Moot Court: Public International Law



Please note that the Moot Courts are usually very competitive and, therefore, require from the students willing to participate a lot of hard preparatory work and dedication. There is a selection process prior to enrollment into this course!


This course can be taken by students that wish to capacitate in more in depth in public international law in a case study approach and its complexity through an in depth analysis of all relevant sources of this branch of law. It is the aim to make students familiar with the broad range of applicable legal sources, their various interpretations and potential argumentations.

The course intends:

1.  to contribute to an impart understanding in the interest and functioning of public international law;

2.  to learn to recognize and analyze contemporary and debated topics in the field of public international law;

3.  to learn to reason within the theoretical framework and terminology proper to public international law;

4.  to learn to elaborate, to write down and to make a presentation on a contemporary and debated topic in the field of public international law and to defend the point of view taken in the particular case at stake.


Within the framework of one of the international moot courts listed by the department, students will:

•  have to deduct, analyse and study one or more problems of public international law from the assignment of the moot court, taking into account the relevant primary sources, case law and legal doctrine;

•  compile the different written arguments to support the view of either the claimant or respondent in a fictive conflict, in the form of Memorials;

•  incorporate the detailed written reasoning into a plea, taking into consideration the possible arguments of the opposite party;

•  attend intensive coaching and pleading sessions - plead the case in a simulated procedure before the International Court of Justice.

During the academic year there is a shift of focus within the list of the above mentioned side aspects. This shift is related to the different phases within the moot court:

•  1st phase (first semester) – preparation of the Memorials and first pleading sessions;

•  2nd phase (first half of the second semester) – fully dedicated to in-house preparation of the oral pleadings towards the national rounds as a qualification tournament;

•  3rd phase (directly after the 2nd phase) – participation, on condition of qualification, in the international pleading round. Potential moot courts to be listed by the department are:

(a) the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and

(b) the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition, depending on the number of students. Priority is given to the Jessup Moot Court.

Key words: 
Simulation of a conflict between states before the International Court of Justice, making use of all sources of public international law, solving complex international legal questions, develop written and verbal skills
Faculty members: