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Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team Information


The College of Law expects to field a team to compete in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong from Sunday, March 11th to Sunday, March 18th, 2018.
All 2L, 3L and LLM students are invited to apply for the team. Application information and materials can be found at bit.ly/VisMootTeam. Applications are due by October 9th, 2017.

Adjunct Prof. Pinney, who is teaching his course in International Internal Arbitration this fall and next fall, will coach and travel with the team to Hong Kong. The Vis is the leading international moot competition for law schools from all corners of the world. The Moot is named for Law Professor Willem C. Vis, who until his death in 1993, was a leading scholar on international commercial law and dispute resolution. The Moot was first held in Vienna in 1994 and had the twin objectives of providing a competition for law students learning about international commercial arbitration and promoting the then newly adopted Convention on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods (CISG). The annual Moot in Vienna became so successful that a second venue in Hong Kong was established in 2003.

The UC team is planning to compete in Hong Kong against approximately 120 other law schools from Asia, Europe, North and South America, Australia and Africa (all over the world). There were 19 teams from the United States at the 2017 Moot in Hong Kong, including for the first time a UC team consisting of Melena Siebert* (3L), Brendan Chisholm* (3L), Franklin Uwizera* (LLM), Abbey Aguilera* (2L), Ben White (2L), Ryan Denny (2L), Mickey Sutton (3L) and Belinda Seruhere (LLM). (Asterisk denotes those traveling to and competing at the Moot in Hong Kong.)

The competition consists of four arguments in the preliminary round beginning on Monday, March 18th, over four days. From the preliminary rounds, 32 teams (in the Hong Kong competition) are selected for the elimination rounds leading to the finals on Sunday morning, March 18th, followed by a banquet at a Hong Kong Hotel. The 2017 competition was won by West Bengal National University (India) over NALSAR University of Law (India).

It is currently expected that next year’s “team” will consist of eight current U/C law students, with four “team members” being selected to travel to Hong Kong from whom the oralists will be selected. All 2L and 3L students are eligible to be part of the “team,” as well as LLM students. Preference will be given to students who are taking Professor Pinney’s International Commercial Arbitration Course as well as members of the Moot Court Honor Board.

The Vis competition for both the Vienna and Hong Kong venues is based on a “Problem” issued annually around October 10th, that describes an international commercial dispute arising under the CISG that is being submitted to an international arbitration tribunal for resolution. Competing teams must prepare and submit by about December 10th a “Claimant’s Memorandum” in support of the hypothetical claimant’s position based on the Problem. Each team must also submit a “Respondent’s Memorandum” around January 28th. The team members who are not chosen for the traveling team will have primary responsibility for researching and writing the two memoranda, although all team members will be expected to be engaged in drafting and completing the memoranda. Also, the Claimant’s Memorandum, in penultimate form, subject only to final editing, will be due internally by November 30th so as not to conflict with fall term exams.

The cost for those traveling will be supported by the College of Law and the UC International Programs. It is expected that travel team members may incur about $500-750 in expense, over and above those scholarship funds provided by the college and university (although the actual amount required for next year’s Moot has not yet been determined).

The 2018 Moot coincides with the College of Law’s spring break week, which will minimize the number of classes missed. It is expected that team members (other than those on the Moot Court Board) will receive 1 hour of academic credit and those on the traveling team will receive 2 hours credit for the Spring 2018 term.