Helmer Jonelid and Edward Millett – enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – represent this year the Geneva Academy at the 14th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition (Mandela Moot Court).
They are currently working on their written memorial that they will submit on 20 April. This submission constitutes the first step of the competition and could allow them – based on a selection by a jury composed of human rights experts – to access the preliminary oral rounds that will take place online in May. After these rounds, eight teams will be selected to attend the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and final rounds that will take place in Geneva in June.
Mandela Moot Court
Helmer Jonelid comes from Sweden and is passionate about the interplay between law and politics. He aspires to become an international law generalist, but with a passion for international human rights law.
Prior to coming to the Geneva Academy, Helmer obtained his Master of Laws (LLM) from the Law Faculty of Uppsala University in 2021, specializing in legal history and public international law. He wrote his master’s thesis on the African Union collective use of force to stop ongoing mass atrocities.
‘The Mandela Moot Court Competition truly tests your skills throughout the board: not only your skill in (several of) the major regional human rights systems but also both your research, written and oral skills. Moreover, the hypothetical cases we have to address always concern the latest developments in human rights law and society, making sure that you are always up to date, oftentimes even preceding legal developments. It is a challenge, but (because of that) it is also great fun.’
Edward Millet comes from the United Kingdom and has been working, prior to coming to the Geneva Academy, as a lawyer in dispute resolution across a diverse range of areas – strategic human rights litigation, environmental law and commercial litigation and mediation, along with some international criminal advisory work. Edward also worked in the field with asylum seekers as a humanitarian legal advisor in Greece, and has also been working with the AIRE Centre on rule of law development projects in the Western Balkans, and with Airwars on monitoring and assessing civilian harm from airpower-dominated international military actions in the Middle East.
‘This competition is a unique opportunity to put theory into practice when it comes to contemporary issues in international human rights law. It raises novel, timely and cross-cutting issues in human rights – from ‘pushbacks’ at sea to drone strikes – and is truly international in its scope. Personally, I have really valued getting to grips with the jurisprudence of the African human rights system as part of the research process.’
In their memorial, Jonelid and Edward are addressing topics related to economic sanctions, the law of the sea, refugee law and abortion laws. They have to argue and analyse how these topics relate to international human rights law and the protection afforded by the regional and international human rights systems.
‘This exercise requires a huge amount of research, analysis and writing skills, combined with the capacity to work as a team’ underlines Katia Rosenblat, Teaching Assistant at the Geneva Academy and the Team’s Coach.
‘The Mandela Moot Court is an excellent experience for students to enhance their knowledge of international human rights law. It does not only require to be familiar with the universal system, but also with every regional system, which turns team members into experts in certain topics. Additionally, it gives them the opportunity to work as a unified team and enhance their skills throughout the process. They have to accomplish the challenging task of finding strong arguments for both sides of a hypothetical case, the alleged victims and the State. Both the written and the oral rounds are key for students to get closer to what human rights litigation looks like’ explains Katia Rosenblat, Teaching Assistant at the Geneva Academy and the Team's Coach.
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