By Ian Asabo
The Uganda Christian University (UCU) Moot law society is set to represent the continent at the John H. Jackson moot competition in Geneva, Switzerland in June.
The John H. Jackson moot court is an international competition based on the World trade organization law. It is organized by the European Law students association and this competition takes place on an annual basis.
Hannah Stacey Baluka, Evelyne Mugisha and Tracy Nagasha represented Uganda Christian University in the competition that took place from 23rd March to 26th March 2022 during virtual competitions held at the university.
The team finished among the top four African universities that participated in the competition that secured their ticket to the global showpiece.
For these ladies, it has been a long road to reach the next step and be considered as one of the best on the continent as preparations began as early as September 2021.
Tracy narrates how a lot of sacrifices had to be made along the way including a shorter Christmas holiday as well as missing the prestigious annual law dinner as they had training that day.
“This opportunity has not just happened in a day, we have sacrificed a lot along the way including cutting short our Christmas holidays as well as the law dinner in our final year, but it’s all worth it,” she says.
Preparations for the competition was not smooth sailing as the team faced plenty of challenges including colleagues dropping out during the process leaving the team stretched.
Evelyne reveals that the team was originally composed of ten members,but due to different reasons, the numbers reduced up to until there were three members left.
“The team originally had ten members, it was quite large because we needed to do enough research, but due to circumstances we could not control, the number reduced to three,” she says.
The team also faced the challenge of trying to adjust to the fundamentals of world trade law which isn’t taught in class, consequently leading them to start from scratch in order to be at odds with the other competitors.
Despite the fact that the team was at a disadvantage, they were able to have enough grit to persevere and roles were divided in order to bear the heavy workload that awaited them.
Hannah is the team leader and made sure that all the facts were in check, Evelyne is referred to as the “orator” because of her brilliant storytelling skills while Tracy is the glue of the tube with her ability to stay calm under pressure and having a good memory to remember the facts a blessing for the team.
The efforts of the lecturers who prepared the group to achieve this feat can not go unmentioned. Ampirwe Isaac, Amukisa Joan, Peter Ahabwe and Wilber Bwambale all provided importance with preparing the competitors on how to react to different situations during the competition.
“Our lecturers pushed us to extreme levels that helped us prepare adequately to compete in the competitions, we were always kept on our toes and without their help, we wouldn’t be where we are.”, Evelyne says.
One of the lecturers/coaches of the moot team, Peter Ahabwe praised the dedication of the team in preparation for the competition and credits their exploits to their hard work.
“The team deserves the chance to go and represent the continent, their hard work is a testament to that, the work has only begun but I am sure that they will go on and represent the university with rectitude,” he says.
The moot team also thanked the university for providing them with the platform to compete and open up opportunities such as the moot competition.
“I would like to thank the university for providing us with the platform to be able to participate in this competition, going to the next stage shows proof that the university’s investment has worked out”, he says.
Preparations will continue to get ready for the International moot competition that will take place in Geneva, Switzerland in June.