By recreating the procedures that take place in the European Court of Human Rights, the annual event provides an experiential learning experience and allows students to apply what they have learned about human rights law in a simulated real world setting.
Registration and Qualification
Students enroll in the MOOT Competition in teams of 2 to 4. To be eligible to serve on a team, students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or master’s program at a university that awards accredited law degrees. Each university or law school may have only one team registered for the competition.
Students from more than one university may form a team; however, prior approval must be granted by the Vice President from the MOOT Competition.
Some universities may choose to have students compete for a position on the team in some way. A minimum grade point average may be required, or the team may be open to anyone who wishes to participate. Each school may develop their own rules regarding admission to the team; ELSA International does not have any academic or experience requirements for the competition.
Teams who competed in previous years may enter again if they did not reach the Finals round of competition.
How the Contest Proceeds
No money is due to enter the contest. Each team simply needs to prepare two Written Submissions based on the case that is the subject of the year’s competition. The group prepares a written submission for the Applicant and one for the Respondent.
Students must strive to make their submissions as professional and thoughtful as possible; the written submissions serve as the sole criteria for deciding which teams will advance to the Final Round. The written submissions are due by a certain deadline each year for judging.
After reviewing all of the written submissions, ELSA International chooses 20 student teams to come to Strasbourg, France, to compete in the MOOT Competition. Teams are responsible for their own travel expenses. Each team member must also pay a 250 EUR fee to enter.
Each team may bring along up to two coaches. Students, professors, lawyers and former contestants are all eligible to serve as coaches. The coaches pay either a 500 EUR fee to receive accommodations or a 100 EUR fee if they plan to make their own accommodations arrangements.
In Strasbourg, the competition progresses through four main stages of pleadings at the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe Teams are eliminated until there are 8 teams left for the quarter finals. Then, four teams compete in the semi-finals. The top two teams then face off in The Grand Final.
All of the members of the winning team receive a traineeship at the Council of Europe Liaison Office in Brussels, Belgium. Second place winners will receive an award. Even teams that are not ultimately selected for the finals in Strasbourg are sure to find the writing submissions to be beneficial learning experiences.