Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation 2021 Essay Contest

The first annual National Schools Moot Court Competition took place at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on National Human Rights Day, 21 March 2011. Teams from four schools in each of the nine provinces – a total of 72 learners - were selected to participate in this ground-breaking event. The second annual National Schools Moot Court Competition took place in April 2012. The third annual National Schools Moot Court Competition took place in August 2013 and the fourth in October 2014.

The South African Schools Moot is a joint initiative of the Department of Basic Education in partnership with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development under the guidance of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), and is supported by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. The Moot was initiated by the Centre for Human Rights eleven years ago. All high schools in the country are invited to enter a team of two learners, who argue both sides. 

The Competition aims to create greater awareness in schools and communities in South Africa about the Constitution and the values that it embodies through active participation. The aim is also to encourage talented young people to consider pursuing a law career.

This Competition provides a unique opportunity for learners to develop their research, writing and oral advocacy skills as they endeavour to come to grips with some of the constitutional issues that are presently facing our country. Participants will be allowed to argue their case in any of the 11 official languages in the oral rounds before judges in an actual court scenario.

The ideal will be to work towards a Competition organised by a different grouping of law faculties each year. All law faculties in the country will be requested to make some of their capacity available to support the individual learners in preparing for the Competition. The collaboration of the organised legal profession will also be sought to assist learners.

The first round of the Competition will be in written form. Learners will be expected to write two short essays (two to four pages for each essay) setting out the opposing sides of the case (one essay on behalf of the Applicant(s) and one on behalf of the Respondent(s)).

The essays must be received by the end of July each year, the exact deadline is communicated by the Department of Basic Education annually. Moderate extension will be given to schools who contact us in this regard.
Moreover, the Centre for Human Rights, under the guidance of the Global Campus of Human Rights, is also currently working hand in hand with representatives from other national jurisdictions, offering technical assistance in the establishment of a replica of the South African National Schools Moot in order to foster, facilitate and create a human rights awareness platform for high scholars globally. For more information on these moots follow the links below:

Nepali School Moot on Human Rights

For any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact