The Vis Moot Court 



The annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court is one of the most prestigious international competitions for law students with over 365 universities from more than 84 jurisdictions participating. It is a simulation of international commercial arbitration proceedings, where students submit written memoranda and plead before an arbitral tribunal just as real-life counsel do. The case file, referred to as „the problem“, entails relevant legal issues relating to the international sale of goods as well as international procedure.This moot court is characterised by its international setting on all fronts from the legal issues, applicable law and engaging high-profile practitioners and students. A successful participation will not only be a highlight on your CV but grant you access to specific scholarship opportunities [] at different universities in the United States of America.  

The Vis Moot Timeline

The preparation 

Starting in September, we will start a regular meeting schedule to get to know each other and the laws that the Vis Moot Court uses. You will enjoy special lecture on the CISG, arbitration and the institutional rules used in your Vis Moot year. These weeks will also be filled with an introduction to written advocacy. Previous teams have sometimes attended the Swiss Vis Moot Academy in late September.

The publication of the problem and deadline for clarifications

The problem, a about 50-60 page document will be published in early October, as the official starting point of the international competition. Within the first two weeks you need to carefully read and analyse it, evaluate the evidentiary documents provided and formulate a basic plan of attack. The requests for clarifications are your only opportunity to ask for additional information or details of the problem, which the organisers can then answer at their discretion, to be published in the Procedural Order No. 2

The written phase

Analysing the problem and arguing on the basis of the law and the facts, first for Claimant, later for Respondent will fill up your Winter Semester when participating in the Vis Moot Court. Writing a 35-page memorandum as counsel differs from your written civil law exams as you  write not as an objective observer, but to argue and support one of the parties for the tribunal to either affirm or deny the claim. In the Notice and Response to Notice of Arbitration respectively, your objective is laid out, but it is up to you and your team members to find the law and facts on which to base your argument. 

The writing process starts out with research - a lot of research in commentaries, academic articles and case law from all over the world. You will necessarily work with databases from both civil and common law jurisdictions and engage with either system’s jurisprudence. Together with your team, you will then come up with a preliminary structure for your memorandum to write a coherent submission. The workload for either memorandum should not be underestimated as you will need to do a 180 degree turn in your position and build up new support in literature and case law for Respondent’s position. 

The oral phase

Oral Advocacy is an art that requires experience and practice, and the Vis Moot provides a safe environment to test out your pleading style and most importantly get feedback from prominent practitioners on how to improve. The oral submissions challenge you to be concise and persuasive in presenting the most important issues, to be responsive to your opponent’s arguments and to effectively answer the tribunal’s questions.

This phase is full of internal test pleadings before your coaches and external arbitrators, hearings against other universities’ teams and Pre-Moot Competitions to expose you to the high-pressure and fast-pace environment that awaits you at the Vis Moot Week in Vienna and beyond. Look at the Power Point Presentation below to find out where previous teams have participated.

The Vis Moot Week Vienna

All the participants of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court travel to Vienna for a week of competition and networking. Each team will have four hearings in the first four days, after which the knock-out rounds of the best 64 commence, eventually culminating in a Final Pleading Round to determine the winner of the competition at the celebratory closing ceremony. The entire week is accompanied by law firm receptions, tours to the United Nations, special lectures and round tables on the topic of arbitration and international private law and a specially designated Mootie Bar. The Vis Moot Week Vienna is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Further Information

For more information regarding the Moot Court activities and application process look to “How to apply for the Vis Moot Team Innsbruck”, “News" and our Social Media Accounts on LinkedIn and Instagram as well as the materials below.


Mock Trial: Team University of Innsbruck vs Team University College Dublin (Arbitration Day 7 June 2022) – starting at 7:20 min (Kenncode na5f^%*8)
Desiree Prantl: The Arbitration Agreement (Arbitration Day 7 June 2022)
Presentation of the Vis Moot 



Nach oben scrollen