With dual events held each year on opposite sides of the world, the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration is one of the most prestigious, challenging, and truly international moot competitions in the world.
The Vis Moot is designed to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes.
Hundreds of law schools from dozens of countries compete each year in multi-day competitions in Hong Kong and Vienna, Austria. Catholic University’s law school began fielding its own team seven years ago, and its track record in both geographic spheres of the massive moot has improved impressively each year.
Professor Harris Weinstein, the team’s coach, mentor, and faculty advisor, completed a summary of the recently concluded 2014 Vis season.
Report highlights include these points:
- All eight team members gave consistently strong arguments that scored high enough to qualify us for the elimination rounds in each of the four international moots we entered.
- For the first time, we qualified for the elimination rounds in both Vienna and Hong Kong in the same year.
- For the first time in a major moot, we prevailed in the initial elimination round when we advanced to the round of 16 in Hong Kong.
- For the first time in a major moot, members of the CUA team received Honorable Mention as oralists.
- For the first time in a major moot, Team Europe received team Honorable Mention for oral argument.
- Our Claimant’s Memorandum received Honorable Mention in Hong Kong -- the fourth such award CUA has received in our eight years of participation in the Vis.
- We have qualified for the elimination rounds in five of the ten major Vis moots we have entered since 2007: In Vienna in 2008, 2010 and 2014; and in Hong Kong in 2009 and 2014.
- This year’s Vis team was strongly supported by seven Vis alumni who have competed in the past. They served as volunteer coaches, fundraisers, and as arbitrators in team practice sessions.
In particular, the rock solid support of four Vis team alumni were instrumental in the team’s successful competition season. Raeka Safai, 2008, Renee-Lauren Ellis, 2010, Kirsten Bender, 2013, and Frances Bishop, 2013, all served as volunteer coaches, working tirelessly to prepare the team for its excellent results. In addition, Safai accompanied the Asia group to Hong Kong and Bender accompanied the Europe group to Vienna, each at her own expense.
“All four deserve recognition and enormous appreciation,” said Weinstein, whose summary concludes:
“Over 50 members of CUA law school classes from 2006 through 2016 have established a tradition of excellence and success in the Vis. Our record through eight years of competing in international arbitration moots surely places our team and our school in the upper echelons of United States law schools. The task of those who follow is to maintain and build upon the exceptional work of their predecessors.”