Events

The participants are requested to write two short essays, defending the opposing sides of the case, using the South African Constitution. The teams with the highest scores for their essays from each province will be selected to argue the case in the oral rounds.

The purpose of the Competition is to promote the Constitution and its values.

  • The essays should be submitted by 11 July 2015.
  • The provincial rounds will take place as from the 1st August - 20 September 2015.
  • The pre-liminary rounds will take place on the 9th - 10th October 2015 at the University of Pretoria.

For more detailed information visit:
www.schoolsmoot.co.za

For assistance contact
Ms Malebo Lefoka
Office Tel: 012 357 3841
E-mail: Lefoka.m@dbe.gov.za

5th National Schools Moot Court Competition

All Secondary Schools in South Africa (grade 10 and 11 learners in 2015) are invited to participate in the competition. Follow this link to view the 5th National Schools Moot Court Competition poster.

It is our pleasure to once again invite volunteers to assist, support and mentor the schools that will be participating in the 2015 Moot Court Competition. The Moot Court Competition is close to the hearts of our Deputy Minister’s: Mr J Jeffery for Department of Justice and Mr E Surty for Department of Basic Education.

The objective of Moot Court Competition is mainly to persuade school children to understand the Constitution and its values and to establish a continuous Human Rights learning programme through education and information. Thus, enhancing respect for the primacy of the Human Rights. The other objective of this competition is to build unity and harmony between the different and diverse sections of the South African Society through the promotion, protection and appreciation of constitutional values. The most key element of this Moot Court competition is to afford the learners in schools an understanding on how the constitution and the law work.

2015 Problem Statement

Cara Williams (17) is in her matric year at the St Theresa’s Private School for Girls, which is registered with the Department of Basic Education. The learners are preparing for their matric farewell dance. Cara mentions on her facebook page that she is looking forward to the look on everyone’s face when she arrives at the dance with her female partner,

Jo-Anne. This post is reported to the teacher in charge of the matric farewell, and Cara is called to the Principal’s office. She is asked about her plans to bring a female partner to the dance, and she confirms that this is so. She explains that she and Jo-Anne have been in a relationship for six months. The Principal points out the school rule which states as follows: ‘Each girl may bring a partner to the matric farewell. He must be suitably attired and no older than 21 years of age’. She focuses attention on the word ‘he’. The Principal tells Cara that she may not bring a female partner to the matric farewell, because it is against school rules and that if she does turn up with such a partner, they will be refused access. Cara fears that the school might even expel her, as two years ago St. Theresa asked two girls to leave the school for “engaging in lesbian activities.” Cara breaks the news to Jo-Anne.

Jo-Anne’s older sister Michelle is a lawyer and she offers to take Cara’s case to court. Cara challenges the constitutionality of the school rule because it discriminates against her on the basis of her sexual orientation. The school’s lawyers argue that St Theresa’s school rules are based on a Christian ethic and that a matric farewell dance is a privilege, not a right.

The High Court rules in the school’s favour. Cara, assisted by Michelle, takes the decision of the High Court on appeal to the Constitutional Court. Cara argues that the school rule about male partners unfairly discriminates against her on the ground of her sexual orientation, that the school rules are too rigid and should be more flexible. The principal opposes the case on the basis that the rule about male only partners is fair discrimination in the context of a Christian school, that Cara and her parents had been given a copy of the school rules when she enrolled, and that the effect of the decision is very limited in nature, as it affects only one evening of Cara’s life and does not interfere with her sexual orientation beyond that.