The National Schools' Moot Court Competition (the Competition) is a nation-wide high school level moot court competition aimed at building awareness amongst learners about the Constitution, providing them with exposure to the legal profession and facilitating access to legal education. It is a joint initiative of the University of Pretoria, the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and the Foundation for Human Rights.
Led by its Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice and Knowledge Management Team, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) has been actively supporting the Competition since 2014 through the hosting of seminars for learners, assisting with the adjudication of the Competition and by providing generous bursaries to the finalists of the Competition as well as other financial support.
On 7 0ctober 2015, CDH was abuzz with bright young minds who attended a workshop facilitated by the Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice to assist learners with their preparation for the national oral rounds of the 2015 Competition.
Together with their educators, approximately 72 learners from schools across the country listened attentively to presentations and panel discussions on topics ranging from an introduction to the South African legal system; an over view of the legal profession; a discussion of relevant constitutional rights and principles as well as the art of mooting. Members from various practice areas assisted in bringing important theoretical legal concepts to life for both learners and their educators, while Nadine Fourie and Benny Makola from the Johannesburg Society of Advocates provided the learners with many useful tips on how to effectively prepare and present argument. The learners also thoroughly enjoyed engaging with associates and candidate attorneys alike during breakaway group sessions.
The workshop culminated in an address by guest speaker Acting Justice Matojane from the Constitutional Court who motivated learners with a presentation of his personal journey to becoming a Justice in our country's highest court. In addition, Justice Matojane sought to sensitise the learners to the significance of our Constitutional regime in achieving justice. The event was rounded off with an informal dinner we hosted together with the University of Pretoria, for the learners and educators.
Feedback received from participants confirms that the seminar was a great success and that it inspired many of the attendees to consider a career in law. Thank you to all the members of the firm who participated in the workshop as well as to those who volunteered to adjudicate the oral rounds held at the University of Pretoria on 8 and 9 October 2015.
Click here to watch a video of the finals of the NSMCC.