Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific

2017 Annual Human Rights Moot Court Competition Launched

30/08/2017 - 00:02
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The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) in partnership with the Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM), The University of the South Pacific (USP), Fiji National University (FNU), University of Fiji (UniFiji) and the Fiji Law Society launched the 2017 Annual Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

The month-long competition, which gets underway on 11 September, was launched by the Attorney General and Minister of Economy Hon. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and the European Union Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E. Andrew Jacobs at USP's Statham Campus today.

The moot court competition is organised under the European Union-funded “Fiji in Transition: Towards a Sustainable Constitutional Democracy" project implemented by the CCF and FWRM. The project focuses on creating awareness of human rights law in Fiji.

This year’s theme: “The Police First Hour Procedure on the Right of Detainees” was determined after wide consultation with the Fiji Human Rights & Anti-Discrimination Commission (FHRADC), the Fiji Police Force, and the Legal Aid Commission. Furthermore, to support Government’s recent ratification of the United Nations Convention against Torture on March 2016.

While launching the competition, Ambassador Jacobs said: ''The EU is proud to promote the awareness of key human rights issues among students. The  'Fiji in Transition' project aims to strengthen civil society engagement and partnerships with institutions, to encourage active citizenship and to advocate for participatory and representative democracy. Through this project, the EU aims to facilitate dialogue between civil society and the government on civil and political rights."

“CCF is very proud to host such event with the assistance from our partners and I would also like to acknowledge Pure Fiji and Post Fiji for their generous donations towards the competition prizes. We strongly believe that hosting this sort of event will create more awareness in addressing human rights issues,” says CCF chief executive officer Sara Mataitawakilai.

The objective of this competition is twofold: for law students to improve their awareness and interest in human rights law.  CCF believes that many law students are focused on careers in corporate law and may not have considered specializing in human rights. The moot court is intended to boost their interest in this area of law, with the view of Fiji maintaining a sufficient number of well-trained human rights lawyers in the future. Secondly, the moot is designed to create a platform for discussion and debate amongst the legal profession on the possible barriers, challenges and opportunities those human rights cases, including the FHRADC are likely to bring before the courts in future. The intention of the moot court is to help the legal profession to consider the practical challenges that are likely to be involved in, after the establishment of the FHRADC.

For this year’s competition, the three major universities contesting include the Fiji National University, the University of Fiji and The University of the South Pacific. Each university will be fielding two teams where each team will compete as the ‘Applicant’ in the first round and as ‘Respondent’ in the second round.

The competition will commence on Monday 11 September (Fiji’s Constitutional Week) and end on Monday 9 October 2017 (Fiji Day). The venue is being alternated at the three participating universities.

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ENDS

For enquires or more information, please contact CCF Communications Officer (Put contact details)

EU Press & Information Officer, Mohammed Nazeem Kasim on email Mohammed- Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu

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