Auckland team excels in world’s largest moot

15 May 2018
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Image: L-R: Taylor Gray, Thom Clark, Jillin Yan, Professor Andrew Stockley, Caitlin Anyon-Peters, Jessica Palairet, Jack Garden, Caitlin Hollings.

A team from the Auckland Law School has placed in the top 16 at the 2018 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, held in Vienna recently.

Over 2,500 students from 362 university teams competed in the moot, which is the largest in the world.

The goal of the Vis Moot is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for the resolution of disputes.

Auckland’s team comprised law students Caitlin Anyon-Peters, Jack Garden, Jessica Palairet and Jillin Yan.

Prior to competing in Vienna, the team enjoyed great success at pre-moots around Europe. They placed first at the Heidelberg pre-moot, first at the Belgrade pre-moot, second at the White & Case Paris pre-moot, second at the Mannheimer Swartling Stockholm pre-moot, and third at the Budapest Eötvös Loránd University pre-moot.

In Vienna, the team competed in four general rounds against universities from Iran, Denmark, Spain and Brazil, after which they advanced to the knockout rounds, where they won against Stetson University and the University of Amsterdam before finishing in the top 16 teams. The competition was won by the Moscow National Research University, with the University of Cambridge taking second place.

Caitlin and Jessica received honourable mentions for the Martin Domke Award for the Best Individual Oralist.

The team prepared for several months analysing the problem, writing memorandums for claimant and respondent and refining their oral arguments. This year the problem centred around a sale of goods contract for ethically produced chocolate cakes.

The issues mooted by the team were both procedural, relating to the impartiality of the arbitrator under the UNCITRAL Rules, and contractual, relating to the delivery of non-conforming goods under the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). The team was required to engage with common and civil law principles, which provided great exposure to another legal culture.

The team is grateful for the generous sponsorship of Bankside Chambers and the Faculty of Law who supported their participation. A very special thanks also goes to the team’s enthusiastic and hard-working coaches, Caitlin Hollings, Taylor Gray and Thom Clark.