BY ANTHONY KAKOOZA AND BRIAN KAJUBI
Uganda Christian University (UCU) has scooped yet another regional moot court trophy.
The law students emerged winners at the second Biennial Strathmore Moot Court Competition organised by the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) held in Nairobi, Kenya, from July 8 – 9, 2016.
The competition, which involved 13 universities from across East Africa, had four rounds: preliminary rounds, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. The first two were held on Friday, July 8 and the last two were held on July 9.
UCU presented two teams: Team 16 and Team 17. Team 16 had Isabel Twongyeirwe, Joseph Okia and Paul Kalondo while Team 17 had David Bahige, Edwin Muhumuza and Christine Namaganda. Unlike their Kenyan counterparts, none of these students had ever been to an Intellectual Property (IP) law class.
In the run-up to the competition, they were thus taken through a nutshell IP training by team coach, Dr Anthony Kakooza, assisted by Mr Herman Tuhairwe.
They also received a briefing on the dos and don’ts of IP litigation by renowned IP litigant, Mr Paul Asiimwe.
The preliminary rounds went quite well as both UCU teams seemed better prepared than their competitors. However, the competition became steeper at the next stage. Team 17 was eventually pushed out, after putting up a spirited fight in the quarter-finals, by the University of Nairobi.
For the semi-final, Team 16 faced Riara University, the defending champions, and subsequently triumphed over them to make it to the finals. Strathmore University also edged out the University of Nairobi at semis.
The final round was very intense but UCU was very persuasive and managed to win.
UCU won three awards in total. These were: the winning team for the moot competition; best orator – for the most persuasive and authoritative speaker (Joseph Okia); and best memorial award – for the team with the best written legal briefs.
“We are humbled to have emerged victors in such a competitive moot. We trusted in God and we have everything to show for it,” Joseph Okia said.
One of the judges told the team coach: “Your students came and showed the Kenyan students that they know the Kenyan law better than them.”
The competition was jointly sponsored by a number of institutions and law firms in Kenya. These included CH Coulson Harney Advocates, Inlex Africa, Anjarwalla & Khanna (ALN), the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and Simba and Simba Advocates.
The universities that attended included Strathmore University, Uganda Christian University, University of Nairobi, University of Dar es Salaam, Africa Nazarene University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, Moi University, Raira University among others.