The launch of the 2nd edition of the privacy moot court competition

By Unwanted Witness

Privacy is a fundamental right that is becoming increasingly important in the digital age. With the rise of technology, there is an increased risk of privacy violations, making it necessary for society to have a robust legal framework in place to protect individuals’ personal information. In recognition of the importance of privacy law, Unwanted Witness and the Public Interest Law Clinic of Makerere University have organized the second edition of a privacy moot court competition to promote education and awareness on the topic.

The upcoming Unwanted Witness Privacy Moot Court Competition is set to bring together law students around the country to argue and address contemporary issues related to privacy and personal data protection. The competition, which is designed to provide a platform for participants to showcase their legal skills and knowledge of privacy law, is scheduled to take place for two days on the 21st and 22nd of September, 2023 at Makerere University Law School, and promises to be a highly anticipated event.

This year’s edition will be held under the theme “Balancing Privacy Rights and National Security: Navigating the Impact of Surveillance Laws on Individual Freedoms.” This theme will explore the tension between the need for national security and the protection of individual privacy rights, particularly in the context of surveillance laws. It will consider questions such as: How much surveillance is too much? What are the limits on government surveillance? How can individuals and organizations protect their privacy in an age of increasing digital surveillance?

The moot court competition will require participants to argue from both perspectives, representing different stakeholders such as government agencies, private companies, and civil society organizations. Participants will also be tasked to propose practical solutions that balance national security concerns with the protection of privacy rights.

The competition will consist of several rounds of oral arguments and written submissions. The oral arguments will be based on a fictional case scenario, which will test participants’ legal knowledge, research skills, and advocacy abilities. The written submissions will also be based on the same scenario and will be evaluated based on their quality, accuracy, and clarity.

The final round of the competition will feature the top teams from the previous rounds and will provide an opportunity for participants to showcase their skills in front of a panel of distinguished judges. The judges, who are highly experienced privacy law practitioners, will evaluate the arguments based on their legal accuracy, persuasiveness, and presentation skills.

The final round of the competition will be the grand finale, where the top teams from the previous rounds will face off in a high-stakes argument. The winners of the competition will be determined by the panel of distinguished judges, who will evaluate the oral arguments based on their legal accuracy, persuasiveness, and presentation skills.

“The upcoming Unwanted Witness Privacy Moot Court Competition promises to be an exciting and insightful event for anyone interested in privacy law. Whether you are a law student, academic, or professional, the Unwanted Witness Privacy Moot Court Competition offers a unique opportunity to engage with the latest developments in privacy law and network with other like-minded individuals” Dorothy

According to Dr. Diana Ateenyi Ahumuza the Head of Clinical Legal Education at the School of Law, Unwanted Witness has been so helpful to them since it came at a time they needed to create the moot court competitions in Uganda for Law students to have practical learning, not just theoretical knowledge.

“The Unwanted Witness came at a time when we were looking for partners to help us with moot court competitions because a moot competition is a method of teaching where students are given a question. The question is normally hypothetical and they do a lot of research and they simulate an actual court trial. What is special about the moot is that the students are arguing before practitioners, previous mooters, and in the final round students have an opportunity to compete before real judges of the high court, supreme court, and court of appeal. “says Dr. Diana Ateenyi Ahumuza

“Technology is here with us, technology can both be enabling and disruptive. The legal part is important when it comes to solving the problems that can be brought about by technology. As an organization we mainly aim for people’s privacy and organizing the Moot court competitions helps us create more awareness about the matter.” says Dorothy Mukasa, The Executive Director of Unwanted Witness

 National Security is thriving on digital technology but Uganda lacks a surveillance law and hence it becomes hard to balance the rights of people with National Security. Questions of where the government puts the data it collects in its course are often left unanswered.