Universiteit Leiden

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Children’s Rights Moot Court 2021: 7 to 16 June 2021

48 student teams from all over the world will be taking part in the international online moot court competition. The event is organised by Leiden University in partnership with Baker McKenzie.

The focus of this edition of the biennial moot court lasting several days is the rights of children who grow up living in camps located in a war zone. The particpating teams, three of which are from Leiden University, will argue a case in several rounds on the rights of these children in very difficult circumstances. In addition, the teams have also written a memorandum of orgal arguments that will be evaluated by an international panel of experts. This year, the fictitious case was prepared by Dr. Meda Couzens, Leiden University alumna and currently a member of staff at Western Sydney University .

The preliminary rounds will be held from 7 to 11 June. On 12 June, Alderman Paul Dirkse of Leiden City Council will announce which eight teams will proceed to the quarter-final. From then on, it will be a drop-out race until 16 June when the two best teams will compete against each other in the final before a five-member court. Frequent progress updates about the Children’s Rights Moot Court will be shared via Twitter account @leidenlaw and Baker McKenzie’s Facebook page.

The participating teams, made up of two to four students, will take part in a masterclass at Baker KcKenzie to receive training on how to argue a case. The team of voluntary judges for this occasion, made up of ‘real’ judges, but also other legal professionals, will also have been instructed on how to evaluate the international teams as expertly as possible and to motivate them to perform to the best of their ability. In the final, Judge Joyce Aluoch, former vice-president of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, will act as presiding judge of the court that will assess the finalists’ performance.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the event will take place online. As a result, the event will be larger than ever with teams from all over the world participating. Past editions of the moot court were held in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

Global phenomenon

Jaime Trujillo, member of Baker McKenzie’s Global Executive Committee, who has organised the event on behalf of Baker McKenzie, is looking forward to it. ‘We are delighted to partner with Leiden University on this very special initiative, and hope our efforts will help make this competition a global phenomenon, attracting law students from all over the world.’

Professor of Children’s Rights Ton Liefaard is also enthusiastic. ‘In Baker McKenzie, we have found a partner which shares our commitment to international children’s rights as a field of human rights law. This partnership enables us to further develop this unique global student competition that not only contributes to students’ capacities to engage with complex children’s rights issues, but also raises awareness around the importance of law when it comes to the protection of children.‘

More information about the Children’s Rights Moot Court 2021 is available here. Information about Baker McKenzie’s involvement in the competition is available here. The Children’s Rights Moot Court 2021 is also supported by CREAN.

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