In 2013 the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam launched the Migration Law Clinic. Students of the Migration Law Clinic write expert opinions in important cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. The Clinic has become an important component of the Master Specialisation International Migration and Refugee Law. In the academic year 2018-2019 the Clinic celebrates its fifth anniversary. For this reason the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law organised an International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition. The oral hearings of the moot court competition took place on 9 and 10 May 2019 in Amsterdam. As part of the event, a seminar on the (potential) role of migration and refugee law clinics in strategic litigation was held on 10 May.
The International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition was open to all universities. Teams consisted of four students and a coach.
After two intensive days the team of Ghent University won the final of the moot court in the court room of the district court of Amsterdam.
In the final they competed against the team of the University of Hong Kong.
Moot Court structure
The moot court competition consisted of a written round (finalized in March 2019) and a two-day oral round, which took place on 9 and 10 May 2019 in Amsterdam. Each team pleaded in a fictitious case between the State and a migrant before a legal body.
For the moot court rules see: International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Rules 2019.
The program of the moot court event on 9 and 10 May in Amsterdam can be found here: Program booklet final
Each team submitted written pleadings on behalf of both the State and the migrant. The written pleadings were evaluated by an international evaluation panel. 12 teams were invited for the oral hearing in Amsterdam on the basis of the quality of their written pleadings.
During the oral hearing of the moot court each team pleaded two times (once for the State and once for the migrant). The best teams competed with each other in the (semi)final(s). The semi-finalists were: Ghent University, University of Hong Kong, Maastricht University and the City University of London.
The following teams had qualified for the oral rounds:
Moot court case
The initial case concerned non-refoulement. This case was the basis for the written pleadings and the first rounds of the oral hearing. You can find the moot court materials here: international migration and refugee law moot court case. You can find the answers to the questions for clarification here: IMRLMCC 2019 Questions for clarification with answers.
The finalists of the moot court competition pleaded on a new migration law topic (family reunification) during the second day of the oral hearing.
10 January 2019: Case materials sent to the participating teams
8 February 2019: Deadline submission questions for clarification
4 March 2019: Deadline submission written pleadings
18 March 2019: Results written pleadings and invitation for the oral hearing
18 March – 22 April 2019: Travel arrangements and visa applications
22 April 2019: Written pleading sent to opposing teams
9 and 10 May 2019: Oral hearing and seminar Vrije Universiteit
Sponsors of the Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition: