The Heidelberg University team won two first places and several honourable mentions at the 29th edition of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, which is the worldwide biggest and most prestigious international mock court where students play different roles for practice. Heidelberg law students Lea Deger, Noëmi Simon, Elena Stegmann, Moritz Böbel and Tobias Thomer placed first in Vienna for the memorandum for claimant and, in Hong Kong at the 19th Vis Moot East, for the memorandum for respondent. That means they prevailed in an international field of, respectively, 365 and 139 participating universities. In the oral pleading, the team both times reached the round of the 32 best teams in the world.
"Heidelberg University has participated very successfully in the international Vis Moot since 1995. Moreover, every year, without exception, since 2002 our team has achieved a placing in the top ten percent in at least one discipline," stated Marc-Philippe Weller, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at Ruperto Carola and involved in supervising the Heidelberg team from his position at the Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law. "I’m all the happier that we were able to achieve such outstanding successes in the final rounds in Vienna and Hong Kong."
Every year, the international Vis Moot attracts competing teams from all over the world to argue fictitious cases from international commercial and civil law. In a six-month preparatory phase the participating teams draft memoranda to represent the claimants and respondents before a fictitious arbitration court. The case this year focused on the claim that a contract had been signed to supply RSPO-certified palm oil. The jury selects the best teams for oral pleading, the best memoranda and the best speakers; in addition, it awards honourable mentions.
In the Vienna competition, held from 8 to 14 April 2022, Moritz Böbel, Lea Deger and Tobias Thomer constituted the Heidelberg team that prevailed in the competition for the best memorandum for claimant and received the Pieter Sanders Award. In the oral pleading the team reached the final round of the 32 best teams worldwide. Moritz Böbel was awarded an honourable mention for his outstanding oral performance.
At the Vis Moot East in Hong Kong, which was held virtually at the end of March, Noëmi Simon and Elena Stegmann performed well in the final orals and were awarded an honourable mention. The team came first with its memorandum for respondent, earning the Fali Nariman Award, and its memorandum for claimant gained an honourable mention.
The up-and-coming lawyers were coached by Madeleine Petersen Weiner, Louis Roer and Vincent Hoppmann under the academic supervision of Christoph Kern, Dr h.c. Thomas Pfeiffer and Marc-Philippe Weller at Heidelberg University’s Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law.