IE Law School students win the 6th edition of the EUROPA Moot Court Competition
IE Law School undergrad students are recognized as the best contenders in Europe winning the 6th edition of the EUROPA Moot Court Competition in Óbidos, Portugal, where they competed against undergraduate and LL.M. students from across Europe.
On April, law students and academics from a range of international universities, as well as legal practitioners and judges from the European Court of Justice, descended to Óbidos, Portugal to participate in the 6th edition of the EUROPA Moot Court Competition.
The EUROPA Moot Court Competition provides participants the unique opportunity of getting involved in a real-world simulation where they must solve a hypothetical EU law case and argue the case as if they were pleading before the Court of Justice at the European Union. It is also an opportunity for students to meet and network with other participants and judges from across Europe.
The IE Law School team, composed by Bárbara Gómez Cortés, Elena Sabau Barthe, Niklas Hess and Elvinas Jonaitis, together with Professor Charlotte Elisabeth Leskinen, win the first place after competing against several undergraduate and master of law students from top European universities. Furthermore, Niklas Hess was selected best speaker of the competition.
Professor Charlotte Leskinen, who prepared and guided the students throughout the course of the competition, considers that the European Law Moot Court Competition provides students a fantastic opportunity to learn how to work, act, and think like lawyers.
“They are asked to argue a complex case as if they were pleading before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Therefore, they must research related law topics and understand how the law works in a real-world situation. The moot court competition also allows students to put their advocacy skills to the test by pleading before judges and référendaires from the Court of Justice of the European Union, legal practitioners, and academics from prestigious European universities,” explains Professor Leskinen.
“The EUROPA Moot Court Competition allows students to improve their skills to conduct legal research and legal analysis and to understand and interpret statutory provisions and case law. In addition, they get to practice and improve their advocacy skills, learn about new legal issues, and become better lawyers and team-players. These are skills that are valuable for any future lawyer,” said Professor Leskinen.
We asked Niklas, Bárbara, Elena and Elvinas, bachelor students of the Dual Degree in Laws and Business Administration and the Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations, to tell us everything about the experience.
Why did you decide to participate in the European Law Moot Court?
Elena: “I decided to sign up for the moot court because I wanted to gain and develop the skills necessary to pursue a legal career. I also wanted to continue challenging myself: I have participated in a number of law competitions held at IE University (the commercial law challenge as well as the EU law challenge), and every time I have been proud of the effort I put in. In each case, I was extremely happy with the learning experience I gained from taking part. I’d been eager to sign up to a moot court as it is the next step up; I would be competing against people from other universities from all across Europe. I wanted to participate in the European moot court in particular because I thoroughly enjoyed my EU Law class at university, and I think that this particular field is one that IE University law students can excel in since it is inherently cross-border and international.”
Bárbara: “I heard about it from a student who had participated the year before. I knew it was going to be very challenging and time-consuming, but I was sure it was worth it. I have participated in other law competitions within the university and enjoyed them all very much. “The European Law Moot Court Competition is a wonderful experience where you get the chance to meet judges that work at the European Court of Justice and network with law students from all over Europe.”
What have you learned during the preparation process and the competition?
Bárbara: “I believe my research skills have improved the most. Our professor wanted us to prepare the claim and the defense based on our own efforts and we had to analyze extensive case-law and academic papers surrounding the topic. Moreover, I improved my advocacy skills as we had practice moot courts with different professors from IE who were acting as judges throughout the year. I have also learned a great deal about teamwork as, in the competition, you are graded as a team, even if you never actually carry out a moot case together. Although this puts a lot of pressure on the group, it was great to have a team that supported me every step of the way and helped me to continually improve.”
“I think that the main lesson I have learned is how great of a feeling it is to trust your team and how important it is to work consistently. In addition, this style of competition has shown me that law can, in fact, be very exciting,” says Elvinas.
What were the main challenges you faced during the competition?
Niklas: “I would say that time management was the main challenge. While preparing for the competition, I was also part of the Student Government, had my own start-up, needed to keep up with my regular studies, and participated in extracurricular activities, such as the BBA Business Case Competition. Also, as a team we faced some legal challenges, since the topic of the competition is currently pending in front of the CJEU, there is no clear answer to the case. This also brought about other challenges including unforeseen circumstances, unexpected questions at the competition, unexpected judges, the other teams’ performances, etc.”
How does participation in this moot court contribute to the student’s future?
Professor Charlotte Leskinen: “The European Moot Court Competition allows the students to improve their skills to conduct legal research and legal analysis and to understand and interpret statutory provisions and case law. In addition, they get to practice and improve their advocacy skills, learn about new legal issues, and become better lawyers and team-players. These are skills that are valuable for any future lawyer.”
Overall, it is clear to see that the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience of taking part in the European Law Moot Court: an incredibly enriching and thought-provoking competition which has further inspired our students to pursue a career in the field of law. Winning first place was well deserved, and we at IE are sure that these four students will continue to prosper and grow into successful lawyers, making huge impacts on a global stage.
Read the complete interview here