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Pax Moot: Moot Court Competition On Private International Law

Coordinator: prof. Albert Henke

PAX Moot is a specialized moot court competition among Universities’ teams from all round the world focused on cross-border civil and commercial litigation and on private international law issues. Civil and commercial litigation in an international setting presents a much more complicated reality than domestic litigation, given the differences in legal traditions, political systems, social values and cultures among different jurisdictions. In turn, private international law, or conflict of laws, is the set of legal principles, devices, modes of reasoning and rules that leads to the application of different national laws in international cases and allocates jurisdiction. This field of law has increasing come to the foreground of significant multinational legal disputes, where sometimes the entire case hinges on jurisdiction or applicability of certain national regulations. It now plays an important role in a multiplicity of legal fields, from contractual law to commercial law, from competition law to IP rights law, from financial law to labour, environmental and family law.

The Pax Moot is a competition., in which participants will be able to learn and apply first hand the complexities and nuances of this field of law. Instead of pleading primarily on the merits of the case, PAX Moot participants will be given a case geared towards jurisdictional and choice of law disputes. Instead of trying to win the whole case, clear goals will be given to each side as to which preliminary ruling they will be striving to achieve.

The Pax Moot has been set up in 2012 by a team of professors and researchers at Science Po University in Paris and is run in . cooperation with partners in the JUDGTRUST project, funded by the European Commission. This project is coordinated by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, research institute for International Law, European Law, and Private International Law.

Over the years, many Universities and Institutions have taken part to the competition, among which Sorbonne University Paris I, London School of Economics, HEC, Luxembourg University, Cambridge University, University College London (UCL), King’s College London, University of Antwerp, Erasmus University, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), University of Heidelberg. Participation ha salso be opened to US exchange students from Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Northwestern, Northeastern, Duke and Penn law schools.

University of Milan has participated for the first time with a team in 2018, and will continue to do so in the future.

The Case
The case is a hypothetical private international law problem, which is pleaded in front of “the Bench” (private international law experts, judging both written pleadings and oral arguments) during each season’s Competition and which is prepared yearly by private international law experts. The Case is usually published on the website around mid-December of the year preceeding the official oral hearings’ rounds (usually in May).

The Competition
The Competition consists of two phases:

a) a written phase, in which all teams shall prepare written pleadings for both the claimant and the defendant;
b) an oral phase, which will take place in The Hague, in which the teams, who are selected on the basis of their written pleadings, shall defend their arguments before the Court, pleading for both the claimant and the defendant.

The official language of the competition (both for the written and the oral phases) is English.

The written phase consists in the submission of two written memorials, one on behalf of the claimant and one on behalf of the defendant. The memorials shall be between minimum 8 and maximum12 pages in total.

The memorials will be judged individually by two members of the Bench.

Scores for the memorials are awarded out of a maximum of 25 points. Scores are awarded for:

a) organization, structure, and analysis of the issues: 5 points;
b) use of facts and legal principles: 5 points;
c) use of authorities and citations: 5 points;
d) persuasiveness, ingenuity, logic and reasoning: 5 points.
e) grammar, style, and clarity: 5 points.

The oral round consists in the preparation and presentation, by each team, of oral argument (in English) for the Applicant and an oral argument for the Respondent. The oral arguments shall be presented in English.

During the general rounds each team shall present an oral argument in four (4) of the sessions of the general rounds: twice as Applicant and twice as Respondent. Per session of the preliminary rounds, two team members shall present the team’s oral argument for the Applicant or for the Respondent. Each oral round the teams shall be assigned a side (e.g. applicant, respondent) to represent. This will be randomly assignment, but made to assure that teams will represent each side twice over the entire general round

Teams are expected to plead primarily on private international law issues. Specific instructions shall be provided within the case.
Each round shall be conducted in two segments, in alternating order between the two teams (Applicant, Respondent, Applicant, Respondent). New arguments are allowed to be presented in the second segment.
Per segment each team shall be allowed a total of fifteen (15) minutes to present its oral arguments, including the time needed to answer any questions which may be put to it by the Court and including the time for the rebuttal or surrebuttal. No more than two (2) minutes of this time shall be reserved for rebuttal or surrebuttal.

At the end of each segment, the opposing team may pose questions (maximum 2) to the pleading team. This period is to be kept under five (5) minutes each and shall be moderated by the Court.

The scope of a Counsel's pleadings is not limited to the scope of his/her submitted memorial. The scope of the Applicant's rebuttal is limited to the scope of the Respondent's pleadings proper and the scope of the Respondent's rebuttal is limited to the scope of the Applicant's rebuttal.

Scores of the Oral Arguments are rewarded out of a maximum of 25 points per speaker. Scores are allocated as follows:

a) organization, structure, and analysis of the issues: 5 points;
b) use of facts and legal principles: 5 points
c) use of authorities and citations: 5 points
d) persuasiveness, ingenuity, logic and reasoning: 5 points
e) presentation: 5 points

At the end of each round, the team with the higher total score shall be the winner of that round.

After the general rounds in which each team pleaded 4 times, 4 teams with the highest number of overall wins (on a maximum of 4 wins) shall be selected to participate in the semi-final round. The winners of each semi-final shall then proceed to participate in the final round.

Certificate of Participation
Every participating team will be issued a Certificate of Participation.

Best Written Pleadings Award
The winner of the Best Written Pleadings Award shall be the team having received the highest scores for their written memorial.

Best Oralist Award
The Bench may award a Best Oralist of the Preliminary Round award. The winner of this award shall be the person acting as either claimant or defendant with the highest average individual score in the preliminary round. To be considered for this award, a speaker must argue in at least two pleadings and for at least twelve minutes per pleading, throughout the Competition.

Winning Team
The Winning Team shall be the winning team of the final round. The Winning Team shall receive an award, further information about the award shall be published each year before the competition.

Timetable of the competition
The following is the likely timetable of the competition (which may however undergo some amendments every year).

•Publication of the case: 15 December
•Deadline for Submission of the Memorials: 15 April of the following year
•Completion/Grading of written submission: 15 May
•Oral round in The Hague: 24 and 25 May 2019

Selection criteria for the team of students representing the University of Milan at the Pax Moot
Selection procedure will take place every year between November and December of the year preceeding the official oral hearings’ rounds (usually in May), after the publication of a call on the official website of the University (website of the Faculty; website of the Department of Italian and Supranational Public Law; Unimi facebook page).

Any student wishing to apply for selection must fulfill all of the following generic eligibility criteria:

-enrollment in one of the Faculty of Law’s master’s degree in law courses: Master’s Degree Undergraduate program in Law or LL.M. Master’s Degree Program in Sustainable Development;
-average grade of 28 out of 30. The commission reserves its right to admit candidates who, even disclosing a lower average grade, show particular motivation and attitudes;
-excellent knowledge of written and oral English (possibly certified).

Candidates will be requested to send the following documents:

-CV in English (also including reference to all the relevant extracurricular activities);
-motivation letter (approximately 500 words);
-certified list of exams and grades (SIFA self-certification is admissible);
-optional (but recommended): English certification.

Selection procedure
The evaluating commission will be composed by the coordinator and the Pax Moot Senior Coaches (with possible integrations).
The selection procedure will take place the week following the deadline of the call.
It will consist in written tests in English, as well in an oral colloquium in English.
The outcome of the selection procedure will be communicated to the candidates few days later.

For general information about the competition, please visit the official website of the Pax Moot (https://paxmoot.com/)

For any other information, please contact the coordinator, Prof. Albert Henke, at the following email address: albert.henke@uimi.it

25 febbraio 2019
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