If you read the Accepted the challenge? 5 key ingredients to kick-start it post you probably learnt that the first step to participation in a moot is actually… finding one. Googling will be helpful, of course, but as always you will be flooded with results. How to know which competition of the dozens that are out there is best suited for you? I prepared a short list of 5 moots I believe are the best to begin with so that you do not give up the idea of mooting due to overabundance of competitions 🙂
- VIS Moot
Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is probably THE moot court from the point of view of the mooting community. It takes place every year in Vienna and gathers around 300 teams from all continents (well – except for the Antarctic), making it the second biggest in the world. The competition has two part: written, where you prepare memorials for claimant and respondent, and oral, where you plead in front of tribunals. The VIS Moot focuses on international commercial law and is supposed to recreate a commercial arbitration proceedings between business partners.
Why is it a good idea to take part in the VIS Moot? Due to its size and subject, it will offer you the best mix of everything I previously pointed out as advantages of moot courts here and here. Moreover, if you come from Asia or Pacific region, it has its branch called the VIS East, taking place in Hong-Kong, but based on the same case and rules.
Since I participated in the VIS Moot twice will prepare a separate set of materials dedicated to it. In the meantime, you can visit its website for more detail.
- FDI Moot
Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot is one of the biggest moot courts in the world. Its venue changes every year (the next, 2017 edition will be hosted by Suffolk University Law School n Boston) and gathers approximately 50 teams. The number of participants is higher, but there are regional rounds in certain regions that teams have to go through in order to qualify. The FDI Moot also has a written and an oral part, but unlike the VIS Moot, it focuses on international investment law and investment treaty arbitration between states and private investors.
You should consider taking part in the FDI Moot especially due to its high level. During this competition you can acquire thorough understanding of international investment law (a vast, yet unlike commercial law, somewhat limited area) and plead in front of top-notch lawyers who often act as arbitrators.
As I took part in the FDI Moot twice (let me boast a bit – even won the 2014 edition) and coached a team for the 2016 edition, I will share a lot of useful information about the competition with you in the future. For now, you can learn more from its website.
- Jessup Moot
Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, with over 600 participating teams and over 50 editions, is definitely an institution. The competition is slit in two parts – national elimination rounds and global finals in Washington, USA. This competition a simulation of a dispute resolution between fictional countries before the International Court of Justice – the judicial organ of the United Nations. As (almost) always your task is to prepare a written memorandum and then plead in front of a panel of judges.
Jessup Moot is worth your while since it is best known and probably most accessible. With so many law schools taking part in it, your university might already select a team every year, what spares you the effort of finding teammates and funding on your own. Since public international law is almost always taught at law schools, it is also much more likely you will find someone who could help you prepare for the moot.
Unfortunately, I never participated in the Jessup Moot. However, I have many good friends who did and will rely on their experience to provide you with valuable insight. Before it happens, have a look at their website to decide if you are interested.
- A moot which is nearby
The abovementioned competitions are huge international event that are absolutely worth the time and effort they require. However, costs or the need to travel long distances often discourages people from participating. That’s perfectly understandable – students are not the wealthiest creatures on the planet, universities do not always have the resources and fundraising might fail. To mitigate this risk, instead of aiming for a widely recognized event taking place thousands kilometers away, you should opt for something that is next door.
- A moot which is local
If you are overwhelmed by or did not make it to a huge competition there is no need to worry. It is likely that e.g. your university or national bar association organizes a moot. It might be less know for lack of promotion and lower number of participants. Still: ask around, check relevant websites or Facebook fanpages, look for opportunities. A small moot court organized by the university will probably require less time and effort to prepare for it, but let you verify if you actually enjoy mooting.
There are of course many more moot courts out there and most of them are a worthwhile experience. I suggest you started your adventure with an event which is either established and guarantees quality experience or easily accessible and can give you a glimpse of what you sign up for. In any event, take part!