President Tasks Law Students To Protect Human Rights

The President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, has advised law students, especially those in Africa, to help deepen respect for human rights.

Delivering the keynote address at the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition held on the campus of the University of Ghana on August 7th, 2018, the President said more could be done in upholding the rights of people than had currently been achieved.

He observed that the world would soon be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but the purpose of the Instrument had not been fully achieved even though considerable advancement had been made in the universal protection of human rights.

He quoted the late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, who said that: “one could hardly think of a better way to advance the cause of human rights than to bring together students who are the leaders, judges and teachers of tomorrow – from different countries, with Chief Justices and Professors, to debate some of the crucial issues of our time in the areas they are existing –  in a challenging atmosphere in a courtroom, where they can test their arguments and skills against one another in a spirit of fierce but friendly competition.”

Adding to that, the President stressed that Africa has a sacred task to ensure that the fight for the protection and respect of human rights remains a constant one.

The Director for the Center of Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, (organizers of the Moot Court), Prof. Frans Vilijoen, expressed delight in the kind of energy and preparation put into the competition by all 19 participating countries.

He commended the authorities of the University of Ghana for hosting this year’s event and for their tireless effort in ensuring that the competition went on smoothly.

The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa.

The annual event brings together law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Since its creation in 1992, 150 universities from 50 African countries have taken part in this permanent fixture on the Africa legal education calendar. In 2017, the 26th edition of the competition was hosted by the University of Mauritius. It brought together 54 teams from 20 African countries.