Deakin University's School of Law has taken out one of the world's most prestigious law student competitions, winning the teams award in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna.
School of Law Dean Professor Mirko Bagaric said Deakin was among only three universities worldwide to have received the Frédéric Eisemann Award on two separate occasions, after first taking home the prize in 1999.
"The mock court competition, known internationally as the Vis Moot, is a highly prestigious event, with 290 law schools from around the globe competing for this year's honour," Prof Bagaric said.
"Deakin is extremely proud of our students for this achievement which came after months of preparation on campus, ahead of the actual mock court case this month.
"Our law students have shown the international legal community they are the best in the world and that is something we are very excited about."
The Vis Moot mock-court competition requires students to prepare materials for a hypothetical international commercial law dispute and then argue that case against teams from around the world.
It is the world's most prestigious private international law moot and has been held each year for the past 21 years in Vienna and the past 11 years in Hong Kong.
Deakin has participated in the event, in both Vienna and Hong Kong, each year since its beginnings. This year, 290 teams participated in Vienna while 99 teams attended the Hong Kong rounds.
Prof Bagaric said the Deakin Law School team was comprised of 11 students, with four representing the team at the oral rounds – Alex Garfinkel and Stephen Dyason arguing the case in Hong Kong, and Tess Blackie and Sam Hall putting the case in Vienna.
"Deakin's results place it firmly amongst the world's best – receiving two individual oralist Honourable Mention awards, placing in the top 16 teams of 99 in Hong Kong, and winning the oral arguments overall out of nearly 300 teams in Vienna," Prof Bagaric said.
"These results reflect the hard work and contributions of all team members over a period spanning nearly six months, and show that the Deakin Law School has some of the most committed and capable law students in the world.
"The moot victory is in a large part attributable to the dedication, training and inexhaustible enthusiasm of Benjamin Hayward from the Deakin Law School, who has coached the moot team for the past six years.
"Benjamin has done an exemplary job in inspiring the students and assisting them to developing high level problem solving and persuasive skills. His approach and style of teaching sets the benchmark for the level of commitment and rigour to which the law ascribes in all of its activities."
"Over the past 21 years, Deakin has grown a significant alumni community of past participants in the Vis Moot, which provides significant assistance to our students each year by judging practice rounds, making their facilities available to our students, and in general providing excellent support for our program."
Prof Bagaric said this year's results continued the School of Law's excellent history at the Vis Moot.
"Deakin has been a Grand Finalist in the Hong Kong rounds in 2005-2006 and 2009-2010, and was also the winning team in Vienna in 1998-1999, amongst many other finals appearances and individual awards for oralists and written submissions."