After excellent performances at pre-moots in Milan (second place), Munich and Belgrade, team of students from University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law achieved another great success at the twenty-sixth competition of law students in the field of Arbitration Law and International Commercial Law – Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The competition was held between 12 to 18 April in Vienna. Belgrade team advanced to the final rounds of the oral part of the competition as a 11th best ranked team in the competition of over 370 faculties from more than 85 countries of the world, and our students David Vučinić and Stefan Stanimirović were awarded as one of the best speakers.
Stefan Stanimirovic won an Honorable Mention, won by only 3% of the participants this year, and David Vučinić won the second place (Martin Domke Award – Best Individual Oralists) in the competition of 2,500 participants, with this being the greatest success of the Belgrade team in this part of the competition in the last 17 years of participation. David Vučinić, last year’s winner of the traditional rhetorical competition organized by our faculty, showed that the level of his oral skills is that high not only in his mother tongue but also in English which allowed him to leave thousands of law students from all over the world behind him.
This year’s Belgrade Vis Moot team was constituted of eight students of final and master year of studies: Teodora Vujošević, Mila Đorđević, Una Draganić, Ljubiša Vulić, Matija Savović, Stefan Petrović, Stefan Stanimirović and David Vučinić, while Jelisaveta Boljanović participated in the written phase. As has been the case in the past 16 years, the team was again coached by assistant professor Milena Đorđević, the Manager of the Center for Legal Skills. She had great and unconditional support and help from assistant teacher Uros Živković and PhD and LLM students of our faculty Andrea Nikolić, Milica Arsić, Sara Stojković and Ivana Barać, alongside with former participants of this competition, now lawyers in renowned Belgrade law firms.
The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition consists of resolving one case in the field of Arbitration Law and International Commercial Law. First part of the competition is the written part where teams prepare Memoranda for claimant and respondent. In the second, oral phase of the competition, students model the proceedings before international trade arbitration, arguing before the three-member arbitration panel. In the oral part of the competition in the first four days each team has four performances, two as claimant and two as respondent. After each hearing, each of the three arbitrators evaluates both speakers of one team and at the end of the fourth day, every team gets a place in the rank list on the basis of 24 marks. The best 64 teams are then divided into 32 pairs where they meet in the final rounds, which afterwards continue by order of elimination. Having in mind that there are more than 370 universities competing, a placement in the final rounds is considered to be a great success.
That is why 64 finalists are awarded with an Honorable Mention, which was won by the Belgrade team this year thanks to the great oral performances of David Vučinić, Stefan Stanimirović, Una Draganić, Teodora Vujošević and Stefan Petrović.
Relevant topics this year concerned tribunal’s power and jurisdiction for the adaptation of the contract, the admissibility of evidence obtained by illegal actions according to the HKIAC Rules, as well as the consequences of the changed circumstances on the contract on international sale of goods in accordance with the provisions of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts.
Upon their arrival in Vienna, our students participated in two pre-moots, Pitt Consortium Practice Rounds which took place at the CHSH Law Firm offices and Vavrovsky Heine Marth’s Vis Pre-Moot held in the respected law firm, where they achieved remarkable results. Besides this, our students also had the opportunity to visit the building of the Supreme Court of Austria at the reception organized by CMS International Law Firm, one of the sponsors of the Belgrade team.
In the qualifying phase of the competition, our students met with teams from Germany (University of Marburg), the United States of America (University of California, Berkeley), Saudi Arabia (Dar Al-Hekma University) and Ireland (University of Dublin). Their performances were very well accepted and they showed high level of knowledge outstanding legal abilities in tackling relevant legal issues. The excellent performance throughout these four days provided the team with placement in elimination rounds in which 64 best teams from more than 370 universities were found, with this being a record number of participants in the Vienna competition so far.
Students from Mannheim prevented an even better success of Belgrade students since they were “slightly” better than our students according to the arbitration panel. The winner of the oral rounds of this year’s competition was Penn State University from the United States of America.
According to the number of awards won during the 17 years of participation in this competition, as well as the continuous placement in the final rounds of the competition, the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law is still in the top ten faculties of the world.
On this occasion the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law would once again want to express special gratitude to all institutions and individuals who supported the departure of our students to pre-moots and the final tournament in Vienna with their generous donations, seeing that albeit the hard work, material support presents an important step towards for every success. At the same time, the Faculty of Law wishes to thank all of the professors, lawyers and former members of the Belgrade team who, during the three-month preparations for the oral rounds of this competition, took their time to listen to the arguments of our students and contributed to the high level of legal argumentation presented by the Belgrade team in Vienna.
This year’s team of donors is comprised of companies Energoprojekt, Deloitte Serbia and Intesa Bank, Belgrade Bar Association, as well as the following law offices: Moravčević Vojnović and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr, Karanović & Partners, SOG – Samardžić Oreški Grbović, CMS Belgrade, Harrison Solicitors , BDK Advokati, Wolf Theiss, NKO Partners, MIM, Gecić Law, Joksović Stojanović and Partners, Stankovic and Partners, Tomić Sinđelić Groza, Dokić Repić Gajin, Blečić & Partners, Todorović, Andrić and Milošević, as well as lawyers Srđan Đorđević, Vladimir Hrle, Aleksandar Todorović and Miodrag Jevtić, and Civilian Enforcement Officer Marko Vukicević.