Competitions for Law Students
Competitions for Law Students
Attention! In accordance with the decision of the Education Committee of the Faculty of Law of February 7, 2017, applications for grants and financial aid in support of student competition participation will be approved only if team members are selected in a timely, public, and collective manner.
Students of the HSE Faculty of Law actively participate in prestigious Russian and international competitions in which competitors review model litigation and arbitration cases. Generally, participants of the competitions must work in teams to prepare written memoranda or memorials for the claimant and respondent as well as orally present their legal position to a jury. This kind of simulation very quickly became a popular educational tactic in our faculty, as it allows students to gain experience with preparing court documents, develop public speaking skills, learn how to work in team, and improve their English language skills (in the case of international competitions). More detailed information about the most popular competitions for law students, including their formats, key dates, and the language in which they are conducted, is provided below.
Participation in legal competitions qualifies as a form of project work, and written memorials can fulfill term paper or thesis requirements in accordance with the relevant Regulations of the HSE Faculty of Law.
Our students regularly win competitions in Russia and abroad, rank amongst the best teams, and also win various awards, which you can read more about in the section, ‘Noteworthy Achievements of Our Students’.
Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (The Jessup)
The Jessup is the oldest and one of the most prestigious competitions in the world for law students. Law student teams present oral and written pleadings in a hypothetical legal dispute between nations in the International Court of Justice of the United Nations. The simulation addresses timely issues of public international law, and the competition is held worldwide by the International Law Students Association (ILSA).
In 2016, more than 500 teams from roughly 80 countries, including students of more than 40 Russian universities, took part in the competition.
The competition consists of two stages: in the first stage, participants prepare written positions for each hypothetical side, and in the second stage, they present their oral arguments. Each stage is held both at the national and international levels. The working language of all stages at all levels is English.
The first stage (written) begins immediately after the publication of the hypothetical dispute (usually in September). Teams of no more than five people have until January to prepare a legal position in the case for each party in the dispute, that is, both for the ‘Applicant’ state and the ‘Respondent’ state.
In January-February of each year, Jessup Week is held in Russia. During this time, law student teams from all over Russia compete in oral rounds in a simulated International Court of Justice. Each team presents its oral argument in at least four rounds, alternating between the role of plaintiff and defendant before a panel of three judges who are specialists in international law (legal practitioners, leading foreign scholars, etc.). Over the course of the oral rounds, the strongest teams are determined. Two teams then advance to the final round to compete for the title of national champion.
The winning Russian teams then represent Russia in international rounds held annually in Washington, USA in March-April, where the Jessup world champion is determined.
The HSE team selection process begins place annually in late April-early May and consists of several stages. At the beginning (in April-May), applicants must write a trial memorial and undergo an interview. Several candidates are then selected from the applicant pool for an intensive preparatory course on international law, which prepares them for the competition as part of the Jessup Inter-University Summer School in Moscow. Then, in late August-early September, the team members are selected directly. The HSE Faculty of Law team has represented Russia in the international rounds and won prizes in Russian rounds numerous times.
In 2016, the HSE Faculty of Law team became national champions when they took first place in the Russian rounds. After advancing to the international rounds as Russia’s representative, they placed amongst the top twenty teams in the world. The HSE team included law students Anastasia Rozeeva (recognized as one of the ten best speakers in Russia), Polina Klipova (who received the title of best speaker in Russia), Vasily Bakumenko, Daria Kotova, and Vladimir Kotsov. The team was coached by Emil Shagiakhmetov, an alumnus the HSE Faculty of Law (2014).
More information about the competition can be found on the competition website.
Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot
This competition is dedicated to the legal regulation of foreign direct investment. It is one of the very first competitions in this field for law students in all countries of the world.
The language of the competition is English. While participating in the competition, students hone a range of skills as they prepare legal documents and oral presentations in English, study complex legal issues, work in a team, and deepen their knowledge of international investment law and international arbitration.
In the competition, participants analyze a hypothetical case related to the investment of a private investor in a foreign host state. The competition lasts for approximately 7 months each year and includes two stages: writing a memorial for the claimant and respondent, and oral presentations based on the memorials. A case is published annually in February-March. In September, prepared memorials are submitted to the organizers. Oral rounds take place in late October-early November.
The winner of the final round is the team that receives the most points in the oral rounds. Team scores include oral hearing scores as well as points scored on the written memorials. In addition to the highest ranked team, judges recognize the ten best orators as well as the writers of the best claimant and respondent memorials.
