NHRC holds Int’l Moot Court Competition
By Sulayman Waan
With support from the European Union (EU) through International IDEA, an organisation under the Consolidation of Democratic Dispensation in The Gambia (CODE) project, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in partnership with the University of The Gambia (UTG) recently held the finals of the 4th Edition of the Sir Dawda Kairaba International Moot Court Competition.
The competition held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, attracted seven Universities in Africa including University of the Gambia (UTG); International Open University Gambia; Makerere University of Uganda; University of Lagos; Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia; Fourah Bay College of Sierra Leone and Obafemi Awolowo University of Nigeria.
The University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University both in Nigeria, had a tough race in the final, but the latter won the competition.
The theme of this year’s competition was “Justifiability of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.”
This international Moot court provides a hypothetical case and a court scenario to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, where law students argue like advocates presenting different sides of a case on the basis of facts, evidence and law in the presence of a judge, who listens to the arguments presented and marks the students’ performance based on their advocacy skills, presentation of facts, legal consideration, evidence and responses to questions.
At the event, Emmanuel Daniel Joof, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC) revealed that the Moot Court competition which started in collaboration with the UTG in 2020 aligned with the NHRC Act that guaranteed the promotion of awareness and respect for human rights through conducting human rights education and studies in The Gambia.
“Collaborating with the Faculty of Law therefore provides a unique opportunity for the NHRC to collaborate with the UTG to prepare and engage the emerging generation of legal practitioners and academics on current human rights and constitutional issues through a moot competition.” he informed.
Representing former speaker of the National Assembly, Haddy Dandeh Jabbie, a senior lawyer said the moot court aimed to promote and strengthen a culture of human rights and fundamental freedom, adding the objective of the event serves as a guiding light towards a more just, inclusive, and compassionate society.
“Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) are frequently challenged in the area of human rights, compelling us to examine the very meaning of justice in a society where economic, social and cultural components are vital to human dignity.” she said.
Jainaba Faye, head of Country Office for International IDEA, commended the NHRC for their commitment towards ensuring that the Gambian society enjoys its fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms.
Enya Braun, a representative of EU delegation to The Gambia, described the event as significant in enhancing human rights, freedom and rule of law. She also expressed EU commitment to supporting all institutions that aimed at promoting human rights.
Dr. Desta Tiruneh, UN Resident Coordinator and WHO Resident Representative assured that the UN Office is committed to supporting all partners interested in the promotion and protection of human rights, especially to vulnerable people to stigma and discrimination.
He commended all institutions that participated in the Moot Court, while he re-assured to support the promotion of human rights in The Gambia.
Jadesola Shodimu, participant from the University of Lagos, Nigeria commended NHRC and partners for supporting participants in the course of the competition.