Between the 24th and 26th of January 2020, ELSA UK had the pleasure of hosting the first-ever Regional Round of the European Human Rights Moot Court Competition (EHRMCC) at the University of Nottingham.
EHRMCC, now in its 8th edition, simulates the experience of pleading a case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg and is organised with the support of the Council of Europe.
The competition aims not only to develop students’ theoretical knowledge of principles and implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights but also to provide them with practical mooting experience in this field. While previous editions of EHRMCC only saw pleadings in one final round, whereby just the teams with top Written Submissions were invited to participate, this year, in order to widen participation, a Regional Rounds system was implemented. As such, all teams had to not only complete their Written Submissions, but were also mandated to participate in one of three Regional Rounds. Outside of the United Kingdom, the other two Rounds are hosted by ELSA Germany at the University of Göttingen and ELSA Lithuania at Vilnius University.
On Friday 24th January following registration, participants were welcomed at the University of Nottingham by Dr. Edward Goodwin, Co-director for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Nottingham and Agata Daszko, President of ELSA UK 2019/2020.
Following the welcome addresses, Sarah Ikast Kristoffersen, the Vice President in charge of Academic Activities of ELSA International 2019/2020, provided the participants with information about the history and development of EHRMCC and explained more broadly how Human Rights education and implementation inform all of ELSA projects. Finally, Laura Cestaro, Vice President in charge of Moot Court Competitions of ELSA UK 2019/2020 and Head of the Organising Committee, led the long-awaited ‘drawing of lots’ for the Regional Round.
The evening saw dinner on a cruise that followedriver Trent, where among the beautiful scenery of the city of Nottingham, everyone had a chance to network, dance and unwind.
On Saturday 25th, the first day of pleading rounds began. Timekeepers ensured the smooth running of each round while participating teams delivered their Oral Submissions in front of three-judge benches. Judges, a carefully selected mix of academics and practitioners with experience and expertise in European Human Rights, graded the submissions and provided teams with feedback in terms of style and technique. After a long day of pleading, participants had the opportunity to relax and network in the Nottingham City Centre, accompanied by dinner and drinks.
Sunday 26th was the second and last day of pleadings. Each team took on the opposite role to that which they pleaded for on the previous day. Afterwards, everyone was invited to attend the Closing Ceremony held in the beautiful Senate Chamber of the University of Nottingham’s Trent Building. Amongst dinner and a few “thank you” speeches, participants, coaches, and the Organising Committee were recognised for their efforts. Prizes were also awarded to the Best Oralist – Ilsu Edem Ari of team 55, and to team 66 as the most ELSA Spirited Team.
ELSA UK could not be prouder to have brought one of the most significant ELSA Projects to the United Kingdom. Cooperation of ELSA International, ELSA UK, and ELSA Nottingham was excellent and allowed the delivery of a wonderful event as well as the display of collaboration at all levels within ELSA. Indeed, the months of hard work of the Organising Committee were very much worth the success of the Regional Round.
ELSA UK would like to thank all the judges for their incredible support over the weekend and to wish all the participants best of luck in their future endeavours within the EHRMCC and beyond. We are looking forward to welcoming you all back at next events of ELSA.
Laura Cestaro is Italian and a second year undergraduate student of English and European Law at Queen Mary University of London. She has been involved in ELSA since her first weeks at university and has been an avid “ELSAnian” ever since. Through her role as Vice President in charge of Moot Court Competitions in ELSA UK for the 2019/2020 term, she works to offer more mooting opportunities to UK students.