Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

About the Moot

Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious moot competitions, held annually in Vienna. The Vis Moot is organized by the Association for the organization and promotion of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Moot and sponsored by numerous institutions worldwide, such as UNCITRAL, International Chamber of Commerce, American Arbitration Association, The London Court of International Arbitration, Swiss Arbitration Association and the like. The goal of the Vis Moot is to “foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes”. 

The problem for the Moot is always based on an international sales transaction that is subject to the 1980 UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods. The Moot centers on a simulation of international commercial arbitration before which a dispute arising out of the sales contract is being resolved. The procedural issues of arbitration are also discussed and usually resolved by the application of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration.

The Vis Moot commences on the first Friday in October each year, when the moot problem is distributed to the participants. It consists of two parts. The first one is preparation and submission of written memoranda prior to the oral hearings. There are two memoranda to be written: one for the Claimant, the other for the Respondent. The writing of these memoranda usually takes about five months. The oral arguments take place in Vienna, usually in the mid-March.  The oral part of the moot lasts for one week. 

Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade has participated at the Vis Moot since the Tenth Moot in 2003. Our involvement has started under the auspices of cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh and their Center for International Legal Education (http://www.law.pitt.edu/academics/cile) and continued thanks to the generous support of the local legal and business community. On Pitt – Belgrade cooperation on the Vis Moot competition see: Moot.pdf (published in CILE Notes, volume 13,  fall 2008).

Every year our Faculty has played a  significant role in the competition. In the past eight years, Belgrade team was competing in the final rounds of the competition which in itself is a remarkable success, since only one other team has managed to achieve the same result in this period of time. Furthermore, Belgrade team has won honorable mention awards for Memorandum for Claimant on three occasions (in 2008, 2009 and 2012) and one honorable mention award for Memorandum for Respondent (in 2012). Also, Belgrade students have so far received 10 honorable mention awards for the best speakers. The greatest achievements in the oral phase of the Moot so far for Belgrade team were achieved in  2007 when the team won the third place amongst 177 participating universities coupled with fifth place achieved in 2011 amongst 260 participating teams.

Over the time, the Moot has grown to become one of the world’s biggest law competitions. Namely,  280 universities from over 60 countries took part at te 19th Vis Moot competition in 2012. This makes the Moot an unforgettable experience for all those who are lucky enough to participate in it.