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'It's a hat-trick!' - Norman Manley Law School makes it three from three

Published:Wednesday | December 12, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Carol Aina, principal of the Norman Manley Law School. - Photo by Errol Crosby

Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator

For the third consecutive year, the Norman Manley Law School took home the winning trophy in the Human Rights World Moot Court Competition.

Held at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa, on Monday, World Human Rights Day, the Jamaican institution was elated to pull off that record achievement over several prestigious law institutions from around the world.

"This is the third successive year we have won the competition. We call it a hat-trick," stated Principal Carol Aina.

"We are all at a loss for words at this amazing feat. We are truly excited and proud to have defended the title.

"There are about 45 universities from across the world that enter the competition, including Yale. And it has been quite amazing for us to win three in a row. I don't think anybody else has set that kind of record in any law competition, so it is about how incredible the students are."

Aina said the team members were still in disbelief, but quite pleased with the accomplishment.

"They are really elated and overjoyed. We had the trophy to defend and we thought it would be a difficult task to win three times, so they are really thrilled," she shared with The Gleaner.

"It was a lot of really hard work because they had to combine that with their regular curriculum."

The three-member team comprises Kemoy McEkron, Leslie Mendez, and Tiffany Stewart. They are coached by Nancy Anderson.


Dorcas White, senior coach and senior tutor emeritus, stated, "To God be the glory. I am thankful that we could do it three years in a row. I am really proud. I am thankful to be a graduate of this school and to be giving back to this school."

White, who has been at the institution for over 35 years, has participated in coaching the team each year.

The competition has been held on World Human Rights Day in Pretoria for the past four years. Jamaica has only participated for the past three years, winning each year.

Participants in the competition are required to argue a hypothetical case on a non-discrimination issue, using all of the conventions on human rights. They must argue both the respondent's and appellant's sides, which requires them to prepare both sides of the argument.

"I think we will have to retire from the competition now," Aina shared with laughter.

"Three years in a row is almost like too good to be true, so perhaps one retires while one is on the high."