The Foreign Language Communication Programme's 13th annual Bucerius Common Law Moot competition was held in early June, and saw no less then 10 teams of students taking part in it.
Unlike in previous years, this time the competition was based on a human rights problem. Students were required to moot whether or not it was lawful for the UK government to deprive a naturlised British citizen of her citizenship in circumstances where she had left the country and joined a global terrorist organisation in the Middle East.
As such, the problem raised issues of immigration law, human rights, public international law and human trafficking. The question also tested students' ability to engage in statutory interpretation and deploy creative policy arguments around such issues as national security and deradicalisation programmes.
Some 20 students competed in the first round of the competition, but ultimately just two teams (Svenja Kantelhardt and Laleh Eimaq for the the appellant, and Fabian Wegener and Midas Kempcke for the respondent) proceeded to the Grand Final, held on Monday, 10 June in the Moot Court.
The Bench was comprised of two members of the Foreign Language Communication Programme, Lezel Roddeck and James Linscott, and a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute, Dr. Paulina Starski.
The judges were impressed with the passion and eloquence of the moot finalists. Svenja Kantelhardt held firm in the face of tough questoning from the judges, while Laleh Eimaq kept her cool when undergoing a grilling on whether an arbitary deprivation of citizenship had taken place. Midas Kempcke referred the judges to highly persuasive judicial materials to make the point that the appellant had not in the circumstances been trafficked to Syria, while Fabian Wegener enthralled the judges with his bold rhetoric regarding the rights of the community to safety and security.
Unfortunately, only one team could win, and in the end it was the respondents who made it over the line to take home the coveted Bucerius Common Law Moot trophy.
Undoubtedly, the standard of mooting in the Bucerius Common Law Moot augurs well for the performance of Bucerius students in the international mooting competitions in which they take part later in their academic careers.
The Foreign Language Communication Programme would like to thank the students for taking part in the competition, and the judges for giving of their time to adjudicate its earlier rounds.