October 31, 2020

Cayman Islands Law School in Vis Moot, Vienna


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Vis moot 1The Truman Bodden Law School moot team has recently returned from competing in the Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria. The team consisted of Ms Diana Tibbetts, Mr. David Lim and Ms Tania Smith. Accompanying the team as their coach was Law School lecturer, Dr. Leonardo Raznovich.

A “moot” is a mock legal advocacy exercise, requiring students to appear before a panel of judges and present a legal argument. In this case, law students participated in two crucial phases: the writing of memoranda for both claimant and respondent and the oral argument based upon the memoranda.

This competition saw more than 2,000 students consisting of law schools such as Yale, McGill University, King’s College, London and University of Auckland; over 900 lawyers, law professors and other arbitration practitioners from all over the world were in attendance. The Truman Bodden Law School was one of the smallest schools in attendance and competed against law schools from countries such as: Finland, Germany, Italy and Macedonia. The Truman Bodden Law School team received very favourable comments on the quality of both their written submissions and their oral arguments. Notably, one judge from Germany commented in respect to the performance of the TBLS team that the: “representations were made at the highest level and left very little room to critique on”.

vis moot 2Competing in the Willem C Vis International Arbitration Moot offered not only the chance to compete alongside 2000 other students from 66 countries, but also provided the opportunity to gain insight into the field of international arbitration and to network with over 900 lawyers, law professors and other arbitration practitioners in attendance, who were not only present to judge the competition, but also to provide general advice for students interested in international commercial arbitration.

The TBLS students commented that the experience was an extremely educational one. They each agreed that the experience had made them learn a lot as individuals and that it had helped to develop a work ethic that would benefit them in their future careers. The students stated that the experience was a truly educational one. Diana Tibbetts said that: “I now fully understand the ability to apply the law with persuasion. I saw growth within my oral advocacy from the start of the competition to the final moot in Vienna. You learn a lot as a person and develop work ethics that will in no doubt benefit you during your career.” While David Lim commented that “it was an amazing advocacy experience. A moot like this really gives you a better idea of what is expected as a professional both in terms of the preparation that is expected and how the law operates in a real-life context. I really enjoyed the experience, it was fun.”

Vis moot 3Attendance at the competition was made possible through the generous support of The Caymanian Bar Association, The Cayman Islands Law Society, Maples, the Truman Bodden Law School Student Society and the Jonathan S. Tarboton Gratitude Fund.

The team would like to acknowledge the work of their coach, Law School lecturer, Dr. Leonardo Raznovich and other law school staff and local practitioners who sat in on mock moots, and provided their assistance in preparing the team.

Photo captions:

Photo 1: Vis moot grand venue

Photo 2: Cayman Islands TBLS students (from right to left) Tania Smith and Dianna Tibbetts

Photo 3: Vis moot in progress


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