Law students win another accolade

Law students win another accolade

15 Apr 2009

Students at La Trobe University’s School of Law have added another accolade to their growing list of achievements by being the only Australian Law team to reach the semi-finals of the annual Willem C. Vis (East) International Arbitration Moot held in Hong Kong from the 23-29 March.

Latrobe-Vis-Team-09StandardThe students competed in a simulated court proceeding (moot) against 500 students from 64 universities across the globe.  In the general rounds the team battled against a number of the world’s leading universities including Harvard and Freiburg, before proudly taking joint third place.  Other Australian university contenders included Monash, Deakin, Griffith and Bond.

The School of Law’s team consisted of five students four of whom are pictured in the photo above, (from left to right): Konstantine Ketsetzis, Michelle Ward, Daniel Diaz, Cara Foot (absent Paul Romas).

“Reaching the semi-finals of this international competition is part of a very successful start to the year for the School of Law, with our law students winning the prestigious Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot in Germany earlier in the year,” said Head of the School of Law, Professor Jianfu Chen.

“Our students were also recognised for their excellent advocacy with Daniel Diaz receiving an honourable mention throughout the competition and Cara Foot receiving a special mention in the semi-finals,” he added.
Fourth year Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws student, Daniel Diaz, (21), from North Fitzroy said that preparing for the moot was  an “amazing journey” for the whole team.  

“We are really proud that we came in joint third having prepared as a team for over five months.  I’ve gained some amazing advocacy and negotiation skills, and have had the opportunity to participate in oral arguments in front of some of Melbourne’s top law firms in the lead up to the competition.  As a group we would like to thank the team of staff that made this happen for us, with a special thanks to our coach Magda Karagiannakis,” said Daniel.

Definition of moot court:Moot court is an extracurricular activity at many law schools in which participants take part in simulated court proceedings, usually to include drafting briefs and participating in oral argument. The term derives from Anglo Saxon times, when a moot (gmot or emot) was a gathering of prominent men in a locality to discuss matters of local importance.  Moot court does not involve actual testimony by witnesses or the presentation of evidence, but is focused solely on the application of the law to a common set of evidentiary assumptions to which the competitors must be introduced.

Goal of the Vis Arbitral Moot: The goal of the Vis Moot is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes through its application to a concrete problem of a client, and to train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution.

Structure of the Moot: The business community's marked preference for resolving international commercial disputes by arbitration is the reason this method of dispute resolution was selected.  Law students participate in two crucial phases: the writing of memoranda for both claimant and respondent, and the hearing of oral argument based upon the memoranda - both judged by a panel of arbitration experts.  The exercises concern questions of contract - flowing from a transaction relating to the sale and purchase of goods under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and other uniform international commercial law – in the context of an arbitration of a dispute under specified Arbitration Rules.

For interviews or further information please contact:
Andrea Jones
Marketing Manager, Faculty of Law and Management
Tel:  + 61 3 9479 1604 / 0404 947 893




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