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III International Student Contest in International Commercial Arbitration Took Place in Minsk

ICC Lex mercatoria arbitration moot winners

On 29 November—1 December 2014, ICC Lex Mercatoria — the III International Students’ Contest in International Trade Law and International Commercial Arbitration hosted by the Law Faculty of the Belarusian State University — took place in Minsk.

The Aims of the Competition

ICC Lex Mercatoria, the annual international students contest in Belarus, every year attracts more participants, including not only students but also practitioners. Similar widely known international moots (named after Willem Vis, Philip Jessup, B. Tedlers) are aimed at teaching law students to apply their knowledge in a specific case and to a model trial by international commercial arbitration.

The goal of the ICC Lex Mercatoria contest is to stimulate the study of international private law and to popularise international commercial arbitration as an alternative means of settlement of commercial disputes in light of intensified international economic relations and high demand for efficient tools to settle legal conflicts. This educational event is held in the form of a training arbitration session which is realistic to the maximum extent possible.

The 2014 Contest

The formal opening of the contest took place at the III International Students’ Forum in International Trade Law and International Commercial Arbitration – ICC Lex Mercatoria on 28 November 2014. The main topic of the forum was “Bank Guarantees and State Purchases in International Trade and International Commercial Arbitration”.

16 student teams from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Armenia, their coaches and contest referees took part in this large event dedicated to the problems of bank guarantees, international trade arbitration and state purchases with the participation of foreign subjects. The forum gathered the leading representatives of this sphere from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, France and the UK.

For the following three days (29 November–1 December 2014) student teams competed in the settlement of a study case both on the part of the claimant and the defendant. Specially invited referees assessed preliminary oral, semifinal and final hearings (rounds).

Materials of several real ICC International Arbitration Court cases formed the basis of the contest case — a dispute between the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus and Stroimontazh LLC regarding a construction contract secured by a performance guarantee. The dispute concerned the rules of consideration in international arbitration. The facts and legal issues of the case study were deliberately rather complex in order to give the students an opportunity to discuss and solve a difficult legal task.

Participants had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge of arbitration procedure and provisions of international trade law. The work was conducted in Russian on the basis of the Arbitration Regulations of the ICC (2012) and other ICC documents, as well as the practice of the ICC International Arbitration Court. Each team had prepared in advance and sent its opponents the claimant’s and the defendant’s memoranda with the stipulation of the procedural and material legal position.

During the oral hearings teams presented their arguments regarding the dispute, participated in the oral arguments, asked each other questions and answered the qualifying questions of the referees. An international team of arbiters provided the refereeing of each oral hearing of the parties. They were the representatives of the ICC International Arbitration Court (Paris), referees of the International Arbitration Court of the Belarusian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, team coaches and lawyers of international and national law firms.

At the end of the hearings, the teams received practical advice from the referees on improvement of the selected legal position and public speaking skills.

The 2014 Winners 

As a result, the places were distributed as follows:

I place and the winner’s cup went to the team of All-Russian Foreign Trade Academy.

II place went to the team of the Law Faculty of Belarusian State University.   

III place was divided by the teams of Moscow State Law University named after O.E. Kutafin (MSLU) and Perm State National Research University.

In the nomination “Best Claimant’s Memorandum”:

I place — team of the Law Institute of the Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship.

II place — team of Kiev National University named after T. Shevchenko.

III place — team of the All-Russian Foreign Trade Academy.    

In the nomination “Best Defendant’s Memorandum”:

I place — team of Moscow State Law University named after O.E. Kutafin (MSLU).

II place — team of the All-Russian Foreign Trade Academy.

III place — team of Kiev National University named after T. Shevchenko.

In the nomination “Best Speaker”:

I place — student of Moscow State Law University named after O.E. Kutafin (MSLU) Anastasia Lutsenko.

II place — student of  the Law Institute of the Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship Anastasia Chumanova.

III place — student of Moscow State Law University named after O.E. Kutafin (MSLU) Olesia Zasemkova.

Diploma “Debut of the Year” went to the teams of Erevan State University, Caspian Public University and Magadan Branch of Moscow State Law University named after O.E. Kutafin (MSLU).

Certificate for two months’ training (July-August 2015) at Baker & McKenzie (attorneys at law) went to the student of Moscow State Law University named after O.E. Kutafin (MSLU) Anastasia Lutsenko.

All participants received participants’ certificates and souvenirs with the contest logo, as well as printed editions on international trade law and arbitration.

The International Law Forum and Contest ICC Lex Mercatoria – 2014 proved to be the significant event for the lawyers’ community in the past year.

The organisers kindly invited the universities of Belarus, the CIS and Baltics to take active part in the IV International Student Contest in International Trade Law and International Commercial Arbitration ICC Lex Mercatoria in 2015.

The contest was organised by the Law Faculty of the Belarusian State University, the International Arbitration Court of the ICC (Paris), the International Arbitration Court of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Russian National Committee of the ICC (ICC Russia), the Lawyers Union of the Republic of Belarus UO, UrSpektr LLC (publisher and distributor of ConsultantPlus). Informational partners of the contest: Industrial and Trade Law magazine, the CIS Arbitration Forum (Russia- and CIS-related International Dispute Resolution), Russian Arbitration Association, Ukrainian Arbitration Association, Students League of the Ukrainian Lawyers Association. Baker & McKenzie (attorneys at law) is the Partner of the contest.

You can get more information and send preliminary applications for ICC Lex Mercatoria 2015 by e-mail: ptp@urspectr.info (subj. ICC Lex Mercatoria). 

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