A fake fish and two disagreeing imaginary countries are among the elements of an international competition for law students, this spring at Utrecht University: the NILOS Moot Court Competition. 11 teams from 9 different countries from all over the world (China x2, Italy x2, Germany, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cyprus, Iran, Greece, a UU team) have registered and are battling each other in court.
The NILOS (Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea) Moot Court Competition is organised on 22, 23 and 24 May 2019 by Professor Seline Trevisanut, Professor Alex Oude Elferink, dr. Erik Molenaar (deputy director of NILOS), Professor Cedric Ryngaert and dr. Machiko Kanetake. The semi-finals and final will be held in the historical city center of Utrecht. Participants will have to draft memorials and participate in oral arguments to show their abilities in legal research, writing, analysis and oral advocacy skills. They have to be creative and original and not just deliver straightforward legal answers.
The Law of the Sea
The moot court is the first in it's kind, simulating proceedings under Part XV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It will simulate proceedings either before the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or an Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal. The competition will be a unique opportunity to discuss fascinating issues of international dispute settlement connected to issues on fisheries, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, the navigation of vessels, pollution and marine renewable energy.
The Utrechtis lawis is a protected species of fish that both states in the case fish for, but that also needs to migrate in the waters in order to survive. One of the imaginary countries (Federal Republic of Fulton) is building a wave-energy farm to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement. This is not to the liking of the country opposite its coast, the Kingdom of Vattel. Vatteller fishermen have noticed a significant decrease in the abundance of Utrechtis lawis in the region compared to previous years... If you're curious, the entire case is online.