Since its foundation in 2008, the competition has been held sequentially in Boston (USA), Frankfurt am Main (Germany), Malibu, California (USA), and London (Great Britain). In 2016, the competition was held in Buenos Aires (Argentina). The competition is administered by the Center for International Legal Studies (CILS) (Salzburg).
The HSE team has been participating in the competition since 2015.
For more information, visit the competition website.
Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court Competition (FIAMC)
The Frankfurt International Investment Arbitration Competition is a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce litigation model and is one of the most prestigious investment arbitration competitions that brings together students, legal scholars, and practicing lawyers from all over the world.
Investment arbitration is growing rapidly and becoming more and more important in today’s world. Students who participate in the FIAMC deepen their theoretical knowledge of international investment protection and improve their litigation skills in international commercial arbitration.
This competition is supported by the University of Frankfurt am Main. The working language of the competition is English.
Participation in the competition consists of 2 stages: a written part and the oral hearing.
The written part is markedly different in format from other models, since it includes writing a plan of legal positions of the Claimant and Respondent (Skeleton Arguments), rather than an entire memorial.
Oral hearings take place over the course of a week in Frankfurt (University of Frankfurt am Main and Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Commerce and Industry) before leading scholars and practitioners of investment arbitration.
Teams can register from September 1 to December 15. Oral stages take place in March.
HSE University first participated in this model in 2016.
You can find more detailed information here.
The Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot
This is one of the most prestigious international competitions in commercial arbitration and the application of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods of 1980. The competition brings together not only students from all over the world, but also leading theoreticians and practitioners of international commercial arbitration. The competition is held by the universities of Vienna and Hong Kong under the auspices of the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
This model gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in team, deepen their knowledge of international commercial arbitration, and improve their oral speaking skills.
The competition is held in English.
The competition consists of 3 stages: in the first two stages, participants prepare a written statement of the legal position (memorandum) on procedural and substantive issues on behalf of the claimant and the respondent (the case is published in October, memoranda are delivered in December and January). The last stage of the competition is held in Vienna and Hong Kong in the form of a moot court session (in March-April).
The HSE Faculty of Law team has been participating in this competition since 2009.
In 2014, one of the team members was recognized as one of the best speakers at the pre-stage in Moscow. In 2016, the HSE team took 3rd place and became the best Russian team on the pre-charge of this model in Moscow.
Teams are coached by M.L. Galperin as well as trainers E. Mazetova, T. Murzabaeva, E. Dauletshina.
Since 2015, the Faculty of Law has offered an ‘International Commercial Arbitration Workshop’ for students who are interested in joining the HSE team and participating in the competition.
You can find more detailed information here.
Annual RAA Online Arbitration Student Competition
Since 2016, the annual RAA student competition for online arbitration has been held in Moscow. The competition is organized by the Arbitration Association (RAA), RAA25, and the HSE University Faculty of Law.
The competition aims to teach students practical skills in doing business in online arbitration.
Shortly before the competition, a conference is held on the issue of online arbitration. The conference features talks by experts in the field of international arbitration, partners of leading law firms, international arbitrators, and scholars.
The student recognized as best speaker in the competition receives a summer internship at a leading law firm in Russia.
The competition is held on the basis of a case prepared by the RAA in accordance with the RAA Online Arbitration Rules of October 1, 2015. Preliminary rounds are held in late April, and oral presentations are conducted in late August at the Faculty of Law. Thanks to the RAA online arbitration system, teams of Russian and foreign universities can participate in the preliminary rounds via video conference.
The HSE team has been participating in the competition since 2016.
All information about the competition, including the registration form, regulations and materials of the study case, is available on the competition website and Facebook
Competition on International Trade Law and International Commercial Arbitration - ICC Lex Mercatoria
The ICC Lex Mercatoria is an annual international student competition in international commercial law and international commercial arbitration held at the Belarusian State University. The competition is organized by the International Arbitration Court International Chamber of Commerce (Paris), the International Arbitration Court at the BelCCI, and the Russian National Committee of ICC (ICC Russia). The competition is held in Minsk.
The purpose of the ICC Lex Mercatoria competition is to promote the study of international private law, as well as to popularize international commercial arbitration as an alternative way to resolve commercial disputes in light of actively developing international economic relations and the high need for an effective instrument for resolving legal conflicts. Participants of the competition develop skills of representing parties’ interests in international commercial arbitration, interpreting and applying the rule of law, and formulating and expressing their legal position before the international composition of arbitrators.
