The Chinese Initiative on International Law (CIIL) and the Faculty of Law held the third annual Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Pre-Moot Training Workshop at the Graduate Law Centre on Friday 4 March and Saturday 5 March 2016. The event was sponsored by Fangda Partners.
The Pre-Moot aimed to give Mainland Chinese teams an opportunity to engage in an international advocacy experience and for participating teams to strengthen their arguments before the Vis (East) Moot in Hong Kong and the Vis Moot in Vienna. The Pre-Moot included diverse participants from 12 universities this year. Universities from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Germany, Sweden and India attended. We were also pleased to host over 47 guest arbitrators made up of practitioners and academics from Hong Kong and abroad.
On Friday evening, the Pre-Moot opened with a demonstration session between the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. The teams submitted their arguments before a tribunal chaired by Prof. Peter Rhodes and accompanied by Mr. Michael Tam (Fangda Partners) and Ms. Sherlin Tung (Attorney-at-Law). The demonstration moot set the scene as teams enjoyed four rounds of practice on Saturday between different universities and before different arbitrators. At the end of the Pre-Moot, the Pre-Moot Committee was pleased to award the Best Team Award to the University of Freiburg and Best Oralist to a student from the City University of Hong Kong.
The Pre-Moot was also an excellent chance for students to understand the Vis Moot as well as to learn how to organise and manage an event on this scale. The Pre-Moot Organising Committee consisted of four PCLL students from the Faculty and was lead by Ms. Moonar Tsoi with support from Candice Lau, Keith Cheung and Kenneth Cheung. Student volunteers from across the Faculty also offered invaluable assistance on the day to participants and guest arbitrators. The Pre-Moot would also not be possible without the Faculty’s continued support.
The Pre-Moot allowed students to experience the rigour of oral advocacy before the competitions in Hong Kong and in Vienna. Our two teams from the Chinese University of Hong Kong performed exceptionally well. In the Vis East the team prevailed in the final round to become the Champion Team and received the David Hunter Award. In Vis Vienna the team advanced to the final 32 teams out of over 300 universities.
Apart from being able to practice and receive invaluable feedback, the Pre-Moot is also a chance to foster friendships. With many universities and arbitrators already having expressed interest in joining us again next year, we look forward to playing host to the fourth Vis Pre-Moot.