Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition

An image showing judges and participants of the Nelson Mandela Moot seated in a hall at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the only global moot court competition explicitly dedicated to human rights. It is co-organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Academy on Human Rights, Washington College of Law, American University, and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB), at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The moot is an annual event in which students from around the world get together in Geneva to argue a hypothetical human rights case. Each year a new case is carefully developed, drawing on current global human rights issues – these range from human rights and artificial intelligence, over terrorism and mercenaries, to the right to not be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

To participate in the Nelson Mandela World Moot Court Competition students first submit written memorials. Based on memorial scores, the best 10 teams from each UN region then progress to the preliminary, quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the competition. Typically, the winning team of the Blackstone Human Rights Moot, organised by Oxford Lawyers Without Borders and the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, participates in the Nelson Mandela Moot on behalf of Oxford. Oxford's team won the competition in 2019 and finished runner-up in 2017.

For further details, contact the Mooting Programme at

  • This competition is open to undergraduate students.
  • This competition is open to postgraduate students.