The competition consists of two stages: a written memorandum and an oral hearing. The language of the competition is Russian.
Students from the HSE Faculty of Law participated in the competition for the first time in 2014. At the III International Student Competition on International Trade Law and International Commercial Arbitration ICC Lex Mercatoria, which was held from November 28 to December 1, 2014 in Minsk, the HSE team reached the final round and took 2nd place.
The IV International Student Competition in International Commercial Law and International Commercial Arbitration ICC Lex Mercatoria was held from November 28 to 30, 2015. In the international competition, the HSE-Skolkova team were recognized in three nominations: ‘Debut of the Year’, ‘Best Claimant Memorandum’ (3rd place) and ‘Best Respondent Memorandum’ (3rd place).
You can find more information about the competition at the following link.
European Human Rights Moot Court Competition
This is a competition for law students, which simulates a trial in the European Court of Human Rights based on the norms of the European Convention on Human Rights. The competition is held by the European Association of Law Students (ELSA) with the support of the ECHR, the Council of Europe, and the European Human Rights Association (EHRA).
The competition gives students the opportunity to study the application of the provisions of the European Convention in the ECHR, explore problematic issues in the field of human rights protection, gain experience giving oral presentation in the courtroom, and compete against the best teams in the world for first place. The competition is conducted in English.
The competition consists of two stages: writing memoranda (from September to November) and oral hearings (in early February in Strasbourg). The written memoranda are an example of a complaint to the ECHR and an answer to it. The main distinction of this model is that not all teams advance to the oral round; only the 16 teams worldwide whose memoranda receive the most points go on to the oral round. An oral round is held in Strasbourg, and rounds are held in the buildings of the Council of Europe and the ECHR. Students may participate in this competition only once.
Members of the winning team each receive an internship with the ECHR.
Team coach: Anita Soboleva
To become a team member, applicants must submit a written trial memorandum and pass an interview. Team members are selected annually in late September.
The HSE Faculty of Law team has been participating in this competition since 2014. Both times the team advanced to the final round of the competition, which is held in Strasbourg.
More information can be found here.
International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition
This competition in international criminal law simulates an International Criminal Court trial.
The Russian-language model is held annually by HSE University with the participation of the International Criminal Court and the Russian National Branch of the International Association of Criminal Law. The organization of the model is supported by the Regional Organization of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Moscow and the Russian Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The model’s information partner is International Justice Magazine.
The language of the competition is Russian. (In addition to the national model, an international model in English is also held).
The competition is held in 3 stages. In the first stage, participants prepare 3 written memoranda by the prosecution, representatives of the state and victims (the case is published in November, and the memoranda must be submitted in March). In the second stage, participants compete in the national oral hearings, which are held at HSE in late April. In late May, he third and final stage of the competition is held at The Hague, where the three best teams present their arguments to the judges of the International Criminal Court.
The Higher School of Economics has been participating in this competition since 2013. In 2014, the team of the HSE Faculty of Law took second place at the final stage of the competition in The Hague, and in 2015, the HSE team were the International Criminal Court model champions.
The team’s permanent coach is Vera Rusinova, and former team members Irina Osmankina and George Tyulyaev also serve as trainers.
More information can be found here.
Noteworthy Achievements of Our Students
On April 22, 2016, the HSE team took second place in the final round of the 19th F.F. Martens International Humanitarian Law Competition.
The competition was organized by the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Moldova. This year 15 teams from Russia, Belarus and Armenia participated in the competition.
ICRC members, as well as professors and scholars in international law from Russia and the CIS, served as judges at the Competition.
The HSE Faculty of Law team, which included second-year undergraduate students Liliya Belfer and Baira Bembeeva and third-year undergraduate student Evgeniy Puchkov, took second place in the competition. The winners in the final stage, which was a moot of the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, were the team of MITSO International University (Minsk, Republic of Belarus).
A unique feature of the competition is that it tests not just competitors’ legal skills but their ability to tackle a variety of improvisational tasks. Participants must substantiate their positions in addition to choosing the right practical approach to each challenge. Within the practical rounds, participants represent ICRC delegates, which allows them to experience the organization’s work ‘from the inside’. For example, in one of the assignments, participants had to gain access to the prisoners on their own by persuading a security guard to let them in, and then conduct a confidential meeting with the prisoners. Another practical task involved accompanying humanitarian aid through a warzone checkpoint: the participants had to convince one of the warring sides to let them convey aid to the other. Such tasks require creative thinking.
