Monash Law students win prestigious mooting competition

Monash Law students win prestigious mooting competition

Our Monash Law School students have once again proven their legal prowess by winning the prestigious Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Australia Vis Australian Pre-moot.

Monash University, represented this year by LLB Honours students Evangelia Diamontopolous, Felicia Leong, Mary Pirozek, Arman Riazati, William Ryan, Michaella Schwartzshtein, and Matilda Winnell, has been crowned the winner of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Australia Vis Australian Pre-moot, under the coaching of Dr Drossos Stamboulakis.

CIArb is the world's oldest and largest international centre of excellence for the practice and profession of alternative dispute resolution. The Willem C Vis Moot is an annual arbitration competition for law students, focusing on international commercial law. There are two main competitions held in Hong Kong, and Vienna. Normally, almost 500 universities compete in Vienna, and 150 universities in Hong Kong. Teams come from every continent in the world to compete, and it is sometimes referred to as "the Olympics of law". The Vis Moot involves around 4,000 students and coaches, and another 1,000 arbitrators. Arbitrators are real-life judges, international arbitrators, academics and lawyers from almost every country worldwide.

The pre-moot competition was established to allow Australian teams a chance to test their oral advocacy skills in front of arbitration panels made up of leading Australian arbitration practitioners, before presenting globally in the Vienna rounds of the Vis Moot. Monash prevailed in four rounds across a dozen Australian universities, including Bond University, University of Queensland and University of Sydney. Felicia Leong, one of the successful students of the Monash team, was also recognised as the best speaker of the Moot.

Each student has put in huge amounts of work over the past 6 months, preparing detailed written memoranda and practising their oral moot skills. However, this year turned out to be very different, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with students presenting virtually from the confines of Monash's world class Moot court facilities.

The teams' success in the CIArb pre moot comes off the back of its strong showing in the Vis East rounds last week (held virtually, but usually in Hong Kong). The team progressed to the finals, in the top 32 of almost 150 teams. Both Arman Riazati and Michaela Schwartzshtein received honourable mention for their advocacy performances.

We are incredibly thankful for the ongoing support of the Dean of Law, Professor Bryan Horrigan and Monash Law's Moot fellows (Professor the Hons Clyde Croft and Marilyn Warren), and indebted to the innumerous Vis alumni and legal professionals who have volunteered to assist the team as judges.

The Monash team now sets its sights on the final leg of the competition: the Vienna round of the Vis Moot (beginning Saturday 27 March)!