Success of the Belgrade University Team at the European Law Moot Court Competition

Success of the Belgrade University Team at the European Law Moot Court Competition

The Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade for the first time took part in the most prestigious international moot court competition in the EU law – European Law Moot Court Competition (ELMC). The Competition was held for the 25th time this year.

The competition represents a simulation of process before the European Court of Justice and it has three stages. The competition is bilingual. Contestants are expected to present their arguments and answer questions in both English and French. In the first stage, all the teams submit their written memorials for applicant and defendant. More than 120 teams participated in this stage. This phase is eliminatory. On the basis of the quality of their memorials, 48 teams were selected to compete in the regional finals. Four regional finals are held each year at different universities around the world. This year’s regional finals took place in Lund, Leiden, Neuchâtel and Brussels. There were 12 teams in each regional final and only the winners proceed to the final part of the competition. The final stage is the All European Finals, which is held each year in Luxembourg, in the premises of the European Court of Justice. Each team has three oralists, the applicant, the defendant and the third team member taking the role of a European Commission representative or an advocate-general. Which role will a team member will play is decided by lot. Third contestant competes and can proceed to next rounds independently of the rest of the team.

The Belgrade University team qualified to regional finals on the basis of their written submissions. Regional finals took place in Brussels from 28th February to 2nd March. All 12 teams had three qualification rounds. Based on their result, four teams (applicants and defendants) and four Commission Representatives proceeded to elimination rounds. A member of the Belgrade University team competing in the category of Commission Representative, Vanja Djuricic, qualified for the semifinals. Moreover, in her category, this actually represented the last round. It was decided on the basis of this round which of the four contestants will proceed to the All European Finals in Luxembourg.

The Competition organizers and judges commended our team for what represents an exceptional result for a debutant team. Furthermore, the success of our team is even greater if we take into account that only our team members were undergraduate students, while all the other teams consisted of students taking master courses in the EU law.

The main legal issues at the competition were, inter alia, the application of the EU law in the field of protection of the competition, conflict of international agreements concluded by the Member States prior to their accession to the EU with the EU law, characteristics a body must have in order to be considered a court or a tribunal in the sense of the EU law, as well as the issue of the duty of certain judicial instances to request preliminary ruling of the ECJ for interpretation of certain norms of the EU law.

Travel, accommodation and participation fee was fully covered by the Delegation of the EU in the Republic of Serbia. Such a significant result would have never been achieved without their generous support. We use this opportunity to express them again our sincere gratitude.

The team members of the Belgrade University were Dejan Vulovic, Vanja Djuricic, Minja Djokic and Sonja Radovic. The team was coached by Vuk Cucic.