What is the Vis Moot?
The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis Moot) is an international moot court competition held annually in Vienna, Austria before Easter. It is the largest moot in the world for international trade law and is considered to be highly prestigious. A sister moot, known as the Willem C. Vis (East) Moot, is held in Hong Kong just before the rounds in Vienna every year.
Participation in the Vis Moot does seem to correlate with an accelerated career and you will become part of a well-connected network for life.
What does it involve?
Participants submit two written memoranda prior to the moot, and will then argue their case before arbitration tribunals in Hong Kong and Vienna.
Students are expected to:
- research two areas of international commercial law (international commercial arbitration and the international sale of goods) in detail and then apply them to a hypothetical case
- prepare two sets of written legal arguments (for each side in the dispute)
- prepare for the oral rounds in Hong Kong and Vienna – arguing the case against other law schools from around the world.
Why take part?
Not only will you earn a credit point in MLL355 International Litigation and Dispute Settlement, but you’ll also be involved in one of the most highly regarded competitions in the profession, which is great for your career. In preparing the Moot you will have enormous opportunities to meet with and learn from the most intelligent academics, practitioners and students in this area and have a unique learning experience that inspires your legal career.
How is the Deakin team put together?
We'll select a minimum of 4-6 students to take part in the Vis Moot in 2023/2024.
Previous study of international commercial law is strongly recommended but not required. We’ll start working on this year’s problem shortly after Trimester 2 exams finish.
We then usually continue preparing full-time at our Burwood or Deakin Downtown campus until Easter. Please be conscious of the high workload expected (both during and outside business hours).
How does the team prepare?
From the outset, students take on the role of legal counsel and argue hypothetical cases before an academic, another student, or a practitioner acting as a judge. Students are expected to undertake legal research and drafting to prepare memoranda and to support their oral arguments.
Students will be provided the exclusive access to the library collections for the Vis Moot Competition and, restrictions permitting, the facilities for mooting at the Melbourne Burwood Campus and Deakin Downtown.
The selected team are coached by experts and benefit from input into some of our many Vis Moot alumni and other successful legal practitioners who kindly offer their input.
Nothing in the study of law prepared me for practice better than doing the Vis Moot… as we approached the advocacy part of the Vis Moot, there was a cooperative intensity to the work that truly reflected the way you work together in practice to prepare for a trial.
Duncan Travis, Partner (Allens Linklaters)
2000-2001 moot participant
Deakin students at the Vis Moot?
Deakin Law School (DLS) is one of only five universities from more than 360 global competitors to have competed in the Vis Moot every year since it commenced in 1993. It is also one of only four universities to have won the Vienna rounds twice (in 1999 and 2014).
DLS has also performed well in Hong Kong, having been a grand finalist twice and earning a number one placing in 2017 (from 125 participating teams) in the general rounds.
The Deakin Law School team has earned the title of World Champion twice, winning the Vis Moot in Vienna in 1998/1999 and 2013/2014. In addition, Deakin University was the runner-up in 1995/1996.
Our team was runner-up in the Vis (East) Moot in Hong Kong in 2005/2006 and 2009/2010 and won third place in 2004/2005.
We have also recorded successes for Best Memorandum and Best Oralist on several occasions.
Coach of the Deakin Law School Vis Moot team
Email Pavan Swamy