zondag 5 april 2009

Pictures taken in Dublin before heading to Holyhead

Irish breakfast.
From left to right: Aline Godfroid, Geert Malfliet and Hovik Begian

From left to right: Geert Malfliet, Anthony Godfroid and Hovik Begian.
Anthony Godfroid

dinsdag 31 maart 2009

Antwerp-team did not bad at all in Bangor

The Antwerp ELMC-team returned quite satisfied from the regional final in Bangor, Wales.
Our trip began in Charleroi, where we took the plane to Dublin. After some hours of sightseeing over there, we took the ferry to Holyhead. We arrived just in time at our hotel in Bangor, the Travelodge.

The first evening we had an opening reception and we had the opportunity to meet our competitors. We returned early to the hotel to catch some very urgent sleep.

Friday was the big pleading-day. At 9h30 Anthony had to take the role of the defendant of the Rohndorian treasury, against the Helsinki-team. The Commission was represented by Diego Toni of the Torino-team. Anthony did very well and was able to counter a lot of heavy questions from the judges.

After Anthony’s appearance, we had one hour to prepare for Geert’s pleading. At 11h30 he took the role as Applicant for Prell AS, against the Hungarian team. In this session, the Commission was represented by Tomasz Gwara of the Columbia School of Law. Geert did a great job! Well-counseled by Anthony he could give a plausible answer to almost every question from the Court. At this session, the famous jacket and pee incident took place. Insiders know what we are talking about.

Meanwhile, Hovik was preparing to take up the role as Commission Representative. At 16h his session started. The team of Lüzern represented the Applicant, the team of Bratislava took the Defendant’s role. After a very intensive debate between those two teams, Hovik started his pleading. The judges ‘attacked’ him with some very difficult questions, but he managed to keep up quite well.

At 18h it was time to announce the four semi-finalists. Unfortunately our team didn’t make it. Nevertheless, there was still a chance that a Belgian team could win the Bangor semi-final: the University of Leuven qualified, along with the teams of Helsinki, Lund and the Columbia School of Law. That evening, we had dinner with all the participants at the Court’s restaurant in Beaumaris.

Since we did not have to plead anymore on Saturday, we went to Caernarfon to visit the famous Castle. It was definitely worth the trip. At 2h we returned to Bangor University to attend the final between the teams of Leuven and Columbia. We truly have to say that this final was at a very high level.

After some time of deliberation by the judges, there was quite a surprise for our team: Geert has won the ‘special achievement award’ for his outstanding/remarkable pleading! Of course, we were all very happy with it. In addition, Steven Peeters of the Leuven team won the same award as best Commission Representative. Despite the victory of the Columbia team, those two awards made sure that the Belgians could return home very satisfied.

To end this fantastic experience, there was a nice gala dinner and party at Bangor University. We continued the party, together with a lot of great students, at the hotel room of the Americans. It was an awesome evening. The next morning we did not enjoy as much… we had to catch our cab at 9h.

In the end, it was a marvelous experience. We’ve learned a lot, we’ve had some serious fun and we’ve met some fantastic people from many different countries. We wish to thank everyone we’ve met in Bangor, you were all great. And last, but not least, we really appreciate the presence of our coach Aline. Thanks a lot, you were a great help. Without your support we had not been in Bangor in the first place!
Furthermore we want to thank our sponsor, Linklaters. Without their financial help, participation would have have been too costly.

More pictures will be uploaded in the days to come.

This is Geert (holding his certificate) with his special achievement award:

zaterdag 7 maart 2009

Gazet van Antwerpen covers the team

Gazet van Antwerpen, a daily newspaper with 500,000 readers per day, covered our team this Wednesday.
Click on the image to read the full article.

zondag 1 maart 2009

De Juristenkrant

In Dutch:
"Dit jaar hebben enkele Antwerpse studenten deel genomen aan de voorronde van de European Law Moot Court competition (ELMC). De drie masterstudenten rechten Anthony Godfroid, Hovik Begian en Geert Malfliet zijn doorgestoten tot de regionale finale die zal plaatsvinden in Bangor (Wales). Tijdens de pleidooien zal de rechtspleging van het Hof van Justitie in Luxemburg gevolgd worden. Meer informatie vindt u op www.legalworld.be"

vrijdag 20 februari 2009

Premoot Maastricht

The Antwerp ELMC-team is in full preparation for the oral rounds. This week, we agreed with the University of Maastricht to organise a premoot. This will take place during the first week of March and is a crucial step in our preparation-process. We will compete with two different teams. It is a unique opportunity to test our present level, and to share some experiences.

