLB degree, I am a capable and hard-working student. In 2015, I competed in the Internal Moot Court Competition where I was awarded the Prize for the Best Oralist. Using the skills garnered there as a springboard, I went on to represent the University of Pretoria in the 2016 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition – where I was once again awarded the prize for the Best Oralist. In 2017 I represented the University of Pretoria in the Netherlands at the International Child Law Moot Court Competition where we won the prize for the Best Written Submissions and finished second in the final round. Since 2016, I have served as an editor of the Pretoria Student Law Review and am currently employed as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Human Rights. In addition to oral advocacy, I have a – somewhat obsessive - interest in current affairs and political debate.

 

Rohula-Bilankulu

Rohula Bilankulu – Team Member

I am currently a second year law student in pursuit of my LLB degree at the University of Pretoria. In 2012 I participated in the National Schools Moot Court Competition, my team emerged winners in the Final Round. Further I was awarded the prize for the Best Oralist. In 2016 I participated in the First Year League Moot Court Competition, and in 2017 I participated in the Tuks Internal Moot Court Competition. I have a passion for moot court - I have learned more in my moot court experiences that I have in any law module. I am an experienced debater - having been a member of the Shoulders of Giants Debate Club for four years. Finally, I serve on the Executive Committee of the University’s Moot Society.

 

Sohela-Karisma-Surajpal

Sohela Karisma Surajpal – Team Member

I am a second (2nd) year law student at the University of Pretoria, studying towards my Bachelor of Laws Degree. In 2016 I participated in the University’s First Year League Moot Court Competition where I finished second. I also have many years of debating experience, serve on the Executive Committee of the Tuks Debating Union. I have been selected to represent South Africa twice at international debating tournaments in Europe and Asia.

 

Mary-Ann-Gettliffe

Mary-Ann Gettliffe – Team Member

I am a Masters of Law candidate at the University of Pretoria. I completed my Bcom(Law) degree in 2014 and my LLB degree in 2016. I have been involved in moot court competitions, either competing or coaching, since 2012 when I started my law degree. I have competed both nationally and internationally. I competed in the 2012 Kovsies First year moot court competition after which I competed in the Manfred Lachs International Space Law Moot court competition. In that competition, I received the award for the Best Speaker in the African rounds and our team finished second overall. I competed in the Jessup Competition in 2017 year where I received the award for the Best Speaker at the National Rounds hosted by White and Case. Here, our team also won the award for the Best Written Submission and the Best Over-all team. As a result, we went on to represent South Africa and the University at the International Rounds in Washington DC where I personally ranked 77th out of some 600 speakers at the international rounds. In the end, we finished in the Top 16 – the highest any South African Team has ever ranked in 15 years.