International Law and Religion Moot Court

Brazil 2020

[EVENT SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE COVID-19]

Official Rules of the Competition


I. PRELIMINARILY

The International Law and Religion Moot Court (Brazil, 2020) will be organized by The Brazilian Center of Studies in Law and Religion from January 2020 through June 2020. The Competition is administered by the Center and is designed to contribute to the training of law students in subjects related to International Human Rights Law as well as Law and Religion.

The Organizing Committee of the Competition (hereafter Committee) shall be responsible for all organizational matters concerning the Competition and shall supply and distribute all necessary information to the participating teams.

The Competition is open to all law students enrolled in law schools around the world.

The Committee will interpret, apply and enforce these rules for the Competition. The Center will also be responsible for managing the Competition and addressing all concerns that may arise. Any concerns regarding the Competition shall be brought to the attention of the Center at moot@direitoereligiao.org.


II. STRUCTURE OF THE COMPETITION

The competition will be structured according to this format:

  1. Preliminary Rounds.
  2. Quarter-Final Rounds.
  3. Semi-Final Rounds.
  4. Final Round.


III. LANGUAGE

The Competition (e-mails, communications, written Briefs, oral Pleadings and Judgments) will be entirely held in English. No translation will be provided.


IV. TEAMS

  1. Each team may be composed of a minimum of two (the two must be designated as Speakers) to a maximum of three members (two of them must be designated as Speakers and one as Researcher). Every team can have one member as Assistant (a third member in a team of two or a fourth member in a team of three).
  2. It is forbidden to be a member of more than one team in Competition.
  3. Each team member must be a law student who have not completed studies, exams or apprenticeships sufficient to enable them to practice law in their respective jurisdiction.
  4. Only team members can be involved in the work of the team.
  5. On the Application Form, each team shall designate a contact person and provide the name, email, and phone number of that individual to the Committee. Every communication to the team will be addressed to the designated team contact person, and it will be his/her individual responsibility to look after his/her email and telephone after new contacts and information.
  6. If a team must substitute a competitor before the end of the registration period, please notify the Committee as soon as possible. After that period, no team may substitute a member without good cause (i.e., uncontrollable circumstances). The Committee will decide what constitutes good cause.
  7. Only the Researcher of the team can argue as a Speaker in the place of a Speaker, if there is good cause, with the permission of the Committee. The assistant cannot argue as Speaker in any case.


V. DRESS CODE

The participants must wear formal clothes in the oral rounds.


VI. CASE

  1. A fictitious case is drafted by the Drafting Commission. The case shall concern Law and Religion.
  2. The case will be published online on this website on the specified date at: https://www.direitoereligiao.org/moot/2020/Case.
  3. Each Team may make a formal request via email to the Committee for clarifications regarding the facts of the competition case. It is forbidden to contact individual members of Committee directly.
  4. Requests must be submitted by the specified date. Any request submitted after this deadline will not be taken into account.
  5. The Committee will reply to any request by the specified date (see timeline bellow).
  6. Questions and replies of general interest for the applying teams will be made available online on this website.


VII. REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION

  1. Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to send by e-mail an expression of interest to moot@direitoereligiao.org as soon as possible.
  2. To participate in the competetion, each team member must fill the registration form (Deadline: March 25, 2020).
  3. The registration form is available at: https://www.direitoereligiao.org/moot/2020/Registration.
  4. After the completion of the form, each team is required to send a recommendation letter by a professor who currently teaches at the same institution of the team members and a provisional summary of the argument for each of the sides of the case (Deadline: March 28, 2020).
  5. The letter of recommendation and the provisional summary of the arguments should not be longer than two pages each. Content Specifications: i. Font and Size (General) - Times New Roman, 12 pts; ii. Line Spacing (General) - 1.5 lines; iii. Font and Size (Footnotes) - Times New Roman, 10 pts; iv. Line Spacing (Footnotes) - Single line.
  6. A letter of acceptance will be sent by e-mail to the qualified teams on March 31, 2020.
  7. The registration fee for each member of qualified teams is US$120.00 (One hundred and twenty US Dollars), which includes the activities of the competition, two lunches, three dinners, and coffee breaks during the competition. The fee does NOT include other expenses, such as transportation and accommodation (Payment deadline: April 10, 2020).
  8. Information about the payment method for the registration fee will be sent to the qualified teams by email.