The Antwerp-team in De Juristenkrant

Last week De Juristenkrant thought the Antwerp-team to deserve a special statement in their edition of February.
In Flanders almost every practitioner reads De Juristenkrant. We are therefore proud to have appeared for the first time in this journal.

vrijdag 13 februari 2009

Appointment with former référendaire

At 2 pm we have an appointment with a former référendaire of the ECJ.

More information will follow.

Click here for a definition (in French) of référendaire.

dinsdag 10 februari 2009

ELMC-Antwerp Coverage in the media

This week an interview with our team will appear in a local paper: "De Bode van Schoten". Even though it is local, this paper, which is published twice a month, has a circulation of about 70,000 copies!
As soon as we get hold of the article, we will publish it here.
Also LegalWorld, a new website of Kluwer editors, published an editorial on the ELMC-Antwerp team. Click here to read it (in Dutch).
This friday we have an appointment with a former référendaire of a judge at the European Court of Justice. She will tell us everything there is to know about the procedure of the Court.

zondag 8 februari 2009

The Law Faculties Hosting the ELMC: An Introduction (4)

Bangor University (Prifysgol Bangor), School of Law

A. The City:
Bangor is a small city in the county of Gwynedd (North Wales). although it does not have an abundance of attractions, it is a picturesque place offering views over the Menai Strait (especially attractive at sun-set), and also serves as a convenient base for visiting the nearby Snowdonia National Park. One of the University's key selling-points is indeed its location between Snowdonia and the island of Anglesey.

With a population of only around 14,000 (students included: 24,000) , Bangor is one of the UK's smallest cities. However, as a bustling university town, the city is not lacking in cafes and restaurants and enjoys a vibrant night life.

B. The University:

B.1 History:
Until 1 September 2007 the University was part of the federal University of Wales, and was officially known for most of its history as the University College of North Wales ("UCNW", Coleg Prifysgol Gogledd Cymru in Welsh). It later became "University College, Bangor" ("UCB", Coleg y Brifysgol, Bangor). From 1995 until 31 August 2007 the University was known as "University of Wales, Bangor" ("UWB") and Prifysgol Cymru, Bangor ("PCB").

The change of name to Bangor University or Prifysgol Bangor was instigated by the University following the decision of the University of Wales to change from a federal university to a confederal, non-membership organisation, and the granting of degree awarding powers to Bangor University itself. The University has, however, decided not to take advantage of these powers and will continue to award degrees in the name of the University of Wales for the time being

The University was founded as the "University College of North Wales" on 18 October 1884 with an inaugural address by the Earl of Powis in Penrhyn Hall, there was then a procession to the college with 3,000 quarryman (quarrymen from Penrhyn Quarry and other quarries had subscribed over £1200 to the university).
The University was originally based in an old coaching inn called the Penrhyn Arms Hotel (which housed its 58 students and 12 teaching staff), but in 1911 it moved to a much larger new building which is now the old part of the Main Arts Building.
Its students received degrees from the University of London until 1893 when UWB became a founding constituent institution of the federal University of Wales.
In 2007, the University became an autonymous institution, albeit with degrees still being validated by the University of Wales.

B.2 School of Law
The School of Law at Bangor University is Wales’ newest law school. Established in 2004 in response to the high demand for Law provision in north Wales, the School receives great support from the region's legal profession, which has many advantages for students following law at Bangor.
The School is modern, small and friendly. The staff consists of a team of experienced, enthusiastic multilingual
staff who have taught in the UK and Europe and this experience is reflected in the teaching programme at Bangor. The aim is to provide a range of up to date undergraduate degrees that match demand among prospective students. The School of Law also offers a range of postgraduate degrees.
The content of the undergraduate curriculum and the department’s
research interests reflect the commitment to the international dimension of law and legal practice in the modern world.
The Law School has a strong
bilingual policy with tutorials in all of the foundation subjects required for a qualifying law degree
being available in either English or Welsh at the individual student’s choice.

