On 7 and 8 February 2019, ELSA UK hosted the Oral Rounds of the London Human Rights Moot Court Competition (LHRMCC) as a result of months of hard work. The Competition is built on the format of the European Human Rights Moot Court Competition (EHRMCC) which is hosted by ELSA annually and simulates the procedures of complaint for the European Court of Human Rights.
The first edition of the Competition was organised as a local initiative by ELSA LSE in 2018 in response to a need for more human rights focussed mooting in London. The Competition was a great success and was attended by teams from ELSA QMUL, ELSA LSE, ELSA King’s College London and ELSA Kent. Due to the success of this first edition, ELSA UK decided to bring the second edition to the national level. During the organisation, ELSA UK successfully applied to have the Competition featured as one of the EHRMCC Pre-Rounds. This meant that the Competition was recognised and marketed by ELSA International as a preparatory step in the international competition. This also meant that the Competition was opened for international participants.
The LHRMCC consisted of two rounds, the Written Rounds in which each team submitted their Written Submissions on behalf of the Applicant and the Respondent respectively, and the Oral Rounds. Furthermore, Local Groups were presented with the opportunity of hosting local qualification rounds, an opportunity that ELSA LSE decided to use.
The first day of the Oral Rounds was hosted at the LSE by ELSA LSE. We had 10 teams in participation coming from the LSE, the University of Bristol, the University of Helsinki, the University of Deusto, the University of Zagreb, Vienna University of Economics and Business and Masaryk University. The competition was thus truly international and the participants from British universities had a great experience meeting international colleagues. The day consisted of two Preliminary Rounds during which each team had the chance to represent both the Applicant and the Respondent. While the scores were added up, participants and judges were offered a glass of prosecco and we were happy to see that a lot of networking was done. After double and triple checking all scores, we were excited the announce the results as these would reveal the teams qualifying for the second day of the Competition. The tensions were released and we could happily announce that teams from the LSE, the University of Zagreb, Vienna University of Economics and Business and Masaryk University qualified. In order to further even more cultural exchange an networking, we invited all teams to join us at the nearby pub, Cittie of Yorke, where we had reserved tables. We ended up having a great evening and were almost pushed out of the pub after the bartender’s “last call”.
The second day took place at the beautiful offices of our partner Orrick who helped us run everything smoothly throughout the day and to whom massive thanks are owed. We met at noon for networking coffee before the Semi-Finals began. Each Semi-Final Round was scored by a panel of three judges to allow for an all-rounded result. The rounds ran very smoothly, though the judges challenged the participants with thought-provoking questions and kept spectators at the edge of their seats. In the end, the scores were very tight, but the teams qualifying for the Final Round were the LSE and Masaryk University. With 50 people watching and a panel of 6 judges interfering, this was not an easy task. Both teams had to ask for time extensions and notes were constantly passed in between the teammates. The judges were extremely impressed by the high level shown, which was also visible from the scores given. We asked all participants, spectators, organisers and judges to join us in the main mooting room for a reveal of the winners. The winning team was Masaryk University, the best Oralist was Jakob Marboe from Vienna University of Economics and Business, and the best Written Submissions were produced by Vienna University of Economics and Business.
After a long day of mooting, we offered all teams a glass (or two) of prosecco and a wide variety of cake. Our judges stayed for this ceremony and were happy to offer each participant feedback on their performance. This offered a great formal ended to the day. To follow in line with LHRMCC tradition, however, we did not finally end the day here. We had booked tables at the famous ping pong bar Bounce at which participants joined us for dancing, networking and, of course, a bit of ping pong.
Having the opportunity to see an event continue to its second edition and grow in the scale that the LHRMCC has done was an extreme honour to me as an organiser. Before finishing this blogpost, I would therefore like to thank the people who made this possible: The National Board of ELSA UK, the board of ELSA LSE, the team at Orrick Law Firm, our esteemed judges, the Organising Committee, the International Board of ELSA, and of course all the participants without whom there would be no competition.
See more pictures from the Competition below (in very random order):
Sarah Ikast Kristoffersen is an LLM Candidate from the University of Copenhagen. She holds an LLM from the London School of Economics and an LLB from the University of Copenhagen. In addition to serving as the Vice President for Moot Court Competitions of ELSA UK, she is also the Director for Nordic Cooperation of ELSA Denmark and Assistant for Regional Rounds of ELSA International.