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Meeting the world in Vienna (April 6th-13th)

Eight students from IDA are participating in the Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot this year. This year’s problem raises an issue of ambiguity in contractual commercial relations; the case hinges upon the ambiguous wording of an addendum which causes claimant to initiate arbitration, but respondent contests admissibility of the claims and requests security for costs…

After completing two written briefs earlier in the year (50 pages), the eight team members took part in a pre-moot in Montpellier and another one in London at Fox Williams, where they reached the final round ahead of all the English teams, finishing third out of ten. A lawyer at Fox Williams thought one of our students was “the best one they had heard over the weekend”.

The University of Edinburgh also just hosted a practice competition as they have been doing for the last six years. This year, Edinburgh invited fourteen teams from all over the world: Japan, Turkey, Germany, England, France (AMU) Switzerland, and Scotland. Our teams pleaded against London School of Economics, King’s College London, Frei Universität Berlin, Robert Gordon Aberdeen and our host.

The educational experience gained from these international pre-moots is exceptionally rich. After pleading, not only did each team member receive individual scores but also extensive oral and written feedback, provided by arbitration practitioners, lawyers and academics. The exercise improves understanding and analysis of the case and the law, advocacy skills and proficiency in English.

The team worked hard, doing their best while also thoroughly enjoying the three events. One of the pleaders wrote that it was “the most amazing experience (she) had had since the beginning of (her) law studies”. Both students and coaches express their deepest thanks to Montpellier Law School, Fox Williams and Edinburgh University for their generous support.
Unfortunately a very difficult decision had to be made on their return from Edinburgh: the team of eight, who has been working together since October on the two memoranda, practice sessions with coaches and pre-moots had to be broken up, since only four oralists compete in Vienna.
The four pleaders will confront the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), Fudan University (China), Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and Stanford Law School.

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