CityU wins in global battle of legal minds

School of Law

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A team from the School of Law at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) beat 91 international teams to win the championship in the 9th Annual Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot (the Moot). The CityU team is the first to reach two consecutive grand finals in the moot's nine-year history.

The team comprised Brar Harprabdeep Singh, Chan Yin-wai, and Kirpalani Lavesh Prakash from the Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB) programme, Chow Yat-sau from the Juris Doctor (JD) programme, and Lau Chirk-yen from the Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (LLMArbDR) programme. Mr Rajesh Sharma, Assistant Professor of the School of Law, coached the team with the assistance of Ng Kar-yan, a student from the JD programme.

The competition, sister to the prestigious Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, aims to foster study in the areas of international commercial and arbitration laws and encourage the resolution of business disputes by arbitration. The moot problem concerns the controversy arising out of an international sale of goods subject to the United Nations Convention on Contracts of International Sales of Goods (CISG).

In the week-long competition, CityU team had the privilege of competing with teams from Harvard University, La Trobe University, Fordham University, Houston University, and so forth. In addition to the championship, the team also won the Honourable Mention for both claimant and respondent memorandum.

A celebration ceremony was held to recognize the terrific performance of the students. The officiating guests include: Dr Simon Ip Sik-on, Co-chairman of the International Advisory Board of School of Law; Professor Arthur Ellis, Provost, CityU; Professor Wang Guiguo, Dean, School of Law, CityU.

Dr Ip said that this remarkable achievement consolidated the reputation of CityU’s School of Law as the best mooting school in Hong Kong and the region. “Mooting is the finest preparation for entering the legal profession. By mastering language, thinking logically and with insight, and articulating clearly, one can ensure success in this profession.”

Professor Ellis added that mooting exemplified CityU’s aspirations. “The Discovery-enriched Curriculum at CityU encourages our students to create new knowledge and cultivate it for the benefit of society. Mooting allows students to face real challenges, adapting to new situations and persuading the judges. It builds self-confidence and creativity, and strengthens leadership.”

Professor Wang thanked all the students and faculty for their dedication and contributions. “Four years after the mooting culture was formally established in our School, our students have showed that they are at least as good as the best students in the world. Mooting is more than just about debating skills. It promotes the transformation of knowledge and builds determination and confidence. That is the ultimate pursuit of our education in the School of Law.”

Mr Sharma said he really appreciated the unparalleled performance of the students. He added that CityU is the only team that reached two consecutive grand finals in the moot's nine-year history.

In Hong Kong, arbitration and mediation have become important features of the legal system. Arbitration supplemented by mediation is the primary method of settling international commercial and investment disputes. CityU provides substantial platforms for students to polish their skills in this field. Aside from solid academic training, the students can broaden their views at large-scale international conferences and seminars in this field. Moreover, students are sent abroad to compete in arbitration competitions to gain practical experience. The students demonstrated their competency in the following international arbitration competitions:

2011 Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court Competition:

- No.1 team after the General Round

- Top 4 Best Oralists

Eighth Annual Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot

- First Runner-up

- Honourable Mention for Best Oralist

Eighteenth Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

- Ranked No.7 out of 254 teams

- Honourable Mention for the Best Oralist

12th International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot Competition

- Quarter-finalists

The International ADR Mooting Competition 2011

- Winning team

Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot (FDI Moot) 2011

- Finished in 3rd Place out of 40 teams from around the world

- Honorable Mention for the Best Oralist


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