African Human Rights Moot Competition - 2019
From Human Wrongs to Human Rights
In a ground-breaking first for APP, two of our law students at Luzira Prison, Uganda, have qualified for the final of the 2019 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition at the University of Botswana. Participation via video-link is a first for the Competition too.
Having done well in the internal preliminary competition, two prison students, John and Canan were selected by the judges to represent APP. Our students were applauded for their good presentation skills, their ability to properly respond to questions and for their engagement with the panel.
The Competition takes place between 1st - 6th July. It 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. Last year, the event brought together 51 teams from 20 African countries.
This year, the Moot Competition will be hosted by the University of Botswana. The hypothetical case will tackle issues relating to refugees, statelessness, children’s rights, sexual minority rights and freedom of expression. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with complicated legal issues and further their skills in legal research and advocacy.
Prisoners Empowered By The Law
Through our Justice Changemaker Programme, we partner with the University of London to provide a law degree education [LLB] via their long-distance learning facility. Together with our staff law tutors, visiting lawyers and academics, prisoners and prison officers across Kenya and Uganda, have access to a world-class education. Hence our students ability to compete with others in a Moot Competition at this level.
One of the participants, John Bosco, completed his degree last year:
“I got my results this morning, we have at long last made it. I am grateful for the relentless support for this long journey! I can now move with my head high as a lawyer and for those of you who have moved with me ever since the journey begun.” John Bosco - Graduating Student 2018, Luzira Prison - Uganda
Father of three, previously a businessman and farmer, his family suffered at the hands of the Lord’s Resistance Army. John has been serving a twenty-year sentence with seven years remaining. During this time, he undertook secondary school studies and developed a strong interest in studying the law, before joining the APP Changemaker Programme.
Last year 12 Ugandan students took part in APP’s law studies - including 3 prison officers - with most passing all their exams and continuing with their studies. This month a new cohort of 10 men and women from Luzira Prison, Uganda, will begin their studies, together with 9 others from across Kenya.
A Unique Opportunity
John’s involvement with the Moot began earlier in the year when APP approached the Centre for Human Rights to explore the possibility of our students involvement in a very unique way.
“It is also a huge thing for us as we have never made accommodation for such a request before. From the moment you approached me, I knew that this was a cause worth supporting … let's make history together!” Yusuf Sayaad - Project Coordinator: Centre for Human Rights
We’re delighted that our Business Development Manager, Matteo Cassini, will also be attending the Opening Ceremony and sharing the impact of APP’s work in East Africa.
A Significant Milestone
As a result of APP’s involvement in the Competition and our students unique perspective, we have been asked to present a paper on the rights of refugee prisoners. This reflects the growing engagement of APP and its students with human rights laws across a wide range of topics.
We’re grateful to the Centre for Human Rights for making our participation possible and are proud of our students as they compete on an equal level with other African undergraduates in an internationally respected event.
This event could also be a stepping stone towards the use of video streaming as an educative tool in prisons and we are grateful to the Uganda Prison Service for their support in this regard.
Become a Changemaker
Access to justice is out of reach for most of those who find themselves imprisoned in African Prisons. In Uganda, sometimes as many as half of prisoners held are still on remand, awaiting trial, and will never see a lawyer. Our work puts the law in the hands of those who need it most, so that they can advocate for themselves and others. As well as providing a legal education to prisoners and prison staff, APP provides legal skills training so that paralegals can provide advice through legal awareness sessions and prison-based legal aid clinics, reaching 1000’s during the course of the year.
Join us and become a changemaker providing legal support for those who are still waiting for justice.