Willem C. Vis Moot Court (7 EC)

The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is the world's largest moot court competition in the field of commercial law. In 1993, 11 universities from 9 countries took part in the first Vis Moot. Nowadays, the Willem C. Vis Moot has become a very large event: in 2022, 365 teams from 84 jurisdictions participated in the third Virtual Vis Moot Court. The Moot is organized by Pace Law School, New York under the auspices of UNCITRAL, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

International arbitration

The Vis Moot is a mock arbitration, where students represent the parties to an international commercial dispute. The applicable law on the merits is the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980 (CISG). The case gives rise to both procedural and substantive issues. The goal of the Moot is to promote the knowledge of arbitration as a method of solving disputes and the study and application of the CISG in international trade.

First phase: memorandum for claimant

On 7 October 2022 the problem will be published on the website of the Willem C. Vis Moot Court(verwijst naar een andere website). With the publication of the problem, the first phase will begin and the students will write the memorandum for claimant. The deadline for this memorandum is 8 December 2022. Afterwards, the students will receive the memorandum for claimant drafted by another university. The team will now ‘switch roles’ and represent the respondent, drafting another memorandum. The memorandum for respondent is due on 26 January 2023.

Second phase: how to plead a case

After the memoranda have been handed in, the second (oral) phase of the Vis Moot will begin. The students will acquire the skills needed to plead a case and learn how to structure an argument and how to best present it in an oral argument. To this end, the team of Radboud University will take part in ‘pre-moots’ in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. Pre-moots are essentially practice rounds, where the students are able to rehearse their pleadings and compare their preparation with the progress of other teams.

In April, the team will travel to Vienna. In Vienna, all participating teams come together and argue the case that they have been working on for the past months.

The arbitrators in Vienna are academics as well as professionals practicing as arbitrators and/or counsel. Social events are organized throughout the week, during which you get the chance to meet law students and practitioners from across the globe. The Moot will be concluded with an ‘awards banquet' and prizes will be awarded to the best pleaders, the best memorandum, and of course the winning team.

Unique experience

The Willem C. Vis Moot Court offers a truly unique experience. Participation gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge in international commercial law and international arbitration and to acquire skills in legal English and advocacy. Many Moot students secure internships at leading international law firms and start a career in the fascinating world of arbitration: the Vis Moot is, effectively, a great head start on your legal career. Furthermore, it will be inspiring to meet students from all over the world and learn from their legal culture. The Vis Moot is a very valuable experience for a student with an international focus or ambition, be it practical or academic.

More information

Would you like to know how to participate in the Radboud University team? Go to participation.