Moot Court Grand Finale in Strasbourg

Moot Court 2013

Moot Court in the spring of 2013

On 7-9 November a Moot Court Grand Final takes place in Strasbourg for the first time ever, between the winning teams from the Western Balkans and Scandinavia. The competition will be held before judges and experts from the European Court of Human Rights – a great milestone for Civil Rights Defenders and a long-term dream come true.

Since the start in 2007, over 460 students from the Western Balkans have participated in the Moot Court competition in the Balkans. From year to year the interest for the competition has increased, an indication of the importance of practical training. The final in Strasbourg is therefore a welcome step for the competition, and a real challenge for both the regional winners.

“Moot Court is not only about competing and winning. It is about the student’s dedication to professional improvement. But it is also about stressing the importance of human rights issues within the professional community”, said John Stauffer, Legal Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

The two teams competing in the final are team Henrik Steska from Ljubljana in Slovenia and team Schjødt from Oslo in Norway.

“It will be a tough competition for the participants. It’s going to be very interesting to see which of the teams attack the task best, and whether they have different techniques in doing so”, said John Stauffer Legal Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

Based on a fictive case, where one state doesn’t allow a Pride Festival, the finalist’s will do an oral pleading before a Panel of seven Judges (three from the Balkans, three from the Nordic countries and one additional judge from a neutral country). The teams will take turns in representing the plaintiff and the fictive state.

“It’s not easy to come through to the finals and present a case in a simulation setting of a European Court trial. However, there are no losers. One of the teams will walk away with a trophy but both will gain a new perspective, new contacts and a feeling that they were a part of something much bigger than a competition – helping their communities be the best they can be”, said Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

For more information please contact:
John Stauffer, Legal Director Civil Rights Defenders
+ 46 704-84 96 85

How the Moot Court competition in the Western Balkans was born

The idea to create a Moot Court in the Western Balkans developed during Civil Rights Defenders’ work in the region. The organisation identified a lack of practical knowledge about the European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR). Very few Law faculties in the region had courses in European Law.

The Nordic Moot Court model, founded in 1984, inspired Civil Rights Defenders to arrange a similar competition for law students in the Western Balkans, and in 2007 the first Moot Court competition was held in the Balkans.

“The aim is to train human rights experts in the beginning of their legal careers, so they can contribute to their communities. There is a need for more human rights practitioners, and people with good understanding of human rights, in different levels of society”, said John Stauffer.

Read more about the Moot Court competition

Categories: News.
Tags: Access to information, Access to justice, European Court of Human Rights, Human rights, Human Rights Defenders, and Moot Court.
Regions: Western Balkans.