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Fall-Spring 2021 Course

Oral Argument Before International Tribunals Workshop

Prerequisite: Open to members of HLS Jessup International Moot Court and Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration Teams

Exam Type: No Exam

This workshop program is designed to develop skills of oral argument before international legal tribunals such as international courts or tribunals in international commercial arbitration. It includes discussion, extensive practice and critique, and prepares members for participation in oral arguments in the Jessup International Moot Court Competition and the Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration competitions. Enrollment and credit in the workshop are limited to members of the HLS Jessup and Vis teams who are prepared to and will conduct moot oral arguments before international tribunals in these competitions, including the of-counsel who prepares to participate in oral arguments as an alternate. Meetings of the group take place during the Fall, Winter and early Spring Terms. The workshop will make use of the materials for the actual 2022 competitions.

The program will include one or more initial classroom discussion sessions for all members of the workshop on the attributes and challenges of international tribunals, roles of written vs. oral argument, use of core theory in oral argument, significance of language in international proceedings and fundamentals of oral argument techniques.

When the case materials are available, the instructor will meet with both teams individually to discuss, in general, potential core theories and questions raised by the case materials.

When memoranda/memorials are in draft form, the teams will meet individually with the instructor or discuss the process of development of key points for oral argument and how to project core theories in oral argument.

Following substantial completion of the memoranda/memorials the teams will meet individually with the instructor to conduct several practice moot arguments with critique on a rotation basis. It is anticipated that each team will have at least two practice sessions with the instructor. This will assist the teams in selecting the various oralists.

There will be at least one classroom-workshop session with discussion of how to handle questions from the tribunal, alleviating misunderstandings and language problems, reacting to improper conduct by opposing counsel, and similar issues.

It is expected that the workshops, practice sessions and moots with the instructor will aggregate at least 12 hours for each team during the course of this program.