II Belgrade Open Pre-Moot
After an excellent feedback from the last year’s preparation for the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law decided to organize the Belgrade Open Pre-Moot in 2009 as well. This year’s Belgrade rounds took place from 27 to 29 May and gathered 17 teams from 14 countries (New Zealand, Singapore, Russia, United States, Mexico, Spain, Austria, United Kingdom, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Romania, Albania). More than 70 renowned lawyers, practitioners and professors from all over the world (Serbia, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, etc.) served as arbitrators and more than 50 hearings were held in just two days. The Belgrade Open Pre-Moot was a unique opportunity for the public to see how the arbitral proceedings really look like, since a typical arbitration is strictly confidential.
Apart from the Faculty of Law, the organizers of this event were also GTZ Open Regional Fund for South East Europe and the Foreign Trade Court of Arbitration attached to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. The organization of the Pre-Moot was generously supported by the Belgrade City Hall and several law firms: Karanović & Nikolić, CMS Belgrade and Moravčević, Vojnović & Zdravković in cooperation with Schönherr. Assistant Professor Vladimir Pavić and lecturers Milena Đorđević and Uglješa Grušić had the most active role in organizing this event. They were fully supported by the dean and vice-deans of the Faculty and they received a precious help from the students-volunteers led by Dragutin Nenezić, the Master’s course student at our Faculty.
We are particularly proud of the fact that 10 out of 17 teams that took part at the Belgrade Open Pre-Moot qualified for the elimination rounds (top 64 teams) at the Vienna Moot, including the winner of the Moot – Victoria Wellington University. What is more, all the four semi-finalists from the last year’s Vienna Moot participated at this year’s Belgrade Open. These results are the best proof of quality of the Belgrade Pre-Moot. A special acknowledgement of high appreciation for the Belgrade Open Pre-Moot came from UNCITRAL – Belgrade rounds were the only Pre-Moot out of several similar events organized throughout the world which was listed in the CLOUT Bulletin, the official UNCITRAL publication which presents the most important developments in the field of international trade law and commercial arbitration.
The Belgrade Open Pre-Moot was also accompanied by a rich program consisted of various social activities, formal lunches and dinners as well as sightseeing tours. However, one event deserves to be mentioned in particular. It is the reception in the House of Parliament which the Speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Professor Dr. Slavica Đukić-Dejanović, organized for the participants of the Belgrade Open on the last day of the pre-moot. Dr. Đukić-Dejanović welcomed the students, briefly outlined the most important stages of the development and the history of the Serbian Parliament and wished all the best to the teams that will take part at the forthcoming Vienna Moot. She then passed the floor to Dr. Miodrag Jovanović, vice-dean of the Faculty of Law and Dr. Radivoje Petrikić, partner at CMS Belgrade. The host of the evening in the House of Parliament was Marko Jovanović, lecturer at the Faculty of Law.
In the end of the Pre-Moot, the participants highly praised the organization of this event. Our Faculty reaffirmed its commitment to keep the highest standards of legal education and professional training.