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 organises an International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition. The oral hearings of the moot court competition will take 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 will be held on 10 May.
The International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition is open to all universities. Teams should consist of four students and a coach. Students should be actively enrolled in a Bachelor or Master programme of law (PhD students are not allowed to participate). Non-law students may participate, if they have a sufficient level of knowledge of international migration and refugee law. We recommend that participating students fulfil the admission requirements of the Master Specialisation International Migration and Refugee Law. Students may not have professional pleading experience.
Moot Court structure
The moot court competition consists of a written round (finalized in March 2019) and a two-day oral round, which takes place on 9 and 10 May 2019 in Amsterdam. Each team should plead 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
Each team should submit written pleadings on behalf of both the State and the migrant. The written pleadings should not exceed 6000 words for each party (excluding footnotes). The written pleadings will be evaluated by an international evaluation panel. A maximum of 12 teams will be 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 will plead two times (once for the State and once for the migrant). The best teams will compete with each other in the (semi)final(s). Each court session takes 60 minutes. Each team will have 20 minutes to plead and 5 minutes for rebuttal. Ten minutes are reserved for the judges to ask questions to the parties.
The following teams have qualified for the oral rounds:
Moot court case
The initial case concerns non-refoulement. This case is 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 will prepare and plead on a new migration law topic (for example family reunification) during the second day of the oral hearing.
Each team is required to nominate one qualified person, who consented to be a member of the evaluating panel. This member shall not be involved in the (preparations of) the participating teams. Each member evaluates two or three written pleadings between 4 and 18 March 2019.
Accommodation and travel costs
Two nights accommodation will be provided to all students (not coaches) of the teams, who come from a University located more than 2 hours by public transport from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Teams have to bear their own travel costs. Teams from low income and lower middle income countries (see the world bank list of economies) can apply for a travel grant and an accommodation grant for their coach. You can do this in the more extensive registration form, which will be send to you after you have filled out the form below on this page. The decision on the applications for grants will be taken together with the decision, which teams will go through to the oral round in Amsterdam.
2 January 2019: Deadline for registration
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: