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Description

IBL-411/208001 Arbitration as a Method of Dispute Resolution

After completion of the course the students can:

— identify legal problems related to international arbitration and commercial law in a fact-based case file;

— find legal information related to international arbitration and commercial law;

— apply legal norms on practical problems even in difficult cases;

— formulate arguments to support opposite legal interpretations and goals and defend them;

— argue orally in a fluent and efficient way and explain difficult things in a simple way;

— work in a group better than before the course and be responsible for the common goals of the group.

The Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is an international moot court competition, which focuses on international commercial law and arbitration. In year 2016 teams of approximately 300 universities from 67 countries, and altogether more than 2000 students and 500 arbitrators participated in the event in Vienna. The sister competition, Vis East is organised in Hong Kong, where almost 100 teams took part in the 2016 moot. The language of the course and the competition is English.

The team of the faculty is chosen in the beginning of September and it begins the preparation for the competition immediately. The actual competition starts in the beginning of October with the publishing of the case. In the written part of the competition the team writes first a memo of the claimant to be send to the arbitral tribunal. Later as a reply to another team's claimant memo the team prepares the memo of the respondent. Deadline for the claimant memo is in early December and for the respondent memo in January. The oral part of the competition and the whole event culminates in a week long oral hearings in Vienna (and in Hong Kong for the Vis East) in March/April. In the oral hearings the teams from all over the world act as counsels of claimant and respondent in mock hearings. All the teams taking part in the competition will get to take part in the oral hearings in Vienna (or in Hong Kong for the Vis East).

Most of the work done in the course is independent group work done by the team. This work consists of drafting the memos, doing research for the memos and working on the oral arguments and presentation. The team will be coached, in addition to the assigned teacher, by alumni mooties, lawyers of Helsinki based law firms and other teachers of the faculty. The coaches will advise the team on the work process and give feedback for the work the team has done, but the team has the sole responsibility for achieving the goals it has set.

A group of Finnish law firms has traditionally supported the University of Helsinki team in many ways. In the preparation of the 2016 moot, law firms Borenius, Castrén & Snellman, Dittmar & Indrenius, Hannes Snellman, Merilampi and Roschier took part in the project. The law firms arranged a workshop course focused on the practical aspects of international arbitration exclusively for the Vis Moot teams of the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Lapland. The firms also supported the team financially.

Traditionally an international Pre-Moot has been organized in Helsinki. In Helsinki Pre-Moot, the Finnish teams have joined the foreign teams in testing their skills before Vienna. In addition, the Helsinki team has taken part in at least two Pre-Moot abroad, for example in Berlin, Milan, Paris, Shanghai, Warsaw or Stockholm. Also, the team has an opportunity to take part in the Vis Moot School of Switzerland, organised in the end of September in Zürich. It is a six day course consisting of introductory lectures in arbitration, CISG and advocacy. The participation is highly recommended.

The Vis-Moot course is very demanding and the workload of the course is significant. Taking part in the course requires a possibility and motivation to spend time with the project and the team, as well as flexibility of the schedules in order to organize team meetings and coach meetings. The course will be held in English. Some parts of the teaching is organized together with similar courses of the Universities of Lapland and Turku.

Risse, Jörg (ed.): The Complete (but Unofficial) Guide to the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, München 2013.

The course is graded on the scale of Pass-Fail. Completion of the whole course gives maximum amount of ECTS credits. The full amount of ECTS credits require extensive and persistent participation in the team work during the whole competition.

Before applying to a moot court competition exchange students should always check with their home university that grade Pass is accepted when transferring credits completed at the UH to the degree to be completed at their home university. An exception to give a grade may be made if the home university requires a grade. Criteria for grades is the same as for the amount of grades and in addition the input of the person in the teams performance in the oral and written part.

The faculty has normally chosen a team of four to eight students. The competition is intended for advanced students including the exchange students and students of the Master program. Generally the team has consisted of both Finnish and international students.

Introductory part: September; Written part: October–January; Oral Part: January–April.