Great success of our students at the “Arbitration Olympics” in Vienna
After being twice awarded runner-up at Pre-Moots in Rome and Moscow, as well as having achieved excellent results at non-competitive pre-moots in Ljubljana and Belgrade, the students of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law had a great success advancing to the round of 16 in oral roudns, in the tough competition including 311 teams from 66 countries all over the world, at the XXIII annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, which took place form 18 to 24 March 2016 in Vienna. Besides that, our team won two Honorable Mentions, one for the best Memorandum for Respondent and one for the best individual speaker. It is particularly worth mentioning that the University of Belgrade and faculties from Germany (Bucerius Law School, University of Mainz and Heidelberg University) and Great Britain (Honourable Society of the Middle Temple) are the only law schools from Europe that qualified for the round of 16. Our Faculty is also one of the seven teams in round of 16, that was comes from a country where English is not a native language. We left behind us almost 300 universities from 66 countries, including the teams from Harvard, Stanford, NYU, Cambridge, Freiburg, Munich, Leiden, Sorbonne, MGIMO, Ottawa, Wellington, King’s College, LSE, Arhus and others that had very great success in the past years.
The students who represented the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law this year are: Petar Mišković, Jelena Todić, Filip Šušuić, Dušan Aleksić and Milica Arsić. Branko Janković, Jelena Đorđević, Marko Živanović, Jelelna Jelić and Jovana Zec participated in the preparation of the memoranda. The team was coached by Professors Vladimir Pavić and Milena Djordjević. They were assisted by the lecturers Marko Jovanović and Uroš Živković, and many other colleagues from the Faculty and renowned law firms who dedicated their time to hearing our students and gave them useful comments and suggestions on how to improve their performance.
The Willem C. Vis Moot consists in solving a hypothetical problem dealing with arbitration and international sale of goods. This year’s problem involved the following issues: document production, recovery of attorneys’ fees incurred in pre-arbitration proceedings as damages under Art 74 CISG and calculation of lost profit by the profits breaching party has gained as a consequence of the breach (disgorgement of profits).
The Moot consists of two parts. The first one is preparation and submission of written memoranda prior to the oral hearings. There are two memoranda to be written: one for the Claimant, the other for the Respondent. The writing of these memoranda usually takes about five months. The second one is presentation of oral arguments before a three-member arbitration panel. During the qualification rounds each team has four hearings, appearing both on behalf of claimant and respondent for two times. At each hearing, each speaker is graded by each of the three arbitrators. In the end of the fourth day of qualifications, each team has 24 grades and the ranking list of all the participating teams is drawn. The best 64 teams are then divided into 32 pairs and they proceed to elimination rounds.
During the qualification rounds our students competed against the teams from the following universities: Dr. Ambdkar Government Law College and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (India), Kyoto University (Japan) and Monash University (Australia). Great performance of our team reserved them a place in the round of 64 in the competition of the 311 teams that participated in this “Arbitration Olympics”.
In the elimination rounds, that took place on 22 and 23 March 2016 at the Faculty of Law in Vienna, our students met with the teams of the University of Queensland (round of 64) and Charles University (round of 32). Finally, our students pleaded in the round of 16 against University of Georgia, which has put a stop to their further advancement in the oral rounds. The winner of the oral round at XIII Vis Moot was University of Buenos Aires, from Argentina, making itself the forth winner in the past 23 years coming from outside the English speaking countries.
Along with the achievement in the oral rounds, on the closing ceremony the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law received 2 honorable mentions: one in the competition for the best individual oralist (Filip Šušulić, whose average grade was higher than 45 in the scale between 25 and 50) and the best Memorandum for Respondent.
The team of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law also enjoyed a large support in Vienna, since many of our colleagues who used to participate in the moot and who work today in law firms that provide financial assistance to our team came to Vienna and attended oral arguments.
The University of Belgrade Faculty of Law uses this opportunity to express gratitude to all the institutions and individuals who helped the preparation of our students through their generous donations. Apart from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, the pool of this year’s sponsors consists of: Energoprojekt Holding, Deloitte, Yumex System doo, and the following law firms: Karanović-Nikolić, SOG, Moravčević, Vojnović and partners in cooperation with Schoenherr, Wolf Theiss, CMS Belgrade, Harrison Solicitors, Nikolić-Kokanović-Otašević, Joksović Stojanović i partneri, Tomić Sinđelić Groza, Gecić, Janković Popović Mitić, Stanković i partneri, MIM, Baklaja Igrić Tintor, Blečić and partners, LALIN, Andrić, attorney Srđan Đorđević, attorney Hrle.