Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2024


The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is a prestigious global event that challenges students to argue a hypothetical human rights case before judges from leading international tribunals and human rights experts.

The Competition is co-organized by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Academy on Human Rights, Washington College of Law, American University, and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB), at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The Competition is open to undergraduate and master’s students from all universities in the world. Each team consists of two students (gender diversity is encouraged) who submit written arguments for both the Applicant and the Respondent of the case.

The best 10 teams from each of the five UN regions are invited to participate in the online preliminary rounds, which take place from 14 – 21 May 2024. The 50 teams with the highest scores advance to the in-person final rounds, which are held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 15 – 19 July 2024.

The Competition is held in English, French and Spanish. The two best teams compete in the final round, which is presided over by judges from international courts and tribunals.

The Competition also features the Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture, which is delivered by a prominent human rights figure on 17 July 2024.


  • How can I apply for the Competition?

You can apply by submitting your written arguments for the hypothetical case, which will be available on the Competition website by 1 February 2024. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2024.

  • What are the benefits of participating in the Competition?

The Competition offers you a unique opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in human rights law and advocacy, to network with students and experts from different regions and backgrounds, and to experience the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council and other human rights bodies in Geneva.

  • What are the eligibility criteria for the Competition?

The Competition is open to students who are enrolled in an undergraduate or master’s degree program in law or a related field at any university in the world. Each team must consist of two students, and gender diversity is encouraged. Students who have participated in previous editions of the Competition are not eligible to apply again.

  • What are the costs of participating in the Competition?

The organizers of the Competition will cover the travel and accommodation costs of the 50 teams that qualify for the in-person final rounds in Geneva. The teams are responsible for their own visa fees, health insurance, and other personal expenses.


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