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Leiden Law School hosts European Law Moot Court Competition

From 30 January 2020 to 1 February 2020, the Europa Institute of Leiden Law School hosted the first regional final of the 2019/2020 edition of the European Law Moot Court (ELMC) competition.

The ELMC is the most prestigious moot court competition in the field of EU law, with up to 100 teams from across Europe and beyond competing in four regional finals. The winners of each regional final advance to the All-European Final that takes place at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, in front of the actual judges of the Court. At the Leiden Regional Final over 75 participants from 12 universities competed over the two days of the competition. The event was hosted by the Europa Institute, and was generously sponsored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the City of Leiden, and Leiden Law School.

The event kicked off on Thursday evening, when the teams were welcomed to the law school by speeches from the Dean of the Law School, Prof. Joanne van der Leun; Vice-Mayor of the City of Leiden, Paul Dirkse; Director of the Europa Institute, Prof. Stefaan Van den Bogaert, and Master of the Moot, Daniel Carter.

Friday was the main day of the competition, with the 12 teams pleading in two courtrooms in the Law School in front of ten experienced and knowledgeable judges with a wide range of backgrounds. The bench of judges was made up of Prof. Stefaan Van den Bogaert (Leiden University); Prof. Christa Tobler (Leiden University and Basel University); Prof. Jeronimo Maillo (CEU San Pablo University); Hannah Sevenster (Council of State of the Netherlands); Prof. Daniel Sarmiento (University Complutense of Madrid); Corinna Wissels (Council of State of the Netherlands); Winfred Knibbeler (Partner, Freshfields); Mirna Romic (Legal Secretary, Court of Justice of the European Union); Dr Allan Tatham (CEU San Pablo University); Dr Jorrit Rijpma (Leiden University); and Dr Vicky Kosta (Leiden University). After a long day of twelve pleading sessions, the judges made the decision as to the final four teams and commission agents that would progress to the semi-finals on Saturday morning.

After the semi-finals on Saturday morning, two teams were selected for the final, which took place in the afternoon in the historic Academy Building. It was a tough final with excellent pleadings from both Applicant and Defendant, but ultimately the judges made the difficult decision as to who was the overall Winning team and Commission Agent. The winners now progress to the All-European Final, which will take place in April 2020 in Luxembourg.

On Saturday evening, the teams had a farewell dinner which was followed by the infamous ELMC singing contest, and a party that went on late into the night! During the event the organisers were assisted by the Leiden Regional Team, made up of student volunteers from various Leiden Law School LLM programmes.

The Europa Institute would like to thank the European Law Moot Court Society for the opportunity to host this competition. We would also like to thank our sponsors, and of course all those responsible for making the regional final such a great success!

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