Title: Promoting Social Justice Through The Practical Teaching Of Law: Moot Court Competitions
Lead Presenter: Max Orlando Benítez Rubio
Session Abstract: A moot court competition is a trial simulation before an international court (e.g. International Court of Justice, International Criminal Law or Inter-American Court of Human Rights), in which participating universities must litigate an hypothetical case. This case is elaborated by a panel of international experts and addresses the topics currently discussed in the national and international scenarios, with the main purpose of solving complex legal problems that arise through a hypothetical situation. The moot consists in two stages: written and oral. At the written stage, participants must elaborate claims, as both applicant and respondent or prosecutor and defence. In the oral stage, the participants present their oral submissions before a panel of judges, experts on the topic. Requires developing written and oral argumentation skills, enhance their advocacy, legal research, being able to answer questions presented to them by the judges in a clear and concise manner, and developing the ability to solve complex legal problems, which have no clear solution or there is a doctrinal and judicial argue about them. The participation in a Moot Court Competitions by the students of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is carried out within the framework of strengthening the vision of the University with the aim of promoting join actions between the universities of different countries. It is a way of endorsing the University´s commitment with student’s training, the promotion of their academic development at a national and international level and to make them capable of influencing both the global and national reality. The project fosters the formation of internationally renowned students, who become seedlings of generations with more conscious and human perspectives that respond to the needs of the country. The methodology used in moots allows to mark a new teaching of law and above all, the vision in its application; to use it as a tool for social change. It generates a different way of the comprehension of law and justice. A moot allows students to learn international and national standards through the analysis of the jurisprudence of different Courts, in subjects of human rights, international law and the culture of legality, among others. Preparation for a moot at college involves the formation of independent, responsible students, committed with social justice that allows them to generate progressive standards and strategies for a greater protection of person, with the purpose of applying them in their professional development and become decision makers. Former participants are working in international organisations, government, legal firms, national and international tribunals. In there, due to the moot preparation, they apply a more human and critic vision of law; they are sensitised in the current situation and, most important, they are ethically committed. The proposed Conference will present the importance of moot courts competitions in the transformation of the legal education. It will present how through a moot, the students develop better tools that will allow them to know the social context and from there, contribute to strengthening the rule of law and democracy in their country.
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