International Moot Competitions
With the advice, guidance and support offered by Center for International Legal Education (CILE), Pitt Law students have consistently excelled in international moot court competitions. We generally have teams competing in three of them:
|Participation in any of these moots entitles students to course credit that counts toward the elective requirements in the International and Comparative Law Certificate Program.|
WILLEM C. VIS INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION MOOT
Each spring this competition is held in Vienna, Austria, and sponsored by the Pace University School of Law. The problem presented to students requires an understanding an application of the law of international commercial arbitration and of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). In, 2005, the Pitt Law Vis team, competing against 151 teams representing 47 countries, including 35 U.S. teams, won third place for their Claimant's Memorandum and honorable mention for their Respondent's Memorandum. The Pitt team was the only one of 35 teams from U.S. law schools that received honors for both memoranda. See the Vis website for the goal, structure, rules, and other details about the Vis competion.
Professor Harry Flechtner is the Faculty Advisor for this moot and has composed multiple songs relating to it: The CISG Song The Mootie Blues Ballad of Blue Hills '05, Why, Why, Oh Why, Malcolm Y? (Click here for lyrics) and a full opera, titled AyEEEdah, for the 2012 Vis Moot http://youtu.be/xHjuPyctuCE. See also the CILE YouTube Channel.
NIAGARA INTERNATIONAL MOOT COMPETITION
The Niagara competition is sponsored each year by the U.S.-Canada Law Institute at Case Western Researve University. It originated more than 20 years ago in recognition of the common traditions and social and economic ties that exist between Canadians and Americans living in the Great Lakes Region. The originators sought to bring together law students from both sides of the border in a moot court competition involving an international law problem affecting both Canada and the United States.
Each year's case is argued as if before the International Court of Justice, with the parties being the U.S. and Canada. The problem usually involves an actual current dispute between these two countries, and allows students not only the opportunity to learn more about international law, but also to learn about US-Canada relations. Teams represent schools from the U.S. and Canada.
Pitt has a strong history in this competition. A Pitt law student won top honors for oral arguments in the Niagara competition in 1995, and the fourth place Pitt Law School team garnered the highest combined score on its memorials. In the 1996 Niagara competition, Pitt Law School won the award for best respondent's memorial. In 2004 our team won the Best Applicant Memorial Award. In 2005, the Pitt Law team was the runner up for the Respondent Memorial. The University of Pittsburgh hosted the Niagara competition in 2002.
PHILIP C. JESSUP INTERNATIONAL LAW MOOT COURT COMPETITION
The annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is sponsored by the International Law Student Association. Regional Competitions are held throughout the U.S. The winner of each region advances to the international round held in Washington, D.C. each spring. Law year, 529 teams from more than 80 countries competed in the Jessup. In regional competition, the 1997 Pitt team won third place for their memorials and had the second place oralist. In 1998, the team received the Best Applicant's Argument Award and Ellen Freeman (JD '99) won the Best Oralist award. In addition to sending teams of students to the competitions, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law has hosted regional rounds of the Jessup Competition. Cynthia Yializis is the Faculty Advisor for this moot. Peruse the Jessup competition's website.
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT MOOT
Pitt's 2012 team at the FDI Moot placed high in every category.
2nd Place Overall Team Ranking
5th Place - Skadden Arps Trophy
Among the Top 50 Advocates:
Greg Graham ranked #3 (Honorable Mention)
Joe Parsons ranked #8 (Honorable Mention)
Matt Smith ranked #23
Yuriy Vilner was the 4th excellent member of the team.
See the FDI Moot's website.
MANFRED LACHS SPACE LAW MOOT COURT COMPETITION
Instigated by the International Institute on Space Law, this competition holds regional championships in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America and then a world championship in a different country every year. This competition's cases involve international space treaties as well as U.S. and foreign domestic law. Recent cases were about unapproved military use of a private company's satellite images of earth in order to more accurately and thoroughly destroy an enemy, accidental destruction of another country's space station tethers, and leasing satellite telecommunications technology. Pitt first participated in the Space Moot in 2008 when three law students, Leslie Riley, Robin Belinsky, and Eli Baumwell, independently formed a team, registered themselves for the national competition, and began to work on their brief. Wes Rist soon began to coach the team and continues to work in that capacity. To read more about this competition, go to the Lachs Space Moot Web site.