IBA elevates partnership with Grotius Centre to stage annual moot court competition

Thursday 18 March 2021

In the context of the rule of law under threat in many jurisdictions, the International Bar Association (IBA) has announced a fortified partnership with the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden Law School to annually stage the largest moot competition focussed on international criminal law: the final round of which usually takes place at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

A new five-year Memorandum of Understanding positions the IBA as the primary supporting partner of the event, which is now titled the IBA ICC Moot Court Competition. The 2021 Competition has attracted teams from 95 schools, representing 50 countries, and will take place online from 6 to 27 June.

IBA President Sternford Moyo commented: ‘The IBA ICC Moot Court is an exciting experience for students across the globe who are focussed on upholding the rule of law and honing their skills in all aspects relating to litigating a case in front of an international tribunal. The teams that get through to the finals would usually have the unique experience of presenting their case in an actual ICC courtroom, but the COVID-19 pandemic precludes that aspect of the experience this year as it did last year. However, ICC judges will once again give their time to adjudicating, which demonstrates the importance placed on this competition. And, whether held in-person or virtually, the IBA is always grateful to the Grotius Centre of Leiden University for convening the event so expertly to make it an unforgettable experience for all involved.’

The IBA ICC Moot Court Competition is designed to introduce law students to ICC proceedings and legal issues. Student teams represent the Office of the Prosecutor, Defence Counsel, Victims’ Counsel or Counsel for the Government in a fictitious case before the ICC. The students’ memorials and pleadings are judged by legal experts including judges and legal officers from the IBA membership, ICC, United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), as well as international criminal law practitioners and academics.

IBA Executive Director Dr Mark Ellis commented: ‘Each year I look forward to engaging with law students who are eager and enthusiastic to improve their knowledge of international criminal law in general and of the ICC and its proceedings in particularly. With the ICC currently facing several challenges, investing in the next generation of law practitioners is paramount. I believe this to be the chief reason why so many IBA members devote considerable amounts of time and energy supporting the very appreciative students participating in our moot competition. Certainly, it is a mutually beneficial event; students gain invaluable practical understanding, while professionals impart knowledge. Such initiatives hugely benefit the future of international justice.’

The IBA ICC Moot Court Competition aims to enhance knowledge among the top legal minds of the future about the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the ICC – especially students from countries that have yet to ratify the Statute.

Carsten Stahn, Professor of International Criminal Law and Global Justice at Leiden University said: ‘We are delighted to embark on this new partnership with the IBA, which builds on our successful cooperation over past years. It combines the academic strength and international vision of the Leiden Law School and its Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies with the IBA’s role as global voice of the legal profession. This interaction between academia and legal practice provides an excellent foundation for the future of the Moot Court Competition, and its ability to provide an inclusive and meaningful educational experience for the legal minds of the future from all parts of the world. It reaffirms our mutual commitment to the importance of human rights, rule of law and international justice at a time where they are urgently needed in international affairs, domestic legal systems and civil society across the globe.’

The IBA ICC Moot Court usually takes place at the Leiden University campus in The Hague, with the final round in an ICC courtroom with ICC judges adjudicating. This year it will be held virtually from 6 to 27 June.


Notes to the Editor

  1. Click here for more information on theIBA ICC Moot Court Competition
  2. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.
  3. The IBA commenced the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Law (ICC & ICL) Programme in 2005. The Programme monitors issues related to fairness and equality of arms at the ICC and other Hague-based war crimes tribunals and encourages the legal community to engage with the work of these courts. The IBA’s work includes thematic legal analysis of proceedings, and ad hoc evaluations of legal, administrative, and institutional issues which could potentially affect the rights of defendants, the impartiality of proceedings and the development of international justice.

    The Programme also acts as the interface between the Courts and the global legal community. As such, special focus is placed on monitoring emerging issues of particular relevance to lawyers and collaborating with key partners on specific activities to increase engagement of the legal community on ICC and ICL issues.

    Based in The Hague, the IBA ICC & ICL Programme consults and interacts with court officials, civil society organisations, academics, and international lawyers.

For further information please contact:

Kate Orlovsky
Director, Hague Office
International Bar Association

Nassaulaan 19
2514 JT The Hague
The Netherlands

Mobile: +31 (0) 70 737 0686
Email: kate.orlovsky@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
Press Office
International Bar Association
4th Floor, 10 St Bride Street
London EC4A 4AD
United Kingdom

Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Email: romana.daniel@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

IBA website page link for this news release:
Short link
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