The Official Sponsors of Our Team


Linklaters LLP is a UK-based global law firm, which advises some of the world’s leading organisations on transactions and operations. Linklaters has 26 offices in 19 countries, and is one of the five members of the so-called "Magic Circle" of prominent UK law firms. Over the past decade, Linklaters has undergone a major transformation from an English law firm to a leading global firm. Today, Linklaters has around 540 partners and 2,400 qualified lawyers, more than 60% of whom are based outside the UK.

Linklaters was founded in 1838 as Dods & Linklater. In 1920, the firm merged with Paine, Blyth & Huxtable, creating Linklaters & Paines.

Ten years ago, Linklaters was predominantly an English law firm with small domestic operations in a number of overseas jurisdictions (Brussels, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York City, Paris, Singapore, and Tokyo). In 1996, the firm pursued a strategy of global expansion to meet the increasing demand for premium, multi-jurisdictional legal advice. Since then, it has built a formidable global practice through organic growth and a series of mergers and joint ventures.

In 1998, Linklaters & Alliance was formed with four other European law firms: De Bandt, van Hecke, Lagae & Loesch; De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek; Lagerlöf & Leman, and Oppenhoff & Rädler.

Over the next five years Linklaters merged with three of these firms in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Sweden, as well as merging with firms in the Czech Republic and Poland and opening offices in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Beijing, Budapest, Bucharest, Bratislava, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Rome, São Paulo, and Shanghai.

During this period, Linklaters formed a joint venture with the premier Singapore practice, Allen & Gledhill, to create Linklaters Allen & Gledhill, and a co-operation with Brazilian firm Lefosse Advogados.

On April 1, 2005, when new laws came into effect in Japan, permitting multi-national partnerships, Linklaters created Japan’s first fully-merged law firm practising Japanese, English, and US law, meaning that Linklaters found itself among the few global firms in Japan who can provide international and domestic advice from a single source.

Linklaters opened its newest office in Dubai in February 2006, building on its thirty-year track-record of advising clients in the Middle East, in response to clients’ increased focus on the Middle East and a growing demand for premium legal advice from clients operating in the region.

vrijdag 6 februari 2009

ELMC Facts

Moot - What's in a name

The word "moot" originates from a scandinavian word meaning simply a meeting.
The meetings concerned were assemblies of the members of a community for legislative or judicial purposes.
The word was given its present meaning in the English Inns of Court in the sixteenth century where law students would present their legal arguments on a given set of factual circumstances (often resembling real cases) before one or several senior lawyers or judges.
Aspiring lawyers were thereby given experience in the art of persuasion, without having to gain such experience at the risk of inadvertently damaging a real client's interests.
Various regional, national and even international mooting competitions have developed through the years such as the renowned Philip C. Jessup international law moot court competition, established in 1959.
The European Law Moot Court is developing rapidly into an organisation of similar scale and reputation.

zondag 1 februari 2009

The Law Faculties Hosting the ELMC: An Introduction (3)

Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

The University of Naples Federico II (Italian: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) was founded in 1224 and is organized into 13 departments.
It is the world's oldest state university and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation. The university is named after its founder Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emper.
The current president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, is a notable alumni.

In the twentieth century the university grew steadily. The University of Naples survived the years of World War II.
Though often bombarded, it did not undergo severe damage; however, after the armistice of 8th september 1943 and the guerilla warfare put up by the insurgent Neapolitans, retreating German troops set some university buildings on fire.
Following this disastrous period, other university facilities were taken over for some time by the occupying Anglo-American forces.
The Fifties and Sixties saw an expansion of the university and entire schools were moved into newly developing areas such as Fuorigrotta, on the North-Western periphery of the city, where the School of Engineering was located in a dedicated new building, and on the hill of Camaldoli where the Medical School occupies a very large area.
Since the year 2000 a new, very large compound, named the Monte Sant’Angelo Complex, located in the area of Fuorigrotta, has hosted the Schools of Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences, Biotechnological Sciences and Economics.
Although new universities have been established in Southern Italy and in the Campania region, student enrollment in Naples increased steadily in the Seventies and the early Eighties to over 100,000 making the University of Naples one of the largest in the country.
Nowadays the university is made up of thirteen schools, eightytwo departments, an academic staff of more than 3,000 individuals and an administrative staff of more than 4,500. Current student enrollment is still about 100,000.

