The University of Johannesburg (UJ) was crowned the victor at the fourth annual Child Law Moot Court Competition hosted by the Centre for Child Law, beating North West University (NWU) in the final round, held on 13 and 14 September 2013.
UJ and NWU faced off in a final showdown at the Pretoria High Court in the Palace of Justice, with the UJ team becoming the ultimate champions.
The aim if the competition is to develop in law students an awareness of children’s rights and expose them to problem-solving and litigation in the field of child law.
Six universities sent teams to represent them at the event, and these are the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, NWU, University of Pretoria, the University of the Western Cape, and UJ.
The hypothetical case this year was the extradition and sentencing of young offenders. The case focused on a young offender who was convicted of murder in the fictitious country of Wambaba, but fled to South Africa before he was sentenced. It had been requested that he not be extradited since he faced the possibility of a life sentence without parole.
Judge Jody Kollapen presided over the final round with magistrates Daniel Thulare and Kaajal Ramjanath-Keogh, who is from the Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme for Lawyers for Human Rights.
Judge Kollapen said he was very encouraged by the initiative because it gives a necessary focus on an important area of our law as well as important challenges that present themselves in our country.
“Also, this year’s focus on children in conflict with the law showed that it is important to determine how to deal with this within the constitution,” he said.
“The two teams showed a good understanding of the theory of law and were able to successfully present arguments to a ‘real court’,” he added.