Birzeit University students clinch top place in 2020/2021 Oxford moot court regionals

A team of students from Birzeit University’s Faculty of Law and Public Administration has won first place in the Middle East regional rounds of the 2020/2021 Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition, organized by the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at Oxford University. 

Supervised by Fouad Massad, a research assistant in the Faculty of Law and Public Administration, Asalah Mansour, Zein Hamayel, and Dina Alami competed against groups of students from universities in Lebanon, Egypt, and Iran, earning the most scores and qualifying for the international rounds of the competition, which will be held virtually between April 12 and 16, 2021. 

Birzeit University’s team was able to present a compelling argument that showed the students’ excellent research skills and in-depth understanding of the interrelated issues presented by the case. For her efforts, Asalah Mansour was chosen as the competition’s Best Individual Oralist. 

The moot court competition focuses on media law, human rights issues, and freedoms of thought and expression. Contestants are asked to analyze the evidence presented as part of a fictional case, and then present their arguments in a simulated court hearing. This year’s contest revolves around the fictional country of “Ized” and whether its judiciary, in its interpretation of laws and application thereof, has violated the rights and freedoms of a group of its citizens. 

Within “Ized,” privately owned media controls the narrative, a viral virus is rampaging through the population, and a new government has issued laws restricting public gatherings and the publication of material that may be deemed to have a negative impact on “public safety, order, or health.” Students are required to carefully research laws and regulations related to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of assembly, while taking into consideration the special circumstances of the fictitious “Ized.”