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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - International Dispute Resolution

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Law | International Dispute Resolution | Events | 2018/2019 academic year | The IDR LL.M. at the 26th/16th Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot

The IDR LL.M. at the 26th/16th Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot


The Willem C. Vis Moot in Vienna as well as its sister moot, the Willem C. Vis East Moot in Hong Kong, are the largest and most prestigious moot court competitions dealing with international sales law and arbitration. It is therefore not surprising that part of the IDR LL.M. family travelled to both Hong Kong and Vienna to represent our university at this exciting event.

But before embarking on the journey to those amazing destinations, the Humboldt Moot Association e.V. as well as the Research Institute for Legal Practice at Humboldt University of Berlin organised the Berlin Pre-Moot 2019. The IDR LL.M. programme co-organised the first day of this event which consisted of presentation and vocal training workshops and a conference followed by a reception. The workshops were conducted by Mr John Faulk from Fireside Coaching and Ms Annette Goeres from Die freie Stimme. At this stage of the preparations, all mooties had good arguments. The crucial point was to learn how to present these arguments in a clear, concise and convincing manner. For this reason, the workshops were extremely valuable to the participating teams. After the workshops, Ms Juliane Reschke, Head of the Berlin Pre-Moot Organisation Committee and Legal Trainee at CMS Hasche Sigle in Berlin, Ms Alicja-Zielinska Eisen, Academic Coordinator of the IDR LL.M. at Humboldt University of Berlin and Managing Associate at Linklaters in Warsaw as well as Mr Tobias Strecker, Managing Director of the Research Institute for Legal Practice at Humboldt University of Berlin and lawyer at Bodenheimer Herzberg in Berlin chaired a panel discussion on the topic of “The Future of Arbitration”. The panelists each selected very recent and highly interesting matters to discuss. Ms Natalia Mikolajczyk of Linklaters in Warsaw elaborated on the question “Is the EU confused about the future of international arbitration?” and did not refrain from commenting on the controversial CJEU decision in Achmea. Ms Marleen Krüger of WilmerHale in London discussed the issue of “Finding the Truth in International Arbitration”, a topic that was highly relevant to the mooties as it was related to this year’s moot problem on evidence. Last but not least, Mr Tom Pröstler of CMS Hasche Sigle in Berlin addressed the issue of diversity, which is not only an issue in arbitration but in the entire legal sector. Influenced by his experience of working in Hong Kong, Mr Pröstler delivered a convincing and thought-provoking speech on the topic “Leaving the All Old White Boys Behind Us: an Economic Argument for Diversity in International Arbitration”. After the conference, mooties, panelists and coaches had the opportunity to engage in further discussions during the reception hosted by the IDR LL.M. programme.

This year’s Vis Moot team of the Humboldt University of Berlin had a special connection to the IDR LL.M. at Humboldt University of Berlin. One of the coaches, Mr Fabio Cavalcante, is a student of the 2018/2019 IDR LL.M. class himself. The two Assistant Programme Coordinators of the IDR LL.M. were also part of the team, Ms Ann-Kristin Wagner as a coach and Mr Oguzhan Samanci as a mootie. And the Academic Coordinator of the IDR LL.M., Ms Alicja Zielinska-Eisen, a former mootie herself, participated in both competitions as an arbitrator and was an indispensable support for our team in both Hong Kong and Vienna.

Overall, our team consisted of six mooties, namely Ms Anne Philippczyk, Ms Sophie Stöwe, Ms Greta Niehaus, Mr Huy Nguyen, Mr Oliver Pollakowsky and Mr Oguzhan Samanci, as well as three coaches, Mr Fabio Cavalcante, Ms Ann-Kristin Wagner and Ms Madalina Luca. Eventually, our team celebrated a success in both competitions, advancing to the Round of 8 in Hong Kong and the Round of 16 in Vienna and receiving four honourable mentions altogether, three for individual speakers awarded to Ms Sophie Stöwe, Ms Anne Philippczyk and Mr Oguzhan Samanci, and one for the Memorandum for Claimant in Vienna.

But it is not advancing to the elimination rounds or winning an award that makes the Vis Moot experience so special. The main reason is the vast number of incredibly talented, intelligent and open-minded people you meet in the course of the competition. And as it is precisely this group of people, highly motivated lawyers with a special interest in arbitration, that we want to attract to our programme, we had an information desk at the Dachgeschoss of the Juridicum in Vienna, where we were able to talk to a lot of students about their future career objectives and to introduce them to our programme. If you did not meet us there this year, you should definitely come by next year. We will certainly be there again!

Of course, we are very thankful to all the former IDR LL.M. students who joined us at the information desk and with whom we had the opportunity to catch up during a Viennese-style lunch. Once you become part of the IDR LL.M. family, it is very hard not to stay in touch. All in all, the Vis Moot was an incredible educational experience, but it was particularly amazing because the IDR LL.M. family was there to support us in every phase of the competition.


Oguzhan Samanci, IDR LL.M. Assistant Program Coordinator


The 2018/2019 Vis Moot Team