This past weekend, Harvard Law School’s European Law Moot Court team won second place at the the All-European Final, which took place at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Five LL.M. students represented HLS at this year’s competition: Alexandre Sayde, Daniel Francis, Ekin Erdogan, Juan Jorge Piernas Lopez, and Teresa Vecchi.

“I am thrilled that our students acquitted themselves so very wonderfully in the European Law Moot court Competition,” said Professor Bill Alford ’77, vice dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies. “It is gratifying to see students from so many different nations – Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Italy, and the UK – come together to form such a cohesive team and to represent Harvard so well.”

Aimed at giving students the opportunity to further their expertise in European law, the competition is comprised of three stages. The first stage began last fall, when 84 teams submitted written arguments for both the Applicant and Defendant to a panel of judges.

The top 48 teams progressed to the semi-finals in February, where each team presented their arguments orally to a panel of eight judges. One team from each of four semi-final competitions is selected by the judges to advance to the All-European Final.

“The motto of the European Law Moot Court Competition is to ‘meet and compete’ and we can say that we have certainly done it well,” said Jorge Piernas LL.M. ’07, coach of the HLS team. “Our team competed fiercely with teams coming from universities specialized in European Law in front of the actual judges of the European Court of Justice.”

First held in 1988, the competition was originally only comprised of teams from the European Union. Now, teams from all over the world represent their schools in the annual event. HLS sent its first team to compete in the competition in 2005 and won the competition that year.