My engagement with ISLA has been as a moot court judge over a period spanning approximately three years, initially whilst I was the Director of Programmes of the of the International Association of Women Judges.
After my term ended, I remained interested in the programmes run by ISLA as it was evident that the young women were exposed to skills and knowledge that they would have little opportunity to acquire easily regarding an understanding of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights and Rules of procedure.
During the moot courts the litigators presented well. They were eloquent and erudite and confident in their presentations. Having presided over court proceedings for over 15 years it was apparent that these young women compared favourably with many legal representatives who have appeared in court on a daily basis. They were knowledgeable regarding the issue before the court. It is evident that the programme enhanced their oral and written skills and honed their legal research skills which assisted greatly in their preparation of arguments for the moot court.
The programme clearly built capacity on the identification and development of strategic litigation cases on women’s human rights using a feminist lens. The women spoke robustly and confidently and made reference to the appropriate law when called upon to clarify any issue. There is no doubt in my mind that these young women are ready to contribute to the change required in society and that they are in a position to use strategic litigation confidently to bring about social change.