Students from Colombia win Children’s Rights Moot Court 2021
The team from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) came out on top at the international online Moot Court organised by Leiden University and law firm Baker McKenzie.
The Children’s Rights Moot Court was held between 7 and 16 June 2021. Forty-seven student teams from universities all over the world competed against each other in several rounds. This edition of the biennial moot court focused on the rights of children who grow up in a camp located in a war zone.
The final was between the Universidad de Los Andes from Colombia and the West Bengal University of Juridical Sciences from India. The students put their case to a five-member court headed by Hon. Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch, former Vice-President of the International Criminal Court. Other members of the court were Professor Ann Skelton, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Hon. Justice Muhammad Imman Ali, judge at the Supreme Court in Bangladesh, Professor Diane Geraghty, Loyola University, Chicago, and Dr Meda Couzens, Western Sydney University and author of the case.
Three teams participated for Leiden University. Johanna van Hooft, Macy Kroon, Gigi van de Erve and Laetitia Moerdijk competed as a team from the master’s programme Jeugdrecht (Child Law). The other two teams comprised students of the Advanced Master International Children’s Rights; Laura Shorten, Jenni Saukkola, Marie-Pier Giroux, Avinash Reddy Pichhili, Carlota Soumah-Fernandez and Rune van Leeuw.
Hundres of volunteers
More than 675 volunteers, also from Baker McKenzie, pulled out all the stops to make this event possible. They read the written pleadings from students, acted as judge, drew up competition schedules taking all the different time zones into account, facilitated the online rounds, trained and coached the students, trained the judges, were available 24/7 in case of technical problems and distributed newsletters. We are also very proud that we could count on many judges and other renowned experts who put critical questions to students and gave constructive feedback. These included Solomy Balungi Bossa, International Criminal Court, Professor Benyam Mezmur, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago.
Professor of Children’s Rights Ton Liefaard looks back on a successful event. In his closing words he addressed the students: ‘Despite the challenges of the past year dealing with coronavirus, you, students from all over the world, have shown that there is every reason to look towards the future with confidence. You have given us the hope that the protection of human rights and children’s rights are in safe hands. Leiden University is particularly proud of that.’
Winner of the Children’s Rights Moot Court 2021 is:
Universidad de los Andes Colombia. Team members: Martin Portillo, Ana Vives, Gilbert Fajardo and María Mojica
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. Team members: Shrijaya Singh, Mahima Chhabrani, Subhajit Lodh Chowdhury and Rudra Athray
Best Memorial (Applicant): Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Team members: Yuliia Rudenko, Mariia Kotsiurba, Mark Goncharov and Anastasiia Liulina
Best Memorial (Respondent): West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. Team members: : Shrijaya Singh, Mahima Chhabrani, Subhajit Lodh Chowdhury and Rudra Athray
Best Team Oralist (Applicant): University of Manchester. Team members: Calla Lily Yingzi Huang, Alexandra Andrei and Shihui (Judy) Zhu.
Best Team Oralist (Respondent): Universidad de los Andes. Team members: Martin Portillo, Ana Vives, Gilbert Fajardo and María Mojica.
Best Individual Oralist Overall: María Mojica (Universidad de los Andes)
Leiden University congratulates all winners and thanks everyone who took part in this international moot court. The next edition will be held in 2023.