1. General

The 14th Annual Kovsie Moot Court Competition will be held at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein from the 2nd to the 5th of October 2018.

2. Eligibility for Participants

2.1 Participants must be registered first year law students (2nd year LL.B students in the extended LL.B program is allowed where applicable) at a recognised University in South Africa or abroad. All students studying towards an LL.B-degree, B.Com Law, B.Iuris (or international equivalent) at undergraduate level are eligible to participate.
2.2 Students who have previously participated in the Kovsie Moot Court Competition or students who have obtained their degrees are not eligible to participate in competition. Any team member who is found to be registered for any degree other than the above mentioned or international equivalent will lead to the team being disqualified and the forfeiture of any entry fees.

3. Registration

If the registration forms are not received on/or before the dates specified, the organisers reserve the right to disqualify the team.

4. Team Composition

Teams must consist of two (2) members selected through an independent, transparent and democratic process determined by their individual faculty/ school of law. Both team members must be eligible to participate as set out in 2 above. No substitute students will be allowed to participate.

5. Hypothetical Case

The set of facts (hypothetical case) are made available at the Opening Function.

Participants are to prepare arguments for both the plaintiff/applicant and the defendant/responded in so far as the preliminary rounds are concerned. Participants making it to the finals will be given a new set of facts the evening before the competition to prepare for argument in court the next morning. No written heads of arguments are required for neither the preliminary and the final rounds; participants will be evaluated on oral presentations and argument alone.

6. Team Limits

There will be no limit on the number of teams entered by a specific university. In the unlikely event that the UFS cannot accommodate all the interested teams, the number of teams per university may be restricted and participating universities will be notified of this fact.

7. Assistance to participants

7.1 Participants may be coached by a designated member of the university academic staff or a legal practitioner, whether advocate or attorney.
7.2 Each coach will make him or herself available to act as an assessor in the preliminary rounds of the competition, if necessary, and agrees to mediate if a dispute arises from the judges’ decision or if a participant or coach lodges a complaint with the independent roaming judge. The decision regarding the dispute will be handled by the organising committee, the judging panel and the independent roaming judge. The decision reached will be considered final.
7.4 Each participating team may have one coach to assist with the administrative support for the students. A single coach can however assist a number of teams.

8. Preparation of arguments

8.1 Each team must prepare (as a team) and present oral arguments for both the Plaintiff/Applicant and the Defendant/Respondent. The arguments must be based on established and current law, no law or facts may be fabricated.
8.2 The arguments must be solely based on the hypothetical case prepared by the organisers. Under no circumstances are participants allowed to fabricate facts that were not in the case. Clarifications from the organising committee are not to be construed as part of the facts.
8.3 Under no circumstances will teams be allowed to identify the university they are representing to the presiding officers, nor will teams be allowed to wear any clothing or accessories that would identify a university.
8.4 The time limits during each of the oral rounds are as follows:

  • 20 minutes per side and 5 minutes for questions from the bench for each side. In this regard it is recommended that the 20 minutes per side be equally distributed between the two team members. In other words: 10 minutes x 2 team members.
  • Each round will consist of 50 minutes.
  • We will not use “rebuttal”; to allow for questions from the bench

9. Assessment instruments and calculation of scores

9.1 Each participant will be assessed using a scoring rubric. Each scoring rubric is sealed and presented to the independent roaming judge at the end of each session for calculation. The independent roaming judge then passes the information to a member of the organising committee for announcement once all scores for the preliminary rounds are complete. Similarly, the independent roaming judge will present the scores to the organising committee after the close of the final rounds for announcement.
9.2 The independent roaming judge will be appointed from a university not participating in the competition, or from an independent (from the University of the Free State) organisation. Further, the independent roaming judge is not privy to the name of the university represented by each team and he or she is only provided with a list of each team’s allocated number.
9.3 The assessment sheets will be available to the coaches after the close of the competition from the organising committee. In the event that one or more teams score the same for entry to the final rounds the independent roaming judge will convene a meeting of the judging panel for those specific teams to decide which team will advance to the final round.

10. Registration form

Please note that ALL students taking part in the competition MUST complete all four sections of this form. Kindly email the completed form to Adv. Inez Bezuidenhout at Bezuidenhouti@ufs.ac.za kindly use separate forms if need be.

11. Cost of Registration

There will be no registration fee applicable to this competition. University are under considerable national pressure to curb spending and in the ethos of this competition, no university nor student should be excluded based on financial restraints.

Universities are encouraged to use what would have been paid for registration on allowing more students to participate, registering more teams and making the competition comfortable for the students and coaches participating.

12. Assessment

Oral arguments will be judged on the following Rubric with necessary amendments as in Annexure C of information brochure.


Mrs Sophie Maasdorp
T: + 27 51 401 2451
F: + 27 51 401 3043

E: law@ufs.ac.za

Equitas Building
UFS Bloemfontein Campus

Law photo for next to contact block