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ICJ Court Simulation

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The Institute of International Law organised a friendly practicing "Telders Pre-Moot Court" with international teams!

The Telders Moot Court (TMC) offers students an insight into the practice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. During the TMC, students have the opportunity to try a fictitious case during simulated ICJ hearings.

The subject of this year's competition, which celebrates its 44th edition in 2021, is a fictitious case between the states "Foria" and "Costat" (cf. this year's Compromis). The case touches on issues of international treaty law, international environmental law, international investment (protection) law and international immunities.  

From 07 June to 12 June 2021, the final rounds of the TMC will take place. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the final rounds will be held online this year. In order to prepare for these challenging final rounds, the Institute of International Law and International Relations organised a friendly practicing online Pre-Moot Court on 10 May 2021 and 11 May 2021. The Institute would like to take this opportunity to thank Dean Christoph Bezemek who – despite his busy schedule – took the time to open the Online Pre-Moot Court with a brief speech.

In these online court simulations, teams from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Eötvös-Loránd-University Budapest and Karl-Franzens-University Graz competed against each other. During the two days, a total of 6 oral pleadings of two hours each were held.

The team from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf was supervised by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof and her research assistants Jakob Reinecke and Anna-Lena Gawens. A.o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gábor Kajtár, LL.M (Cantab) as well as Dr. Clio Mordivoglia led the team of the Eötvös-Loránd-University of Budapest.

By means of well-founded legal argumentation, the students convinced the "judges", renowned experts in international law, during the simulated court hearings. The following international law experts kindly provided themselves as Pre-Moot Court judges

  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hafner
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Benedek
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Diana zu Hohenlohe
  • Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerd Oberleitner
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Paul Gragl
  • Ass.-Prof. Dr. Christian Pippan
  • Ass.-Prof. Dr. Benedikt Harzl
  • Dr. Lisa Maria Heschl, E.MA as well as  
  • Mag.iur Gregor Fischer

With spontaneous and detailed questions, the judges kept the students on their toes and prepared them in the best possible way for the questions in the final rounds.

The members of Team Graz, Anna Lena Hörzer and Adina Gahr, have been preparing for the Telders Moot Court since November 2020. In March 2021, both submitted their well-developed "Memorials" and have been focusing on the oral pleadings since then. In preparing for the oral pleadings, the two students received valuable support from rhetoric trainer Monika Schmidt from the Institute of German Studies.

The two team members of Graz found the Pre-Moot Court a helpful opportunity to practise their oral arguments and to familiarise themselves with the format of online pleadings. When asked about the Pre-Moot Court, the two also stated:

The Pre-Moot Court was a great experience! It was especially nice to meet the other participants, even if only in digital form. The pleadings of the others definitely gave me another motivational boost for the last weeks before the finals. The Pre-Moot Court was also challenging, of course, but this way you grow beyond yourself (Adina Gahr, 19 years).

The Pre-Moot Court was a good opportunity to apply our previously acquired knowledge and our prepared arguments in a formal setting. We were able to improve our handling of complicated questions of international law and in the same way we were able to overcome technical problems. We were very pleased that we were able to establish contacts with the other teams - despite the current situation - and we are looking forward to seeing the others again in the finals (Anna Lena Hörzer, 23 years).

The coaches of the Graz team, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erika de Wet, LLM (Harvard) and Mag. Christina Seewald, are extremely proud of the performance of the students of the University Graz, both of the written "Memorials" and the oral pleadings during the Pre-Moot Court. Both coaches are confident that Team Graz will do very well in the online final rounds before the ICJ and the coaches are already looking forward to supporting the team in this next challenge!

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