2017 Rule Changes

5.2 General Rounds

The general rounds will be held on Friday, March 24, 2017. Each team will argue twice, once as claimant and once as respondent, in the general rounds. In the event the number of teams is uneven, a drawing will be held to select the teams which will compete a third time. For these teams the scores obtained in the same role will be averaged.

5.7 Scoring

In the event a moot has proceeded with only two arbitrators, the missing score will be the average of the scores provided by those arbitrators who have submitted scores.

5.8 Absent team

In case a team fails to appear for a scheduled oral round, the arbitral tribunal after notifying the Competition Administration and waiting for 15 minutes shall conduct the oral round ex parte. The attending team may present its arguments and shall be scored as if the absent team were present.

The team that fails to appear at the scheduled oral round forfeits all points for the round.

2015 Rule Changes

Additions are highlighted in green.

Competition Schedule: The official Competition schedule provides deadlines for submissions as well as the order of each round.  The official Competition schedule is published at www.wcl.american.edu/arbitration/schedule2016.cfm.  In case of any disagreement between the dates published in these Rules or any other documents, the dates published in the above mentioned webpage shall prevail. 

1. Registration

1.1 Registration Form

Participants must register by submitting the registration form to the Washington College of Law Center on International Commercial Arbitration. The competition will be limited to the first 22 teams to register. The registration form may be submitted by e-mail. Registrations will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. EST, January 8, 2016. On this date, the Team Contact Person should submit a list of any students who wish to be acknowledged for their participation in the preparation for the competition who will not be competing in the oral rounds. A later date for registration may be negotiated with the Competition Committee if there is sufficient time for a team to adequately prepare for the moot.

3. Teams

3.1 Composition

Each participating law school may enter up to two teams.  A team may be composed of two to four members. While only four students may be registered to compete and participate in the oral rounds, additional students may contribute or help teams prepare in advance of the competition. In this way, more people will benefit from the experience. For example, such students may conduct research for a team’s oral or written arguments or write any part of the team’s outline. , presenting any of a team’s oral arguments, and serving as desk counsel are examples of activities that contribute to a team’s work product.  Each student who contributes to the work product of the team must be registered as a team member and counted toward the maximum four team members that may constitute a team. 

3.2 Participation

In each of the oral hearings, two members of the team must present the arguments. The arguments should be divided by jurisdiction and the merits. If only one team member or more than 2 members present arguments during a hearing, the team will be subject to point deductions. There may be one additional team member to serve as desk counsel by keeping notes and time during the presentation. We encourage teams to use desk counsels since volunteers assisting the tribunal (Secretary of the Tribunal) will not be available at all times. Participants shall have no communication with the members of the public while they are arguing.

3.3 Anonymity of Teams

Teams must not reveal their school to judges at any time during the competition. Inadvertent disclosure does not apply; however, teams should do their best to refrain from revealing their school information or be subject to point deductions. 

5.2 General Rounds

The general rounds will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2016. Each team will argue at least two times, at the minimum once as claimant and once as respondent, in the general rounds.

The Competition Committee will publish the timetable for the general rounds on the moot website by March 11, 2016. Each team will receive the outline of the opposing teams for the general rounds by March 11, 2016. The Competition Committee reserves the right to make any last minute changes, which may be necessary due to circumstances beyond the Committee’s control.

The Competition Administration will provide the tribunal with the rules of the competition, the problem, any clarifications, analysis of the problem, and an oral evaluation form. In the first round only, the tribunal will be provided with the outlines of each team participating during the general rounds.

5.5 Arbitrators  

In each oral round, the Competition Administration shall employ three (3) judges whenever possible. In extenuating circumstances, the committee may authorize panels of two (2) judges, but this should be done only as a last resort and the committee should minimize the number of times that a Team is evaluated by a two-judge panel.  In the general rounds, no member of an Arbitral Tribunal may judge a team arguing for the same side in a subsequent hearing. Arbitrators are also expected to simulate a real arbitration, including maintaining independence and impartiality. Though possible conflicts of interest between the arbitrators and participants may arise without the previous knowledge of the Competition Administration, the Administration assumes no risk, except that the arbitrators will act with impartiality if they cannot be reassigned.

For the final round, the organizers of the competition will select arbitration practitioners or academics, whose busy schedule requires them to be invited in advance.  There is a chance they will be related in some way to one of the academic institutions that reach the final. The organizers will try to make changes. However, if changes are not possible, the arbitrators are assumed to act with impartiality.

8.2 Weather or Emergency Situations

In such case of a weather or emergency situation, which disrupts the normal course of the competition schedule, the Competition Committee will take reasonable measures to guarantee the completion is carried out according to schedule and accommodate delays.

If cancellation is unavoidable, in spite of all the efforts of the organizers to ensure the competition proceeds as normal, the organizers reserve the right to reschedule the rounds.