The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is the world's largest moot court competition in the field of commercial law. As members of the Vis Moot team, students will learn to prepare and defend a case in a simulated international commercial arbitration. The team members will acquire the skills necessary to prepare written submissions and to defend the case orally before a tribunal. The competition will culminate in a final phase, in Vienna, with over 300 teams from all over the world.
After participating in the Vis Moot, a student has enhanced her/his ability to:
Plead in English before an arbitral tribunal, presenting the case, reacting to requests for clarification and responding to the other teams’ submissions.
- Prepare the case, manage multiple tasks and make strategic choices in a cross-border commercial dispute;
- Research, structure, draft and finalise written submissions for an international arbitration tribunal operating under the UNCITRAL Model Law and one of the leading sets of rules for international commercial arbitration;
The Vis Moot is a mock arbitration, where students represent the parties to an international commercial dispute. The applicable law on the merits is the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980 (CISG). The case gives rise to both procedural and substantive issues. The goal of the Moot is to promote the knowledge of arbitration as a method of solving disputes and the study and application of the CISG in international trade.
In 1993, 11 universities from 9 countries took part in the first Vis Moot. Nowadays, the Willem C. Vis Moot has become a very large event: in 2017, 312 universities from 67 countries participated. The Moot is organized by Pace Law School, New York under the auspices of UNCITRAL, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
Before the final phase in Vienna, the team will take part in ‘pre-moots’ in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. Pre-moots are essentially practice rounds, where the students are able to rehearse their pleadings and compare their preparation with the progress of other teams.
The arbitrators in Vienna are academics as well as professionals practicing as arbitrators and/or counsel. Social events are organized throughout the week, during which you get the chance to meet law students and practitioners from across the globe. The Moot will be concluded with an ‘awards banquet' and prizes will be awarded to the best pleaders, the best memoranda, and of course the winning team.
Structure of the course
In October the problem is published on the website of the Willem C. Vis Moot Court. With the publication of the problem the first phase begins and the students write the memorandum for claimant. Afterwards, the students receive the memorandum for claimant drafted by another University. At this point the team ‘switches roles’ and represents the respondent, drafting another memorandum.
After the memoranda have been handed in, the second (oral) phase of the Vis Moot begins. In the first half of April, the team will travel to Vienna. There, all participating teams come together and argue the case that they have been working on over the previous months.
|Students are warmly encouraged to attend the “International Arbitration” course.
The students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation, commitment and contribution to the team.
Since the Vis Moot is not a traditional course, no fixed list of readings is provided. The team will meet with the coaches frequently, and discuss tasks and objectives on a weekly basis.