Final rounds of the 2022 PIL Moot Court Competition
- Lee-Anne Bruce
On 28 and 29 April, CALS hosted the final rounds of the second Public Interest Law Moot Court Competition in partnership with the Student Litigation Society
CALS has been extremely proud to work with the Student Litigation Society on the second annual Public Interest Law Moot Court Competition, which saw over 200 teams enter this year. After two rounds of written submissions on our hypothetical case, examining a mandatory vaccination policy in a school, the top sixteen teams participated in rounds of virtual oral argument on 15 and 16 April. We send our grateful thanks to all those who assisted in these rounds.
The top four teams advanced to the semi-finals which took place on 28 April in the court chamber of the Constitutional Court, presided over by our guest judges: advocates Kameel Premhid, Lerato Phasha, Bongiwe Mkhize and Thulelo Makola. Advocate Kameel Premhid kindly gave the keynote address on the importance of public interest law in giving voice to the voiceless and thereafter shared chief justice duties with CALS in-house counsel Lerato Phasha. They oversaw a direct application to our mock constitutional court on the hypothetical case involving a teacher challenging her school's mandatory vaccination policy.
PIL Moot Court Competition 2022 semi-finalists with guest judges
The semi-final split saw Emily Moshodi and Liete van der Eems (representing UNISA) arguing for the teacher / applicant up against returning semi-finalists Tendai Mikioni, Zilungile Mbali and Mgcini Tshuma (representing the University of Fort Hare) arguing for the school / respondent. Next, two teams from Rhodes University squared off: Chimwemwe Phiri and Vincenzia Links arguing for the applicant and Thabang Poshodi and Thabisile Mahatlane for the respondent. Following a break, the teams switched to argue for the opposite side.
After all the scores were tallied, the top two teams were announced: Emily Moshodi and Liete van der Eems (UNISA) and Chimwemwe Phiri and Vincenzia Links (RU) made history by becoming the first all-women PIL Moot Court finalists!
For the grand finale the following day, we were honoured to be joined by former Justice of the Constitutional Court, Johann van der Westhuizen, who participated as our chief justice and keynote speaker. His speech discussed the country's progress in realising human rights since 27 April 1994. He was joined by other guest judges labour law attorney Andrew Goldberg, advocate Adila Hassim SC, Kgomotso Mufamadi from the Wits School of Law and advocate Tseliso Thipanyane of the Human Rights Commission. They oversaw a final round with Chimwemwe Phiri and Vincenzia Links (RU) arguing the full application for the applicant, followed by Emily Moshodi and Liete van der Eems (UNISA) representing the respondent.
PIL Moot Court Competition 2022 semi-finalists and finalists making their arguments
After the fierce competition was over, it was time to announce the winners of the second annual PIL Moot Court Competition. Awards were handed out as follows:
- In first place was Emily Moshodi and Liete van der Eems
- In second place overall was Chimwemwe Phiri and Vincenzia Links
- In third place was Tendai Mikioni, Zilungile Mbali and Mgcini Tshuma
- In fourth place Thabang Poshodi and Thabisile Mahatlane
- Best oralist went to Tendai Mikioni
- Second best oralist went to Thabisile Mahatlane
- Best written submissions went to top sixteen finalists Odwa Dokomfana and Londiwe Mazibuko from the University of Johannesburg
We are extremely proud of everyone who participated in this PIL Moot and send our deepest gratitude to everyone who made it possible, from organisers like Busisiwe Kamolane at CALS and the team from the Student Litigation Society; to our hosts at Constitution Hill; our funding partners at the Foundation for Human Rights and the Project Justice Trust; and the many markers, clerks and judges from our partner organisations. We could not have done this without you. Finally, we would have had no competition at all without the participation of the many students who put themselves forward from the very first round. Thank you and please do come back again next year!
PIL Moot Court Competition 2022 award winners and organisers