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DLS taking part in the 25th VIS Moot in its 25th year.

Deakin Law School (DLS) is vying for another top spot at the world’s most prestigious private international law mooting competition the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

The Vis Moot competitions are run annually in Vienna and Hong Kong (Vis East Moot) and DLS is one of only a small number of law schools around the world that has participated in each year of the Vis Moot’s 25 year history.

‘This year it's particularly exciting as it’s the 25th year of Vienna competition, we’re celebrating the 25th year of DLS, and it’s the 25th year we have participated,’ says Deakin team member Erin Ritchie. 

DLS has a strong history of success at the Vis Moot. It won the Vienna rounds twice (1999 and 2014), been grand finalists in Hong Kong twice, and last year were placed number one, out of the 125 participating teams at the end of the general rounds.

Preparation for the 2018 Vis Moot competition began in November 2017 with DLS students Erin Ritchie, Emma Dixon, Emma Genovese, Pavan Swamy, Shifa Shaikh, Naseef Abdulla, Niren Menon, Nell Cameron, Sophia Rasch and Alyssa Zambelis.

Five of the team’s students – Erin Ritchie, Emma Dixon, Emma Genovese, Pavan Swamy, Naseef Abdulla – are now travelling to the overseas competitions with DLS academic coaches Dr Shu Zhang and Mr Duncan Travis. 

Erin says there are four controversial international commercial issues within the Vis Moot problem. 

‘These issues are split into two procedural issues and two substantive issues. The procedural issues are whether a challenged arbitrator, who is believed to be connected to one of the parties, can sit on the panel who decides on his own challenge. The substantive issues are based on which ones of the parties conditions govern the contract and whether the goods, being Chocolate Cakes conform to the required ethical standards,’ she explains.

The Deakin team first prepared a written 55 page claimant memo in December, followed by two separate 50+ page respondent written submissions in January. 

After the written submissions were completed, the team then turned to intensive practice moots in Deakin’s mock Moot Court facility. They depart on 10 March for the 11–18 March Hong Kong competition before travelling to the 24–29 March Vienna event.