Osgoode students compete in international moots in Hong Kong and Vienna

For the first time, York’s Osgoode Hall Law School sent two teams of students to international moots overseas to tackle the same simulated legal argument, but in different places – Hong Kong and Vienna. The results included two Honourable Mention Oralist awards.

The annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, which attracts students from some of the top law schools around the world, grew so large it had to be split into two moots. The Vis Moot (East) in Hong Kong is a sister moot to the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, which takes place in Vienna.

The teams in both countries took on the same international commercial dispute. The goal of the moots is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes. It also acts as further training for law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution. The challenge? The teams are each given the same concrete problem of a client and have to try to resolve it.

Osgoode Hall Law School students Ziad Reslan and John David Keith attended the 6th Vis Moot (East) in Hong Kong, while Kalyn Bomback, Mark Hines, Daniel Hohnstein and Yadira Flores competed in Vienna at the 16th annual Moot. Their coaches were legal research & writing instructor Peter Mazzacano and Professor Janet Walker.

“Our team in Vienna went from strength to strength, rising through the elimination rounds to finish tied for 17th position out of 232 teams from around the world with Kalyn winning an Honourable Mention Oralist award,” said Patrick Monahan, dean of Osgoode and vice-president academic & provost-designate.

The team in Hong Kong won an Honourable Mention for the Team Respondent’s Memorandum, and Reslan also won an Honourable Mention Oralist award.

“Both of our teams were commended for the superb quality of their submissions and their wonderful team spirit,” said Monahan. “Congratulations to the students and their coaches.”

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.

In another moot closer to home, a team of Osgoode students took second in the Fasken Martineau First Year International Law Moot in Toronto on March 28.                        

Marc Rodrigue received an Honourable Mention and Brent Kettles won a Distinguished Oralist award in the competition won by the University of Toronto.                                                    

“Our team competed against teams of first-year law students from the University of Toronto, Queen’s, Syracuse, Buffalo and Cornell, arguing a mock dispute before the International Court of Justice,” said Monahan.  

The rest of the team was comprised of Katherine Booth, Marlene Costa, Greg Dorsz, Kimberly Lawton, Jonathan Park and Jennifer Wang, with coaching by the upper-year Jessup International Law Moot Court team of Alyssa Brierley, Ren Bucholz, Kosta Kalogiros and Tim Phillips.