Leiden University wins the Final Round of the
36th Edition of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition.
The Finalist Team was the University of Helsinki.
Leiden University All Participants
University of Helsinki Ross Galvin, Winner Best Oralist Award
TELDERS COMPETITION 2013
The 36th Edition of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition was held from Thursday 25 until Saturday 27 April 2013.
The participating teams pleaded "The Varsho River Dispute": Based on a 1925 agreement, the Varsho River and a freshwater lake along its route serve as the boundary between two States. When an earthquake results in the sudden appearance of a new feature in the lake and a change in the course of the river, a dispute over territorial sovereignty emerges. In addition, one State has announced plans to use hydraulic fracturing to exploit newly discovered shale gas deposits in an area along the river, and a private company based in the other State has just announced a major scientific discovery along the river, as well. The mining project has raised environmental concerns and questions about each State’s rights and obligations under international law. The case, which involves issues relating to treaty interpretation, international environmental law, and inter-generational rights, has been submitted to the International Court of Justice.
The Telders International Law Moot Court Competition passed its 30th milestone in 2007, and is still going strong. Since its humble beginnings in 1977, when only four universities took part, the Competition has today become the most prestigious and important moot court competition in Europe. Annually, teams from over 40 universities compete in the national rounds, with the successfully teams going on to represent their countries in the international rounds held at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
Through the Competition students are educated in legal practice and such principles as the rule of law, civil society and fair play. The Competition also stimulates team-work and European integration. Students and academics consider participation important, a great honour and a wonderful experience of a friendly and international competition never to be forgotten.
Each year student-teams are presented with a case involving a fictitious dispute between two states. This dispute is put before the United Nations' most important legal organ, the International Court of Justice. It is up to the student-teams to defend the two states to the best of their ability. Each student-team has to represent the states substantively both in writing and through pleadings before so-called moot courts. Per European country, only the university winning the national rounds may participate in the international rounds held in The Hague. The students' memorials and pleadings are judged by legal experts. In this respect, the active involvement of judges from the real International Court of Justice, the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, professors of law and ambassadors schooled in international law guarantee the high intellectual standards of the Competition and its prestige. The Competition is traditionally held at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
Professor B.M. Telders
The aim of the Telders Competition is to prolong the legacy of Professor dr. Benjamin Marius Telders, who became a professor of international law at Leiden University in 1937. Telders was intensely interested in why and how law operated. Being in many respects still undefined and interwoven with history and politics, international law was an excellent challenge. Professor Telders was respected for his sharp mind and had the honour to represent his country frequently, including before the Permanent Court of International Justice. Even during the Second World War, Telders stood up for his belief in the rule of law and civil society, and as a result was sent to the concentration camp at Bergen Belsen, where he later died in 1945.