The European Law Moot Court starts in the beginning of September every year and ends in April of the following year. The ELMC is divided into a written and an oral phase.
The written phase of the competition starts on September 1st with the publication of the case on the internet. On the basis of this case the participating teams develop their written observations for their “clients”. Each team represents the applicant as well as the defendant. Their task is to identify the positions and best arguments of both sides and to submit them to the ECJ. The participating teams have to hand in their written observations until November 30th. From all the written observations submitted, the best 48 teams are selected and invited to the oral rounds.
The oral phase of the competition starts in the beginning of January with the preparation of the oral proceedings taking place in the so-called Regional Finals. The Regional Finals are carried out on the weekends in February. Four Regional Finals take place, each with 12 participating teams.
Every participating university presents a team consisting of the representative of the applicant and the representative of the defendant as well as an advocate general or commission representative. While the applicant and defendant represent their clients, the advocate general and commission representative have to present their legal opinion on the case. All participants plead before a bench comprising professors, lawyers, employees of the commission, judges or even advocates general of the ECJ from all parts of Europe. During the Regional Finals the best team as well as the best advocate general or the best commission representative are identified.
The winners of the four regional finals are invited to the All European Final in Luxembourg in April. The best teams present their pleadings in the courtroom of the ECJ before a bench comprising seven judges of the European Court of First Instance.