Moot court students learn by doing

A group of four Master students in law joined forces to compete in the European Law Moot Court competition (ELMC), representing the University of Luxembourg in the regional finals hosted in Paris this February. Here they share they experiences and explain why the hard work was worth it.

Bujar Behramaj, Alexandre Marin, Christina Strauven and Sarah Tas signed up for the ELMC at the start of the academic year 2016-2017. The timeframe was tight from the get-go. “We started in October and the written submission was already due end of November. We had more or less six weeks to prepare. It was tougher than expected,” explained Bujar, a second-year Master student specialising in banking and financial law. To add to the pressure, the preparation for the regional finals began during their exam period in January.

“The case was very difficult. Even the judges in Paris said so,” explained Christina, who is currently in the first year of her LL.M. studies. However, dealing with the financial crisis and the role of the European Central Bank, the case also illuminated real-life issues and by debating with academics, the students gained in-depth technical knowledge. “The research was the most challenging part,” added Sarah, also in her first year; “really understanding the facts of the case and knowing what you’re talking about.”

On top of grappling with understanding the legal issues surrounding the case, students also had to work as a team. “You work towards the same goal,” said Alexandre, a second-year LL.M. student in European Union law and litigation, adding that it is important to figure out how you can complement each other’s skills and to be understanding of each other.

Practical experience and in-depth knowledge

Despite the hard work and effort, the team unfortunately did not advance through to the semi-finals – a disappointment for the team. “We couldn’t have done any better,” Sarah concluded. Still, the experience was worth it, they agreed. “I can see myself being a lawyer now,” said Christina.

Their advice for future students? Moot courts are an opportunity to be seized. “The programme is really well organised,” according to Bujar, with the team agreeing that the support of the coaches was invaluable. “They were always there for us,” added Sarah. “You need to work hard; it’s not always easy” said Alexandre, “but it’s something different to your studies and you get a chance to gain practical experience.”

The University of Luxembourg is competing in seven moot court competitions this year – in addition to the ELMC, teams entered the:

  • Concours Européen des Droits de l’Homme René Cassin (team placed third overall)
  • Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court (team placed 12th overall)
  • ICC Moot Court Competition (ongoing)
  • International and European Tax Moot Court (ongoing)
  • Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition (ongoing)
  • Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (ongoing)

The Faculty’s moot court activities are carried out with the generous support of the Luxembourg office of international law firm Clifford Chance. The law firm not only provides a substantial financial contribution, covering fees as well as travel, accommodation and other costs, but also expertise and advice for the students during practice pleadings.

Related : Université de Luxembourg

LexGO Network