BY DOUGLAS OLUM[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] Ruth Kiryagala, Joy Koelewiji and Philip Kyoma take a picture with the medal the won after the competition[/caption]
Students who represented Uganda Christian University (UCU) at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology (CIPIT) East Africa Moot Court Competition are jubilating over their win.
In an interview with The Standard on Friday, October 19, the three member team, represented by Joy Koelewijn (LLB2), said they did not expect the win because of the nature of the competition.
“When we reached there, we were all scared because the things we were going to discuss were fourth-year work yet we were just second years. After the first round, we stabilised,” Koelewijn said.
“But when we reached the finals, it was tough. The team from Strathmore were very organised. All their submissions were on point and whenever they were asked any question, they would respond very well. Much as we also had strong teamwork, we still don’t understand how we managed to beat them.”
The by-annual competition took place at Strathmore University in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi on October 11 and 12. At least 14 universities participated in. UCU was the defending champion following their 2016 win. It was represented by Joy Koelewijn, Ruth Kiryagala and Philip Kyoma, all second-year law students. They were pronounced winner again after beating Strathmore University in the finals.
Universities that participated include: Kampala International University, Cavendish University, Islamic University In Uganda, Makerere University and Uganda Christian University. Others were Moi University, Strathmore University and seven other universities from Kenya.
The President of the UCU Law Society, Gerald Wooli, congratulated the team upon their successful win and urged the university to invest more and give incentives to students who moot.
“Moot is one of the most difficult things a student can ever engage in. It takes heart and so much sacrifice. I think the university should give more incentives and support to encourage more participation,” Wooli said.
Dr Anthony Kakooza, the dean of the UCU Faculty of Law, said the continuous excellent performance by their students motivate them to invest more in moot competitions because they benefit both the university and students.
On the same day the UCU team was pronounced winner at the CIPIT moot court competition, another team also emerged winner at the Hope Initiatives law court moot, held in Kampala. Another set again emerged as first runner-up at the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) Constitutional Law Moot, held in Kampala on Friday, October 19.
In April, a team of students who represented UCU and Uganda at the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition, emerged second best African University after the University of Pretoria, and 47 world best university out of 121 universities that competed.