What is it all about? And how does the university promote this practice-oriented exercise?

Jurastudium |

A moot court is the most practical simulation of an (arbitration) court hearing. The students represent the litigants in a fictitious case, which usually deals with current problems originating from everyday practice. Moot courts, with their strong emphasis on oral arguments, are a traditional part of legal education in Anglo-American countries.


Increasingly, however, moots are also finding their way into legal education in Germany. These days there are a large number of moot courts covering a wide variety of legal fields. In addition to the renowned international moots such as the "Willem C. Vis" (international commercial law), "Philip C. Jessup" (international law) and the Oxford IP Moot, there are also national moot courts.         
These include:

  • the Labor Law Moot Court
  • the BFH Moot Court (tax law)
  • the HanseMoot (constitutional law)
  • the MOVE Moot (asylum and migration law)
  • and the Soldan Moot (civil law, professional law of lawyers).

Bucerius Law School regularly participates in the relevant moot courts. “Mooting" is actively promoted at the law school. In 2020, a donation from the Bucerius Alumni Association enabled the establishment of the "Mooting Center". This comes under the academic direction of the President of Bucerius Law School, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Katharina Boele-Woelki, and serves to advise and support the mooting teams.


This support comes fundamentally from the fact that mooting at Bucerius Law School is valued as an important part of legal education. This is because participation not only offers a rare opportunity to put into practice what has been learned theoretically in law school. Mooting also offers participants the opportunity to learn skills that are extremely important in the profession, but are often neglected in traditional legal training. These include not only rhetorical skills, but also negotiation management, teamwork and the ability to engage passionately and objectively with other people.

Mooting is praised by the president of the alumni association, Ruben Rehr, as an "important component of a practice-oriented education". The president of the university added, "During legal training, participation in a moot court should actually be mandatory. It is a unique experience!". Prof. Kröll, one of the directors of the Vis-Moot, also shares this assessment. He states that many of the student participants describe the Moot as a "life changing experience" which has shown them completely new aspects of studying law. In his view, the competitive element of the moot courts also contributes to the fact that "many students go the extra mile to delve into legal issues and their economic context."  


Due to this focus, the university teams have already had some success:

  • Two-time winner of the national round of the Jessup Moot
  • Four-time winner of the Soldan Moot
  • Winner of the HanseMoot 2017  
  • Winner of the MOVE Moots 2019
  • Second place winner at the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition 2020
  • Three-time winner of the Arbeitsrechtliche Moot Courts (BAG)
  • Winner of Steuerrechtlicher Moot (BFH) 2017
  • Winner of the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court 2016
  • Multiple successful participations with individual awards at the Model UN
  • Winner of the Oxford International IP Moots 2017

Perhaps the greatest success in the university's history, however, occurred just recently: In April 2021, a team from the university won the international Vis Moot, in which more than 380 teams and 1,200 referees participated from over 60 countries around the world.

Participant Manyedi Lieck said: "For me, participating in the Moot Court gave me a completely new, practical perspective on my studies and legal work. Presenting a case from the perspective of a client and finding arguments for one's own position, even in legally difficult situations, showed me what legal work could look like after graduation. The Moot Court also had an added value for me personally. There was an incredible amount to learn from the other teams as well as valuable feedback from practitioners and academics."


Arne Lemke