WILLEM C. VIS – International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court

The Vis Moot Court in Vienna is organized by the Association for the Organization and Promotion of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in collaboration with UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law), renowned arbitration institutions and the Faculty of Law of Vienna.

The arbitrators in the competition arejudges, lawyers and professors from around the globe. The aim of the moot is to promote the studies of international civil and commercial law and to learn about arbitration in the international economic arena via the concrete application of a problem.

Over a period of six months the students participating in the competition focused on International Sales Law and Arbitration Law and had to prove their research abilities, excellent argumentation and quick learning skills, as well as their ability to work in a team.

The students jointly drafted two complex English memoranda which were presented to an international jury. Subsequently, they focused on developing concise and detailed presentations of the legal arguments.

Practice pleadings, exercises and preparatory competitions for the Moot Court in Vienna are regularly held in different European cities.
Participation in the VIS Moot Court is only possible after the completion of the course at the Europa-Institut.

Generous donation from the "old" to the new Vis Moot Team

At the opening ceremony of the Europa-Institut, the participants of the Vis Moot Court 2018 received the ASKO-EUROPA-STIFTUNG prize, which was endowed with 1,200 euros this year. Klaus-Peter Beck, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ASKO EUROPA-STIFTUNG, presented the prize to the four members of the Vis Moot Team 2018, former students of the Master's program in European and International Law Aliz Káposznyák from Hungary, Andrés Eduardo Alvarado Garzón from Colombia and Pieter Van Vaerenbergh from Belgium together with the student of German law Selina Stachowitz. The team was supervised by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. em. Helmut Rüßmann, Ass. iur. Ben Köhler and Dipl. iur. Anja Neufing. Aliz Káposznyák was awarded an "honourable mention" for particularly outstanding individual speaker performance by a team speaker and was able to stand out from the crowd through outstanding speaker qualities and negotiation skills. She was one of the best speakers of the competition.

Just like last year, the team immediately donated half of its prize money to the new team, which will participate in the 26th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in 2019, so that they can participate in even more Pre-Moots. We wish the new team all the best and thank the "old" team for the generous donation!

Successful Saarbrücken team 2018

In 2018, the "Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot" competition took place for the 25th time in Vienna. Saarland University once again sent a team of four to Vienna to represent plaintiffs and defendants before an international jury of over 360 teams from all over the world in English in fictitious arbitration proceedings.

The team from Saarland University returned with an honourable mention for the outstanding individual performance of a team speaker. Aliz Káposznyák was able to stand out from the crowd with outstanding speaker qualities and negotiation skills in over 360 teams from all over the world and was thus one of the best speakers of the competition.

Each year, the six-month competition focuses on interesting questions of international sales law and arbitration law in a fictitious case. The applicable arbitration rules change annually. In 2018, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules were the focus of attention and required detailed knowledge from the students. From October to January, the students were able to jointly prove their knowledge by drafting English-language pleadings for plaintiffs and defendants. The briefs were evaluated by an international jury. Very good research knowledge, excellent argumentation skills, a quick grasp and the ability to work in a team were of central importance. 

Starting in February, the competition then moved into the oral phase, in which the presentation of sophisticated pleadings on the central legal problems of the case took centre stage. To learn and deepen the pleading technique, the students competed against teams from other German, European and international universities in trial negotiations in Zurich, Stuttgart, Mostar (Bosnia), London, Paris, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Belgrade in law faculties and local law firms.

The final negotiations took place in Vienna from 23 to 29 March 2018, in which two of the four team members took part in a total of four oral hearings against universities from Brazil, Georgia, Japan and Peru. They slipped into the role of lawyers and made 15-minute pleas in English before three-member international arbitration tribunals.

The team led by the Master students Aliz Káposznyák, Andrés Eduardo Alvarado Garzón and Pieter Van Vaerenbergh as well as the German law student Selina Stachowitz were not only able to perfect their legal skills and personal appearance, but were also able to establish contacts and long-term friendships on the international stage, thus making Saarland University and the Europa-Institut known accorss many national borders. The hard work of the team in recent months has more than paid off!

The team was supervised by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. em. Helmut Rüßmann, Ass. iur. Ben Köhler and Dipl. iur. Anja Neufing.

The participation and the journeys were made possible by a donation of the University Society from the estate of Wilhelm Pelletier, funds of the Faculty of Law of the University of Saarland as well as by a donation of the Foundation ME Saar, a donation of the Moot Team 2016/2017, a donation of the AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke as well as of the lawyer Prof. Dr. Michael Anton. Professor Stefan Weber, lawyer in Vienna and lecturer at the Europa-Institut, also actively supported the team on site. Furthermore, the support programme UdS mobil was supported with funds from the DAAD, the chair of Professor Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Michael Martinek as well as the Europa-Institut and the Internationalisation Fund of Saarland University. The team would like to take this opportunity to thank all supporters, without whom participation would not have been possible.

Report by Anja Neufing