What is the Willem C. Vis Moot?
The goal of this master course offered by the University of Lucerne is the participation at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. More than 380 university teams from all over the world compete against each other. Each team is representing the parties in dispute of a fictional case before an arbitral tribunal.
The case deals with typical issues in connection with the the UN-Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the field of International Commercial Arbitration. On the basis of the fictional case, the participants of each team draft a legal brief referred to as Memorandum for Claimant. Subsequently, the participants change their role from representing Claimant to representing Respondent. In the next phase, they draft the Memorandum for Respondent, in response to a Memorandum for Claimant drafted by the moot team of another University.
The week before Easter oral pleadings take place in Vienna. In four rounds (twice representing Claimant and twice representing Respondent), the participants will compete against four other teams from different Universities in front of arbitral tribunals, consisting each of three experienced practitioners and experts on the subjects of the CISG and international commercial arbitration from all over the world.
To ensure an educational and successful participation, the University of Lucerne team has the chance to attend preparatory crash courses and will be supported by individual coaching by the professors and the coaching team throughout all the stages of the Moot.
As a preparation for the oral pleadings in Vienna, several test runs against Swiss and foreign teams will take place at Swiss law firms and pre-moots outside Switzerland, allowing the participants to reach out and get in contact with possible future employers as well as students from abroad.
For additional information, please take a look at our booklet, visit the main homepage of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (click https://vismoot.org/) or join us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The prerequisites for a participation at the Willem C. Vis Moot are:
- completion of Bachelor programme at the beginning of the moot
- a profound understanding of OR I-III, Juristische Methodik, ZPR/SchKR
- interest in new areas of law, i.e. International Sales Law and International Commercial Arbitration
- an advanced level of English
- ability to work in a team of ambitious students
- willingness to invest one full semester for participating at the moot
(In general, team members are allowed to attend one other lecture or work one day per week during the moot time)
Because the participation at the Willem C. Vis Moot is intensive and time-consuming, the careful planning of that exciting period is indispensable.
In the following, you will find some benchmark data of the Moot Court:
|Spring:||Applying for participation at the Willem C. Vis Moot (Selection of team members by professors and coaches)|
|Summer holidays:||Brushing up your English by either attending an English Course (f.e. Legal English) in Lucerne or outside Switzerland|
|September:||Swiss Moot School in Zurich where you will have a one-week crash course on the Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and on International Commercial Arbitration|
|First Friday in October:||The case – also called „Moot Problem“ – is unveiled on the internet|
|Beginning of December:||Submission of the Memorandum for Claimant|
|End of January:||Submission of the Memorandum for Respondent|
|Week before Easter (Passion Week):||Oral presentation in Vienna|
From a student perspective, it is certainly important to learn that the participation at the Willem C. Vis Moot will be rewarded with 18 Credit Points. Furthermore, the exciting and work-intensive written phase of the Moot can be counted as a master thesis, if so requested by the participant in the preparatory stage of the Moot, upon agreement with Prof. Dr. Girsberger.
For further details please consider: Wegleitung zur Studien- und Prüfungsordnung (only available in German) issued by the University of Lucerne.
However, there is more to the Willem C. Vis Moot than simply the university rewards. The participation will allow you to:
- Learn the practical and theoretical skills of a lawyer
- Work with motivated and dedicated students in a team
- Strengthen the command of the English language
- Get in contact with lawyers and practitioners of large Swiss and international law firms
- Travel to various places, such as Berlin, Stockholm or Vienna, to compete against other university teams
- Make a LIFETIME EXPERIENCE!
Each member of the Lucerne Moot Team receives an individual grade which reflects his/her written and oral performance.
The written performance is based upon the involvement and contribution in the drafting of the written submissions, the command of written English, the ability to work in a team, and the legal skills demonstrated in the solving of the Moot problem. The grade for the oral performance reflects the team member´s verbal English skills, the progress made over the course of time, the overall appearance and most importantly, the persuasiveness of the arguments brought forward and presented before the Arbitral Tribunal.
Each Team Member will only receive one grade which will be the average of the written and oral grade rounded to half grades (i.e. 4.76 to 5, 4.74 to 4.5).
Regarding the weighing of the grade received for the participation in the Willem C. Vis Moot, please refer to the Wegleitung zur Studien- und Prüfungsordnung (only available in German) issued by the University of Lucerne.
To apply for the Willem C. Vis Moot fill in the Application Form and send it along with your CV and your academic transcript to Prof. Dr. Daniel Girsberger (moot-wien). The application deadline for the 2023/2024 team is July 31, 2023. @ unilu.ch
Not sure if you want to apply? Check out the Instagram of the Vis Moot Team to see the journey of the Vis Moot Team 2022/2023.
Should you have questions or would you like to apply for the next Willem C. Vis Moot Team, do not hesitate to contact any of our Coaches:
Team Coaches: Jacqueline Temperli, Dario Schönbächler, moot-wien @ unilu.ch