Thank you for your interest in participating as a team in the 26th Annual Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition. Since its inception, the Competition has been an important forum for the analysis of international human rights law and a valuable educational tool. The Competition challenges student competitors by engaging them in cutting-edge legal discussions concerning the Inter-American human rights legal system. The Competition is a multicultural and multilingual (English, Spanish and Portuguese) event that has welcomed legal scholars, human rights advocates and students from around the world. We invite you to join this unique network of individuals by participating in the 2021 Competition.
Meet an Oralist: Nancy Medina, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán:
“I believe that my participation in the Moot Court gave me the opportunity to discover and fully recognize my true vocation for an area of law that serves as a solid foundation when litigating in the courts of any country in the Americas that has ratified the Convention and accepts the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court. I know that this experience completely changed the future of my professional and personal life. It is a unique experience, but hopefully not one which is unrepeatable as I hope to return to relive the moments of camaraderie and learning that I experienced. The truth is that “Thank You” seems insufficient for what the competition has given me.”
Team Composition and Eligibility
All ABA-accredited law schools from the US and all international law schools may send one team to participate in the Competition. Each team is composed of two student members and one or two coaches. Only law students enrolled in a program of study equivalent to the U.S. Juris Doctor (JD) degree are eligible. The selection process for the competitors at each participating school should allow equal opportunity for all qualified students to compete for the moot court team. Coaches generally are law school faculty with a background in international human rights law.
Each team is responsible for presenting a written memorial and oral arguments for one side of the hypothetical case, either the State or the Representatives of the Victims, as assigned by the Technical Committee.
The Hypothetical Case: The Competition presents a hypothetical case that is the basis of all oral and written arguments prepared by the teams. The case is drafted each year by international human rights scholars and practitioners selected by the Technical Committee, and the subject area reflects issues of current concern to the Inter-American System. This year’s case will be available on our website by December 10, 2020 on Human Rights Day. It is the team’s responsibility to fully understand the facts of the case, as well as its relation to the Inter-American human rights system and relevant case law. Any questions regarding the case may be submitted to the author of the case as Clarification Questions.
Clarification Questions: Each team may submit up to three questions to request clarification on a fact of the case. Questions must be sent by email to the Competition Coordinator. In order to submit questions, teams must have two students registered, and must have completed their registration, including payment and submission of the Dean’s Authorization Form. It is the responsibility of the team to ensure that it receives and adequately integrates these answers into their arguments. Answers will be available on the Competition website after February 26, 2021.
Memorials: Each team must submit via email a written memorial arguing their assigned side of the case by March 25, 2021. The memorials must contain a Title Page, Table of Contents, Index of Authorities, Statement of Facts, Legal Analysis and Request for Relief, and shall not exceed twelve thousand (12.000) words in total. For detailed information regarding formatting, content requirements, and submission procedures, please refer to the official rules.
Oral Arguments: Teams must prepare oral arguments to be presented at the Competition in Washington, D.C. in front of a panel of judges. Each team will participate in at least two ninety-minute rounds, with each side being allotted forty-five minutes to present. This should include the pleadings of both orators from a team, as well as their rebuttal or surrebuttal. Both team members must make a substantial oral presentation of approximately equal length of time.
Distribution of labor: All work completed with respect to the Competition, including the research, writing and editing of the memorial, the structure and design of the oral argument presentations, and the oral argument sessions during the Competition, must be completed solely by the two registered student competitors. Assistance from faculty and coaches must be limited to general discussion of the issues, suggestions as to research sources, consultations regarding oral advocacy technique, memorial organization and structure, and oral advocacy training. Advice or input on which specific issues to raise, sub-arguments, and other substantive matters is strictly prohibited.
Teams may register through the Competition’s registration page. Each team must submit a completed Registration Form, including the Dean’s Authorization Form, and the required fee to the Technical Committee by March 12, 2021. Upon completion of registration and receipt of payment, teams will be assigned their role and a team number, which will be used to identify the team throughout the Competition.
Initially, teams will be able to register without providing the names of the competitors that will participate in the competition. Nevertheless, the deadline to submit competitors’ names shall be on the same date as the deadline to register teams for the competition according to the Competition Calendar.
The prices are:
- Team with 1 coach: $1050
- Team with 2 coaches: $1425
- Observer: $375
No refunds will be issued once a school pays the Team Registration Fee, except in exceptional circumstances (see rules 2.2 and 3.1.3).