Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

About the Moot

Space law is an area of the law that encompasses national and international law governing activities in outer space. The inception of the field of space law began with the launch in October 1957 of the world’s first artificial satellite, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic’s Sputnik. Since then, space law has evolved and assumed more importance as humankind has increasingly come to use and rely on space-based resources.

The International Institute of Space Law (IISL) was founded in 1960. The purposes and objectives of the Institute include the cooperation with appropriate international organisations and national institutions in the field of space law and the carrying out of tasks for fostering the development of space law. It also includes the studies of legal and social science aspects of the exploration and use of outer space and the holding of meetings, colloquia and competitions on juridical and social science aspects of space activities.

The first Manfred Lachs Moot Court Competition was held in 1992, when the Association of US Members of the IISL (AUSMIISL) invited Georgetown University, George Washington University and the American University to each send two teams to participate in a moot court competition during the first World Space Congress held in Washington, D.C., USA in 1992. In 1993, the European Regional Round was created and, after the death of Judge Manfred Lachs, the competition was renamed in his honour and memory. In 2000, the Asia-Pacific Regional Round was created and in 2011, the African Round.

In August each year, selected scholars of space law produce the moot problem for the following year. The problem is then released to universities and posted on this website. Law schools in each region then register for the Regional Rounds and submit written memorials on the moot problem in February or March. Regional Rounds are held between March and early June, with the North America Regional Round in Washington, D.C., and the European Regional Round, the Asia-Pacific Regional Round and the Africa Regional Round held in various cities in the respective regions.

The winners of each region then gather for the world finals in October, held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress and the IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space.  The World Final of the Lachs Moot has the unique tradition of being judged by three sitting members of the International Court of Justice.

This is the first time a competing team from the Faculty of Law at the University of Belgrade will be a participant in this competition.

More information and the documents relevant for previous competitions can be found on the official site of the competition: