In this year’s 15th Willem C. Vis East International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong, the Vis Moot team from the University of Mannheim was very successful. In the category “Best Claimant Memorandum”, our team outperformed 126 other universities from around the globe and won. One of our team members, Luisa Katharina Gebauer, also received an honorable mention as one of the best speakers of the competition. We would like to extend a special word of thanks to the school and our sponsors for their excellent support!
It is one of the largest student competitions in the area of international economic law worldwide: the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. In the 24th Willem C. Vis Moot, for example, students from more than 340 universities in more than 60 countries participated in the competition. University teams from all over the world have battled each other in the courtroom since 1992/1993. They have taken on the roles of lawyers either representing claimants or respondents in a fictional case drawn from the areas of UN sales law or international arbitration. Students not only need to write extensive written statements (called memoranda for claimant and respondent) in a foreign language, but also thoroughly prepare for the oral arguments (called pleadings). It is this preparatory work that often proves to have a particularly beneficial impact on the students’ future careers.
The 25th edition of the Willem C. Vis Moot in Vienna was kicked off in October 2017. In addition, the Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, a competition that is affiliated with the Vis Moot in Vienna, has been organized since 2002. In 2017/2018, this event takes place for the 15th time. Many teams participate in both competitions.
These are the highlights of the Vis Moot: When the competition draws to a close, which is usually at the end of March or the beginning of April each year, all teams travel to Vienna and Hong Kong to present their arguments in a one-week mock trial. In four general rounds of oral argument, the best 64 teams in Vienna or the best 32 teams in Hong Kong are chosen respectively. Those teams are then admitted to the elimination rounds. In Vienna, the two best teams face each other in the final round that takes place during the Awards Banquet in the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center, with about 2,000 people watching. After that, the coveted prizes are handed out in an awards ceremony. The third Mannheim team received an honorable mention for its memorandum for claimant in the 23rd Vis Moot in Vienna and in the 13th Vis Moot (East) respectively. The fourth Mannheim team received five honorable mentions in the 24th Vis Moot in Vienna and in the 14th Vis Moot (East) in total and made it to the finals both in Hong Kong and in Vienna. Intending to repeat our successful participation in previous years, we are sending a team to the competitions in 2017/2018 for the fifth time.