Norman Manley shocks Yale

Jamaican law school retains Moot Court title in South Africa

Friday, December 16, 2011

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THE Norman Manley Law School retained its World Human Rights Moot Court title last week, with victory over the famed and highly respected Yale University of the United States in the final held in Pretoria, South Africa.

Last year, Norman Manley, led by top oralist Merrick Watson, a former Kingston College cricketer, beat the world by taking the title over Sydney University of Australia.

Now, the Jamaica-based law school stayed on top of the competition, organised by the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, and the United Nations Office of Human Rights, and which saw three selected law schools from each of the United Nations regions in the semifinal round of the competition.

"I am ecstatic that Norman Manley has once again brought home the World Human Rights title," said principal of the law school, Professor Stephen Vasciannie.

The Norman Manley Law School team comprised Jermaine Case and Love Odih, with Leslie Mendez as the reserve speaker.

The team’s coach was well-known human rights advocate and lawyer, Nancy Anderson, who teaches at the law school.

"Love, Jermaine and Leslie have been a model team, putting in long hours on research, writing and advocacy. With coach Anderson, senior tutor emerita Dorcas White and the entire school willing the team forward, we went to South Africa with confidence, and left with success.

"Yale and other schools will have taken note of our very high standards at home. The Caribbean should be proud of our students and this wonderful accomplishment," Prof Vasciannie said.

In the semi-final round last Thursday, Norman Manley, for the Latin American and Caribbean region, was up against the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On the basis of its performance in the semi-final round, Norman Manley was selected by the judges for the final on Friday, when it went up against Yale Law School.

In the final, which involved a question on social and economic rights, amnesties in International Law, and State succession to human rights obligations, Norman Manley prevailed, with both team members excelling.

The judges’ panel for the competition included a judge of the South African Constitutional Court, Chief of the United Nations human rights agency in Africa, international human rights practitioners and professors of international law. They selected Norman Manley Law School as world champion for 2011.

Jermaine Case was selected second best oralist (tied) in the competition, and Love Odih third best oralist.

Last year, the Norman Manley Law School, as a first-time entrant, with a team consisting Watson, Lori-Ann Green and Gabrielle Elliott-Williams, won the World Human Rights Competition, and enjoyed much success in various other international mooting and client counselling competitions.

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