After this course:
- The student can make a link between theory and practice, by identifying the legal issues that are central to a factually and legally complex case;
- The student is able to carry out in-depth legal research on an actual dispute, thereby demonstrating his/her competence in independently applying existing academic knowledge in a sound ethical and methodological manner, to value it, to critically reflect on it, and to systematically process and organise it and use it as basis for legal arguments developed in the memorial;
- The student is able to prepare a written legal brief, thereby demonstrating his/her competence in acquiring in-depth knowledge and understanding of international public law and the application of international law in practice, particularly in the settlement of a particular interstate dispute;
- By defending the argumentation of that brief orally from the perspective of a particular party’s interests (advocacy), the student demonstrates his/her ability to orally communicate in English knowledge, ideas, solutions and conclusions, as well as the arguments, motives and considerations underlying them, to a public of specialists and non-specialists in an understandable, structured, correct and convincing manner;
- The student is able to construct a layered argumentation using several techniques (legal reasoning);
- The student demonstrates his ability to independently and critically analyse and value written or verbal arguments of his/her opponents, by examining the opponent’s arguments in relation to the generally accepted knowledge and understanding of the issue in question;
- The student can reflect on his/her own (professional) performance by taking into account feedback provided by the instructor on a first draft of his/her memorial, and feedback provided by the instructor and fellow-students on his/her performance at the oral pleadings practice sessions;
- The student is able to evaluate and comment on briefs and presentations prepared and delivered by other students (peer-feedback);
- The student is able to conduct research in a small team, and critically reflect on his own contribution to the team (teamwork).
The Moot Court course is designed to offer students with a good basic knowledge of public international law the opportunity to deepen their knowledge through the in-depth and active study of a specific area, problem or current development in public international law.|
The emphasis in the course is upon the active participation of the student.
Students are expected in teams of two – or individually - to “act” as counsel in an actual case pending before the International Court of Justice, Arbitral Tribunal, or a human rights dispute settlement mechanism.
During the course, students will improve both their knowledge and their legal skills in public international law by preparing written memorials, and presenting and defending these orally, as well as by discussing the papers and presentations of their colleagues.
The teaching method used in this course consists of a combination of introductory lectures during the first two weeks of the course, and eight seminar sessions for the oral pleadings and discussions during the last four weeks of the course.
Lectures (plenary meetings)
The first introductory lecture will introduce the students to the structure of the course, and a general analysis is provided plus discussion of the four cases. During the second plenary meeting, the cases will be assigned to the participants (formation of teams) and the work will be divided between the members of the teams. During the third plenary meeting, general instructions on writing the memorials and preparing for the oral pleadings will be given. The fourth plenary meeting is a guest lecture.
Oral pleading sessions (Seminars)
At the second plenary lecture, the participants will be divided into smaller groups for the remainder of the course (the oral pleading sessions). These groups are not the same as the groups mentioned in Osiris. For each case there will be a team representing the Applicant State (team A) and a team representing the Respondent State (team R). Each team will consist of one or two students.
The first two weeks (four meetings in total) will be used to practice the oral pleadings, under the supervision of the working group instructor. During the last two weeks (four meetings in total), the team members of the applicants and respondents will present their oral arguments in two rounds. The judges will interrupt them and ask questions.
As a replacement of this course, a limited number of selected students (about eight) can participate in, and draft memorials for an international moot court competition (Jessup International Law Moot Court and Telders International Law Moot Court). They will receive coaching from UU staff.
Place of this course within the curriculum:
- Compulsory course in master Public International Law
Ingangseisen |Verplicht materiaal|
|Blackstone’s International Law Documents, 11th, 12th or 13th edition|
|J. Crawford, Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law, 8th edition (Oxford University Press, 2012)|
AlgemeenGeneral introduction to the course, the ICJ and the cases; Guest Lecture; Division of the cases/teams, and discussion; Q&A session, plus training on writing memorials and presenting your arguments in oral pleadings.
BeoordelingSubmission of memorial.
BeoordelingSubmission of written comments on other memorials
BeoordelingOral pleadings and performance as judge.