Africa’s largest moot competition on human rights to be hosted at KNUST

Education Faculty Lectures
Education Faculty Lectures

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Faculty of Law has been selected to host the 2023 Christoff Heynns All Africa Human Rights Moot Competition.

The contest, organised by the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights, is the largest gathering of students, academics, and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa.

This annual event offers law students the platform to argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

Professor Rita Akosua Dickson, the KNUST Vice-Chancellor, who was addressing the third KNUST Faculty of Law Eminent Legal Scholars and Lawyers Public Lecture Series at the Great Hall, Kumasi, said the development was an achievement for the Law Faculty.

The moot competition has been a catalyst for the establishment of the leading programmes in the field of human rights teaching and research on the continent.

It is designed to prepare new generations of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.

Prof. Dickson indicated that next year’s event would bring over 120 universities from more than 45 countries to the KNUST, and lauded the authorities at the Law Faculty for their commitment to duty and visionary leadership.

The faculty’s determination to play its part in the new focus of the University was commendable, according to the Vice-Chancellor, saying the overall agenda was to position the institution as the leading provider of science and technology-oriented legal education.

On the lecture series, Prof. Dickson said the programme aimed to provide the legal perspective to issues bothering on national development.

It is one of the academic and research-based initiatives of the University to help build a vibrant and robust legal system in Ghana.

Prof. Justice S.K. Date-Bah, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and former Professor of Law, delivering a paper at the lectures, discussed the nature of the Ghanaian legal system and the role it had played and continued to play in development.

The paper surveyed the theoretical context of law and development and went on to analyse the roles of private and public law in the nation’s development processes.

According to the retired Justice of the Supreme Court, judges, legal practitioners, and law teachers should be conscious of their dual role as social engineers as well as implementers or translators into action of the black letter law.

In his view, the rules of the legal system should not be analysed and applied as if they were a self-contained normative system without a societal purpose.

“The legal profession needs to recognise this fact and bear it in mind when its members are carrying out their various daily black letter legal responsibilities,” Prof. Date-Bah advised.

The lecture highlighted the roles played by the legal profession, Parliament, the Executive, and the Law Reform Commission in the law’s function in development.

Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, Dean of the KNUST Faculty of Law, hinted that in August, this year, the faculty would be hosting an international conference on Law, Science and Technology.

The theme is, “Harnessing Digitalisation for Economic Development: Law at the intersection of Science and Technology.”

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