The Law Faculties Hosting the ELMC: An Introduction

Boston University School Of Law

Boston University School of Law (BU Law) is the law school affiliated with Boston University.

It was founded in 1872 by a group of educators, lawyers, law teachers and jurists united by two beliefs: first, that a superior legal education requires instruction in the theory, analysis and practice of law; and second, that educational opportunities should be available to anyone, with merit as the only test.

Located in the heart of Boston University's campus on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts, BU Law is housed in the tallest law school building in the United States and the tallest academic building on campus.

It is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and a charter member of the American Bar Association.

BU Law students come from 46 states, 14 countries and more than 238 colleges and universities around the world.

Since 1964 BU Law occupies the bottom half of the current building, 765 Commonwealth Avenue on the Charles River Campus, colloquially known as the "Law Tower." BU Law shared the Law Tower with the School of Education for some years but now occupies the entire building overlooking the Charles River.

Boston University School of Law offers a broad selection of legal classes and seminars (approximately 150) with a student to faculty ratio of 12:1.

BU Law offers joint degrees with the Boston University Graduate School of Management (JD/MBA), the Boston University College of Communication (J.D./M.S.), the Boston University School of Public Health (J.D./M.P.H.), and the Boston University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (J.D./M.A.)

In addition to J.D. and joint degree programs, Boston University School of Law offers LL.M. programs in American Law, Banking and Financial Law, Intellectual Property, and Taxation, as well as several J.D./LL.M. program. BU Law is ranked #21 among American law schools by the 2009 U.S. News & World Report usnews.com.

BU Law is also ranked #10 for Best Career Prospects and #1 for quality of professors by the Princeton Review Best Law School Rankings.

The Law Faculties Hosting the ELMC: An Introduction (1)

St. Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia

The Faculty of Law was founded in 1892 as the third faculty of the Higher School after the Faculty of Histo­ry and Philology and the Faculty of Physics and Math­ematics. It was with the founding of the Faculty of Law that the Higher School acquired university status.
As early as the first decade after the founding of the Faculty a number of well-known lawyers joined its staff – Stefan Kirov, Petar Abrashev, Michail Popo­viliev, Josif Fadenheht, Stephan Bobchev, Georgi Da­nailov, Todor Kulev, Simeon Angelov. These lecturers defined the academic essence of the faculty with their high teaching and scholarly standards in major areas of legal studies.

On 21 October 1902 the Academic Council of the Higher School passed a resolution to establish eleven departments at the Faculty: Roman Law, History of Bulgarian and Slavic Law, State and Administrative Law, Political Economy, Finance, Public and Private International Law, Philosophy and Encyclopedia of Law, Civil Law and Civil Law of Procedure, Trade Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Law of Procedure, and Statistics.
For the first fifty years of its existence the Faculty of Law established itself as a centre of vigorous academic life. It extended and renovated its teaching staff. A clear proof of this fact was the next generation of lecturers at the Faculty, most of whom were its graduates who had specialized at eminent European universities.
During the first decade after the Second World War, the Faculty of Law underwent a serious crisis. Contrary to all norms and academic criteria, a number of people with considerable authority in the academic commu­nity, as well as some younger talented lecturers were forced to leave the Faculty of Law. Academic auton­omy was destroyed. Law education and legal studies were ideologized. Centralized approval of students and their political selection was introduced.
A process of normalization of academic life at the Faculty commenced in the 1960s. International schol­arly contacts were restored.

