Osgoode team places in top 10 at prestigious Vis moot

For the fourth year in a row, a team of students from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School has placed in the top 10 at the Vis Moot. Of the 156 teams competing in this year’s moot in Vienna, Austria, all three Ontario law school teams advanced to the elimination rounds, which involve the top 32 teams in the tournament. The Osgoode team of Sonu Dhanju, Lauren Tomasich, Rachel Schipper, Erin Rizok, Gerald Chan and Manjit Singh advanced to the “round of 16” and finished tied with seven other law schools for ninth place.

 Above: The 2006 Osgoode Hall Vis Moot team

Osgoode also picked up two oralist prizes, which are awarded to 35 of the approximately 600 students who participated in the moot’s general rounds. Two members of the Osgoode team were singled out for special recognition. Sonu Dhanju received the Martin Domke Award, which is awarded to the Best Oral Advocate in the entire competition, while Gerald Chan won an Honourable Mention as a top oralist.

The Osgoode Vis Moot team was coached by Osgoode Professor Janet Walker and Nick Pengelley, law librarian, Osgoode Law Library. 

This is the fourth year in a row that Osgoode has been in the top 10 at the Vis Moot. The 2003 Osgoode team made it to the “round of 16” for top 10 teams in 2003. Then, in 2004, Osgoode’s Vis Moot team won first place in the competition and the win represented a first for a Canadian team in the 11-year history of the competition. In 2005, the Osgoode team reached the quarter finals.

“Such successes speak volumes about the talent and commitment of our Osgoode students and their ability to compete on an international stage in a spirit of teamwork and collegiality,” said Patrick Monahan, dean, Osgoode Hall Law School. “Congratulations to this year’s team for helping to boost Osgoode’s reputation for excellence.”

The Vis International Arbitration Moot, in which top law schools from dozens of countries simulate legal argument in an international commercial dispute, is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the world.

The Vis Moot is named for Willem Vis, world-recognized expert in international commercial transactions and dispute settlement procedures. From Utrecht in the Netherlands, Vis led several United Nations initiatives in the area of international commercial law.