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Willem C. Vis Commercial Arbitration Moot

Course Level

advanced (year 3 and 4)

Course Type and Contact Hours

Soft skills course (4 hrs per week) + final competition in Vienna

Course Classification

This is a Themis course, although most Themis students who have to be back at their home universities for the second semester will not be able to take part.

The course is also open to non-Themis students.

Length of the Project

The course will start in October and end with the final competition in April. Participants must take part in all activities.

Course Language



10 (prerequisites: regular attendance and meaningful contributions of the student)

Teaching Mode

face-to-face meetings on campus


The course will be held in every winter semester.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

Once selected as a team member, you will be informed about the class schedule by the Moot Court coach.

Course Description

The goal of the Vis Arbitral Moot Court is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes through its application to a concrete problem of a client and to train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution.

The Moot involves a dispute arising out of a contract of sale between two countries that are party to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The contract provides that any dispute that might arise is to be settled by arbitration in Danubia, a country that has enacted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and is a party to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The arbitral rules to be applied rotate yearly among the arbitration rules of co-sponsors of the Moot.

The problem is distributed by posting on the Moot web site on the first Friday in October. A memorandum supporting the position of the claimant is due in Vienna early December. Each participating team is sent a copy of the memorandum for claimant of one of the other teams in the Moot. A memorandum for respondent is prepared in response to the memorandum received, and is due in Vienna in mid-February. The oral arguments take place in Vienna, beginning on the Saturday a week prior to Easter and closing on Thursday of Easter week. The general rounds of the oral arguments take place at the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna (Juridicum) on Saturday through Tuesday. Elimination rounds among the highest ranking teams take place on Wednesday and Thursday, culminating in the final argument. The Moot closes with an awards banquet following the final argument.

Restricted Enrollment

yes (that means that the number of participants is limited and that you might not get a place in this course)

Course Application

Applications should be sent via e-mail to: vismoot@zedat.fu-berlin.de by 31 July 2023. Please include:
- short letter of motivation in English
- tabular CV in English
- recent transcript of records
- proof of English language skills (if available)

Successful candidates will be invited for an interview.

Course Registration

It is not possible to sign up for this course via Campus Management. Once admitted, the Examnation Office is going to enroll you on Campus Management for this course.

Course Drop Period

Please contact the Moot Court tutor and the International Office at the Law Department if you wish to drop this course.


No exam will be given in this course. Students will receive the grade "Pass" for regular attendance and active contribution, or the grade "Non-Pass" for irregular attendance and/or non-meaningful contribution.

Before you take this course, please ask your home university whether you will be allowed to take a pass / non-pass course where no specific grade will be given.

More Information and Contact