Saarbrücker VIS Moot Team successful at international competition

Saarland University once again sent a team to the 25th anniversary of the internationally renowned "Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot" competition in Vienna to represent plaintiffs and defendants before an international jury against over 360 teams from all over the world in English.

This year, for the 25th time, the internationally renowned "Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot" competition took place in Vienna. Saarland University once again sent a team with four members to Vienna to represent plaintiffs and defendants before an international jury against over 360 teams from all over the world in English.

The team of Saarland University returned again this year with an award, a so-called "honourable mention", for particularly outstanding individual speaker achievements of a team spokeswoman. Aliz Káposznyák was able to stand out from the crowd due to outstanding speaker qualities and negotiating skills of more than 360 teams from all over the world and is therefore one of the best speakers of the competition.

Within the framework of the six-month competition, interesting questions of international sales law and arbitration law are discussed in a fictitious case every year. The applicable arbitration rules change annually. This year, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules were the focus of attention and demanded detailed knowledge from the students. From October to January, the students prepared English-language pleadings for the plaintiff and defendant side. The briefs were judged by an international jury. The key factors here were good researching abilities, excellent argumentation skills, quick comprehension and the ability to work in a team

From February onwards, the competition then moved into the oral phase, during which the presentation of sophisticated pleas on the central legal problems of the case was most important. 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 culmination of the competition was the final negotiations in Vienna from 23 to 29 March 2018, during which two of the four team members each took part in four oral hearings against universities from Brazil, Georgia, Japan and Peru. They took on the role of lawyers and gave 15-minute speeches in English in front of three-member international arbitration tribunals.

The team around the Master students Aliz Káposznyák, Andrés Eduardo Alvarado Garzón and Pieter Van Vaerenbergh as well as the German law student Selina Stachowitz was not only able to perfect their legal skills and personal appearance, but also establish contacts on the international stage and make long-term friendships and thus introduce Saarland University and the Europa-Institut beyond many national borders. In addition to the speaker award at the ceremonial closing banquet, 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 trips were made possible by a donation from the Universitätsgesellschaft from the estate of Wilhelm Pelletier, funds from the Faculty of Law of Saarland University, a donation from the ME Saar Foundation, a donation from the Moot Team 2016/2017, a donation from the AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke and from 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 UdS mobil funding programme was supported with funds from the DAAD, the chair of Professor Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Michael Martinek and the Europa-Institut and the Internationalisationsfond of Saarland University. The team thanks again all supporters, without whom the participation would not have been possible.

The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot takes place annually. It is organised by the Verein zur Veranstaltung und Förderung des Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in cooperation with UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law), renowned arbitration institutions and the Faculty of Law in Vienna. Judges, lawyers and professors from all over the world are the arbitrators of the competition.

Further information: ruessmann.jura.uni-saarland.de/vis-moot/ 

Article and Picture by Anja Neufing