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UCU wins inaugural court ‘moot’ competition

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By ANTHONY WESAKA

Posted  Monday, February 17   2014 at  02:00

In Summary

A court moot is a law school activity in which students participate in the preparation and arguing of cases.

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KAMPALA.

Uganda Christian University Mukono (UCU) has emerged as the winner of the inaugural inter-university constitutional law court moot.
A court moot is a law school activity during which students participate in the preparation and arguing of cases in front of judges.

The case and sides (appellant and respondent) are selected beforehand, and students are given a set period of time to prepare for the eventual argument.
Moot court involves appellate cases as opposed to those at the trial level, which are often called “mock trials”. Judges are usually law professors, attorneys from the community, and even members of the judiciary.

In Uganda, moot courts are usually done at Law Development Centre but the weekend’s inter-university constitutional law moot was the first to be conducted by undergraduate students at university level.
Kampala International University was the runner up. Other universities that participated in the competitions included: Makerere, Busoga, St Augustine International and Nkumba.

The competitions were held at St Augustine International University in Bunga, a Kampala suburb.
During the event students were tasked to argue out an imagined scenario where an unborn baby appealed against a Constitutional Court ruling that had dismissed its case in which it had sued the government for failing to supply folic acid to its mother, thus denying it a right to good health.

UCU second year law students; Emmanuel Tumuhaise and Angella Twebaza took on the role of lawyers presenting the appellants (unborn child) while KIU law students; Korill Kipron and Frank Kwesiga took on the part of lawyers representing the respondent (Attorney General).
UCU’s Tumuhaise who was also voted the best orator by the panel of judges, said: “It was a great learning experience.” adding “at first, I was scared of the judges but as time passed by, I got used to them.”

Retired High Court judge Patrick Tabaro was the ‘chief justice’ and part of his role was also to announce the winner of the competition.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com