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DLS students set to compete in international arbitration competition

"It presents an outstanding experiential learning opportunity for participants."

In 2016, Deakin Law School (DLS) students will once again compete in the Vis Moot in Vienna and Hong Kong. An international commercial law moot, the competition attracts participants from law schools around the world.

DLS has a distinguished track-record at the Vis Moot, winning the Vienna rounds twice (1999 and 2014) – an achievement only three other participating law schools have ever managed to attain. DLS has also reached the grand final (placing as runners-up) in Hong Kong on two occasions (2006 and 2010).

Dr Benjamin Hayward, who is preparing students for the competition, says the competition presents an outstanding experiential learning opportunity for participants.

'Students engage in in-depth study, gain mooting experience, work closely with a team, and benefit from the mentorship of Vis Moot alumni and other contacts in the legal profession. Moreover, the Vis Moot is a very well-known and highly-regarded competition in the industry,' he says. 

The competition requires student teams to study a hypothetical dispute, raising complex issues of international commercial arbitration law, and international sale of goods law, and develop written submissions on those legal issues for both sides in the dispute.

'They then argue the case against law schools from around the world at the oral rounds in Hong Kong and Vienna in the three weeks before Easter,' Dr Hayward explains. 

This year’s Deakin Law School team comprises nine students – Andrea Anastasi, Joseph Braverman, Bianca Baliviera, D’Arcy Hope, Paola Ramirez, Mitchell Wilson, Vivienne Gale, Claire Porter, and Karen Johnson.

'The team has been busy with a rigorous practice moot program ahead of the oral rounds.  Over an initial three weeks participants took part in 22 individual rounds, and were judged by 33 different arbitrators, comprised of Deakin Law School Vis Moot alumni.'

Four students have since been selected to represent Deakin Law School at the oral rounds for the next stage of the competition.  Andrea Anastasi and Paola Ramirez will argue the case in Hong Kong, and D’Arcy Hope and Joseph Braverman are set to compete in Vienna. These team members are currently undertaking a further three weeks of practice moots and intensive preparations before departing for the Hong Kong rounds on Friday 4 March. Their preparation involves practice rounds with a range of other Melbourne-based, Australian-based and overseas-based teams, conducted both in-person and via video conference, as well as a practice moot with Albert Monichino QC, President of the Australia Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Dr Hayward explains that the oral rounds in Hong Kong and Vienna are separate competitions, each with a series of general rounds, elimination finals, and then a final round. 'Each team in each event will moot four times -twice for the claimant, and twice for the respondent- across four days of general rounds, with the top 32 teams in Hong Kong and the top 64 teams in Vienna then progressing to the elimination rounds.'

If you are interested in learning more about the Vis Moot program – either as a student or as a Vis Moot alumni, please contact Dr Hayward at benhay@deakin.edu.au to be added to the Deakin Law School’s Vis Moot contact list. Further information can also be found on the Deakin Law School website.

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