The moot is the largest English-speaking human rights moot in the world, and is organised by the European Law Students’ Association with the Council of Europe and European Court of Human Rights.

By City Press Office, Published

City, University of London’s team finished as semi-finalists in the 9th European Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2021, placing third out of 66 teams drawn from 24 countries.

The team consisted of three Bar students (Daniel Henderson, Jack Ventress and Olivia Waddell) and one Graduate Diploma in Law student (Miranda Zeffman). City alumnus Niall Coghlan coached the team for the finals.

The moot is the largest English-speaking human rights moot in the world, and is organised by the European Law Students’ Association with the Council of Europe and European Court of Human Rights. It simulates the experience of pleading a case before that Court at both written and oral stages. On the basis of 40 pages of written submissions and a regional round, the best 18 teams qualify for the final oral round held in the Court in Strasbourg. Due to the pandemic, this year the competition took place entirely online.

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This year’s case itself concerned alleged human rights violations in a fictitious state’s response to an epidemic. The case raised issues at the intersection of emergency legislation, derogation under article 15 ECHR, criminal law, privacy and data protection law, restrictions on assembly and effective remedies. In particular, it raised complex questions as to the use of facial recognition, based on data scraped from the internet without consent, for identification and as evidence in criminal prosecution (arts 6 and 8 ECHR); alleged violations of the right to a fair trial and effective remedies (arts 6 and 13 ECHR); and the legality of public health limitations on the right to freedom of assembly (art 11 ECHR).

Strength in European mooting

City’s team won the Best Respondent prize in the Maastricht Virtual Regional Round. At the Oral Finals in May, the team succeeded in the preliminary rounds and quarter finals, beating the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Whilst knocked out in the semi-finals, the team finished with the third-highest score. City was the only UK team to reach the semi-finals, placing it ahead of the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Durham University, King’s College London and two Inns of Court.

The team’s outstanding performance further reinforces City’s strength in European mooting. As well as winning (2014) and placing third (2018) in this competition, the university’s teams have recently won (2017) and reached the regional finals of (2018 and 2021) the leading EU law moot, the European Law Moot Court.

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