After the democratic changes in 1989 the independ­ence of the Faculty of Law was restored and the princi­ples of academic autonomy were reinstalled. Existing international relations were extended and developed. With the introduction of the new curriculum educa­tion at the faculty came to meet to a greater extent the requirements stemming from the changes in Bulgarian legislation and the process of legal integration.
In the 90s of the twentieth century a number of new faculties of law were established in the country. A number of them were modeled after the Faculty of Law of Sofia University. Moreover, it has been a source of teaching experience, transferred through staff members teaching at such universities as visiting professors, and through the recruitment of their teaching staff among young lawyers, graduates from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University.

During the academic year 2006/2007 the Faculty of Law had a total number of 3,093 Bulgarian and 211 foreign students.

vrijdag 30 januari 2009

Q&A - Hovik Begian

- What's your name?
Hovik Begian.

- Why are you participating in the ELMC?
Well, Benjamin Franklin said it best. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." I believe that this moot competition is the perfect way to fully appreciate that what the law has to offer. The written stage alone has been a great experience for me, I can’t wait to participate in the oral part of the competition.
Plus, it is an excellent opportunity to meet future colleagues from around the world, and the best of all, we can compete with them.

- Did you find it difficult to hand in memoranda in another language?
Oh yes, the difference between the English we hear on the television and its legal counterpart is enormous. However, after a week or two, we got the hold of it. There were other, much more difficult challenges to overcome.

- Why did you not chose French as a language for the memoranda?
The choice was not that difficult since English is the current lingua franca of the international business, law, science, diplomacy and technology. And this was of course the perfect opportunity for us to improve our language skills.

- Would you recommend others to compete next year?
Yes, and don’t let the hard work scare you off. It is worth it. There is more to law than just cramming textbooks.

- Is it ok for law firms with a European law practice group to contact you?
Do zebras have stripes? Of course!

Q&A - Geert Malfliet

- What's your name?
Geert Malfliet.

- Why are you participating in the ELMC?
Because it’s a valuable supplement to my regular legal studies. During my daily studies, I’m not occupying myself with European Law. It is very refreshing and interesting to deal with this kind of law. I think it is necessary for every modern law student to have proper knowledge of EU-law. This competition requires not only theoretical knowledge, but the students also need to put this into practice.

The ELMC is of course the ideal opportunity for students to show their values. In this competition, we compete with students from everywhere in Europe, America and Asia. Like my other team members, I really have the drive to compete with them.

- Did you find it difficult to hand in memoranda in another language?
Of course. There is a big difference between regular English and legal English. It took some time to master this specific jargon, but after a while it all went very well. The content of the memoranda was much more difficult than the language.

- Why did you not chose French as a language for the memoranda?
Like Anthony states, we all have some experience in big lawfirms and it’s very clear that English is the number one language in the legal world. The major part of the books and articles we’ve read about this year’s case were in English. In fact, we’ve never had any dispute about the preferred language.

- Would you recommend others to compete next year?
Absolutely! It will take many hours of work and study, but it’s worth that.

- Is it ok for law firms with a European law practice group to contact you?
Stupid question….

Q&A - Anthony Godfroid

- What's your name?
My name is Anthony Godfroid.

- Why are you participating in the ELMC?
First of all, the ELMC is one of the most renowned moot court competitions in the world. Every year the best law schools in the world take part.
Second, I am particularly interested in European law: for exemple 80 % of Belgian legislation has a direct link with Europe (implementation of directives, regulations, recommendations,...). Europe is everywhere.
Third, I love to compete.
In fact the motto of the ELMC reflects all the main reasons for taking part: "moot, meet and compete".

- Did you find it difficult to hand in memoranda in another language?
In the beginning my team mates and I were struggling with English legal jargon (corporated in v head office v central administration). But after a week things were much more easy.

- Why did you not chose French as a language for the memoranda?
As a bilingual country (in fact trilingual) it would have made more sense to use French. But my team mates and I have had some experience in big Belgian law firms and we agree. English is the number one language in the legal field. French only comes second.
However, we relied not merely on English legal authors, but also on French, Belgian, German, Swiss and Dutch authors and our summary was in French.

- Would you recommend others to compete next year?
I most certainly would. The ELMC is a rollercoaster experience.

- Is it ok for law firms with a European law practice group to contact you?
You bet!