The Competition is open to both undergraduate and master's degree students. A team of two students from each university is invited to participate. In the preliminary rounds, students submit heads of argument for a hypothetical case, which are assessed by a panel of experts.
The best 10 teams from each UN region are then invited to participate in the pre-final, quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the Competition in Geneva. Teams then have to argue the two sides of the hypothetical case, representing, alternatively, both the Applicant and the Respondent before a ‘bench’ of human rights experts.
The eight best teams proceed to the quarterfinal rounds, which is presided over by judges from international courts and tribunals. Starting in 2019, the Competition will be held in not only in English, French but also in Spanish.
The 2019 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will for the third time host the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition Annual Lecture, featuring some of the world’s most prominent international lawyers.