The 2019 competition was based on the famous Star Wars saga, though it did not fully follow the plot of the movies. One state was trying to suppress protests on its territory, which was populated by an ethnic minority oppressed by the government. The conflict was compounded when a neighboring state actively sided with the minority. The situation changed several times a day.
The HSE team is grateful to Professor Vera Rusinova of the Department of International Public and Private Law, as well as the members of the previous year's HSE team, Varlamov Yuri, Geghamova Alina, and Kiseleva Olga, for their guidance.
Read more about the F. F. Martens Competition on the ICRC Regional Delegation website.
On April 15, 2016, at the M.G. Rosenberg Competition for International Commercial Arbitration, the HSE Faculty of Law team was recognized for ‘best memorandum’.
The arbitrators of the ICAC at the RF CCI who are experienced Russian and foreign practicing lawyers, as well as professors and scholars of procedural law and international commercial arbitration, served as arbitrators at the competition.
Third-year undergradautes and HSE Faculty of Law team members Darya Vasilyeva, Katerina Nuzhdova, Alexander Tombak, and Anton Shagalov took first place in the ‘Respondent's Best Memorandum’ nomination field.
The team was coached by Oksana Oleinik, Doctor of Law and Professor in the Department of Civil and Entrepreneurial Law at the HSE Faculty of Law, as well as Anna Kozmenko, Senior Lawyer in dispute resolution practice at the international law firm Schellenberg Wittmer.
Read more about the M.G. Rosenberg Competition on the competition page of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development website.
On April 6, 2016, HSE Faculty of Law master’s students won the nomination for ‘Best Memorandum for Claimant’ in the First International Student Competition in Private International Law and International Commercial Arbitration of the International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court competition.
This competition aims to promote the study of private international law and popularize international commercial arbitration as an alternative way to resolve commercial disputes. The 2016 case concerned compensation for losses and liability limitation in cross-border oilfield service contracts. The Higher School of Economics was represented by a team of students of the master's programme in Private International Law: Natalya Andreeva, Anna Derbak, Anna Romanova, and Dmitry Shunaev. The team's coach was Irina Viktorovna Getman-Pavlova, Associate Professor and Candidate of Legal Sciences.
On April 7, 2016, winners of the 1st All-Russian Youth Research Paper Competition in Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law IP&IT LAW were recognized. Chief among them was second-year student Anton Blinov of the HSE Faculty of Law, who won first place.
The competition is jointly organized by Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL), the Coordination Center for TLD RU/РФ, and IP CLUB with the support of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology, and Communications; the Ministry of Telecom; and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation and ICC Russia.
The competition received submissions from all over Russia. Research papers had to speak to a topic related to online regulation. In his paper entitled, ‘The Internet: A Compromise Between Copyright Protection and the Use of Copyrighted Materials’, Anton examined copyright issues on the web.
For the project, Anton conducted a large-scale sociological survey of more than one thousand people. Professor Svetlana Kokina of the Department of Civil and Business Law served as his research advisor.
Students of Kazan Federal University and Lomonosov Moscow State University took second and third places, respectively. The winners of the Competition were awarded valuable prizes provided by the the Coordination Center for TLD RU/РФ. Publications of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) were given to the ICC Russia Competition winners as commemorative gifts.
Winners also received certificates from the STATUT School of Law that allow them to take courses of their choice free of charge at the School.
On February 28, 2016, in the Moscow stage of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, HSE Faculty of Law ranked highest among all Russian teams.
The Moscow stage of the competition, or the Moscow pre-stage, aims to prepare teams for the main event, which is held in Vienna and Hong Kong. The Moscow Pre-Moot provides an opportunity for teams from different countries to try their hand at the competition and guage how prepared they are. Experts from leading foreign and Russian law firms, as well as teachers and researchers in the field of procedural law and international commercial arbitration, serve as arbitrators in the rounds. This year, a record number of foreign teams and referees took part in the event, including those from the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany, Serbia, and Switzerland.
HSE Law fourth-year students Valeria Grebenkova, Elena Izotova, Alexandra Skiba, and Daniil Vlasenko placed highest amongst the teams representing Russian universities (including Moscow State University, RUDN University, MGIMO, Moscow State Law Academy, Russian Academy of Sciences, and St. Petersburg State University), and took third place overall, placing under the teams of the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and the University of Passau (Germany).
The team received guidance and training from professors, practicing lawyers, and graduates of the HSE Faculty of Law, many of whom had participated in past competitions. Coaches included Mikhail Galperin, Elena Mazetova, Elsa Dauletshina, and Tatyana Murzabaeva.
The team thanks the HSE Faculty of Law, the Olevinsky Buyukyan and Partners Law Bureau, ALRUD, and Delcredere Law Firms for the financial support, as well as the lawyers of Kulkov, Kolotilov & Partners and Baker & McKenzie for their help in preparing for the competition.
Learn more about the Willem C. Vis competition and the history of the HSE team's participation in it at vishse.com
In early February 2016, students of the HSE Faculty of Law competed for the first time in the 11th International Mediation Competition organized by the International Chamber of Commerce.
Organized by the International Chamber of Commerce, the 11th International Mediation Competition was held in Paris in early February. 66 teams from around the world participated in the competition, and of these, two were from Russia, including the HSE team.
HSE was represented by Polina Klipova (1st-year student of the master's programme), who was recognized as the best speaker in Russia at the competition; Anastasia Rozeeva (4th-year undergraduate student), one of the ten best speakers of the country; Vasily Bakumenko (4th-year undergraduate student); Daria Kotova (3rd-year undergraduate student); and Vladimir Koscov (2nd-year undergraduate student). HSE Faculty of Law alumnus Emil Shagiakhmetov (2014) served as team coach.
The Philip Jessup Competition is one of the largest competitions for law students in the world with over 500 teams from 80 countries participating in it annually. Russian rounds of the competition have been held in Russia since 2002. Students compete in a court case in the UN International Court of Justice in English, presenting documents and preparing oral presentations on international public law in the context of a hypothetical interstate dispute. This year 43 Russian universities took part in the competition.
The teams of the Higher School of Economics and MGIMO met in the final round of the competition - they had to deal with a case related to the legality of using mass tracking programmes and the international legal consequences of cyber-attacks. After a two-hour meeting, the competition judges, Michael Wood (member of the UN International Law Commission), Marko Milanovic (Professor at the University of Nottingham and Vice President of the European Society of International Law) and Bashak Chali (Professor at Koch University in Istanbul and General Secretary of the European Society of International Law), unanimously delivered their verdict in favor of the HSE team.
‘I suppose that the key components of these kinds of competitions are patience, perseverance, and a well-coordinated team, since without these things, it is virtually impossible to give a strong performance,’ says Vasily Bakumenko. ‘The Jessup provides many opportunities and widens students’ professional networks; it opens up a whole new world, but most importantly, it allows you to feel as part of something bigger.’
Ksenia Kapranova, a graduate of the Nizhny Novgorod campus of the HSE, who trained the university teams for three years, received a special award for her contribution to the development of the Jessup competition. In 2015, she died of cancer, and in 2016, the national administration of the Jessup competition ranamed the award for competition contribution in her honour.
As Russia’s national champions, HSE students represented Russia in the international rounds of the Philip Jessup Competition in Washington in March-April 2016.
On January 19, 2016, at the HSE Faculty of Law, an award ceremony was held for the winners of the 2015 Student Research Competition in Jurisprudence.
The host of the award ceremony for the 2015 Student Research Competition, Yulia Burmistrova, noted that out of 966 applications submitted to the Competition in 2015 in 18 areas, 72 of them were from law students.
Konstantin Kudryashov, Head of the Department for Work with Upperclassmen at Consultant Plus presented the winners their awards.
All winners of the competition received the opportunity to upload their work to the Consultant Plus website in the Student Research Work section, which is publicly accessible.
On November 30, 2015, students of the HSE Faculty of Law took 3rd place in two categories in the IV International Student Competition in International Trade Law and International Commercial Arbitration ICC Lex Mercatoria.
On November 28-30, 2015, the IV International Student Competition in International Trade Law and International Commercial Arbitration ICC Lex Mercatoria was held at the Law Faculty of Belarusian State University (Minsk). Fourth-year HSE students A. Dmitrieva, A. Shestakova, N. Lushch, and D. Lipovtseva took the honourable III place in the nominations for ‘Best Memorandum for Respondent’ and ‘Best Memorandum for Respondent’.
ICC Lex Mercatoria is an annual international competition for students of international commercial law and arbitration. In the competition, student teams must solve a training case prepared by the International Arbitration Court of the ICC based on the ICC Arbitration Rules, other ICC documents, as well as ICC International Arbitration Court practices. The ICC Lex Mercatoria International Student Competition promotes international commercial arbitration as an alternative way to resolve commercial disputes.
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