VIII. BRIEF

  1. The Committee will designate a team number for each team after the confirmation of their registration. The teams will identify their briefs by that number on the right corner of it.
  2. Each team should submit one brief for each of the sides of the case.
  3. Each brief shall not exceed 20 pages.
  4. Each team must submit one electronic copy of the brief in PDF format to the Committee at moot@direitoereligiao.org.
  5. Each brief must include the sections bellow in the following order: i. Cover Page; ii. Table of Contents; iii. Table of Authorities; iv. Statement of the Case; v. Summary of the Argument; vi. Argument; vii. Conclusion.
  6. Content Specifications: i. Font and Size (General) - Times New Roman, 12 pts; ii. Line Spacing (General) - 1.5 lines; iii. Font and Size (Footnotes) - Times New Roman, 10 pts; iv. Line Spacing (Footnotes) - Single line.
  7. Each brief must be submitted with the team’s designated number on the cover page, as mentioned above - on the right corner. No identifying information, such as competitors’ names or school, may be included anywhere on the brief.
  8. Each team submitting a brief must acknowledge that the team’s work is original and that the brief complies with the Rules set forth herein. This acknowledgement of original work will be signed by the authors and attached to the email that is sent with the brief. Any brief that is not submitted with this acknowledgment will not be graded.


IX. BRIEF SCORING

  1. Each grader will use the official grading sheet.
  2. Each team’s overall brief score will be the average of the panel of graders’ scores.
  3. The brief will count toward 50% of the team’s score during the Preliminary Rounds and Quarter-Final Rounds of oral arguments.
  4. The brief will NOT count toward the team’s score during the Semi-Final Rounds and Final Round.
  5. Briefs will be judged based on the following criteria:
  • Correct legal analysis and its application to facts: 20
  • Quality and extent of research: relevant treaties, customs, case law, legal scholarship: 20
  • Recognition of problems: complete and correct recognition and weighting of problems: 15
  • Correct primary and alternative submissions: 10
  • Clarity of logic of arguments: 15
  • Evidence of original thought: 10
  • Overall presentation: language, structure, format, citations: 10
  • Total: 100


X. ORAL ARGUMENTS

  1. Each team will be limited to thirty (30) minutes of argument per round. The two Speakers of each team will argue the issues presented during each round. The bailiff will hold up time cards visible to the oralists indicating ten (10), five (5), three (3), one (1), and zero (0) minutes remaining.
  2. Teams will be allowed to take up to five (5) minutes for rebuttal time.
  3. Each team will defend a side that will be set by the Committee before each round.
  4. Teams with higher scores in the immediately previous stage of the competition will be paired with teams with lower scores at the same stage.
  5. The eight teams with the highest score at the Preliminary Rounds will advance to the Quarter-Final Rounds. The four winning teams at the Quarter-Final Rounds will advance to the Semi-Final Rounds. The two winning teams at the Semi-Finals will advance to the Final Round.
  6. The Preliminary Rounds and Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and the Final Round will be held on June 16-18, 2020 in Uberlândia - Brazil.
  7. The Oral Pleading will be judged based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
  • Correct legal analysis and its application to facts: 10
  • Relevant treaties, relevant customs, case law, legal scholarship: 10
  • Recognition of problems: complete and correct recognition and weighting of problems: 10
  • Clarity of logic of argument: 10
  • Correct primary and alternative submissions: 10
  • Evidence of original thought: 10
  • Overall presentation: 15
  • Ability to communicate with Judges: persuasiveness and fluency: 15
  • Rebuttal: ability to respond to opposing side’s arguments: 10
  • Total: 100


XI. CHECK IN AND ATTENDANCE AT ARGUMENTS

Any team failing to check in at least ten minutes prior to the commencement of any round is subject to disqualification at the discretion of the Committee.


XII. COMMUNICATION DURING ROUNDS

  1. During the Oral Round, oral communication is limited to the Judges and the Speaker presenting a Team’s arguments.
  2. Once a round has commenced, there shall be no communication in any form from any member of the audience, including coaches, faculty advisors, or team members. Teams are not permitted to disclose the identity of their schools to judges until either the conclusion of the Competition or the team’s elimination from the Competition, whichever is earlier.


XIII. ORAL ROUNDS SCORING

  1. The scores of the teams will be computed for the Preliminary Rounds and Quarterfinals by adding the brief score with the oral argument score. The oral argument score will count toward 50% of the overall score and the brief will count toward 50% of the overall score. The scores from the judges will be averaged together for the total score.
  2. During the Semi-Final Rounds and Final Rounds, the judges will determine the winners based on oral arguments. The oral argument score will be 100% of the score.
  3. In the event a tie occurs, the team with the higher brief score will be declared the winner.


XIV. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND AWARDS

  1. On the last day of the competition, The Brazilian Center of Studies in Law and Religion will host an awards ceremony. These awards will be based upon performance in the oral rounds, one each round and one to the best at all rounds. Each oralist must compete in the Preliminary Rounds in order to be eligible for an oralist award. In addition, at the ceremony, awards will be presented for the four (4) highest scored briefs.
  2. The team that wins the Final Round will be named the First Place Team. The team that competes in the Final Round, but does not win, will be named the Second Place Team.


XV. PENALTIES

The Committee may assess penalties, including disqualification, as it deems reasonable and appropriate in its sole discretion for failure to comply with these rules, other rules established by the Committee, or the spirit of the Competition.


XVI. OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE

  1. The brief and oral argument must be the work product of the student team members only. The text of the brief must be the original work of the team members and cannot be copied from other briefs sources, except for passages clearly designated as quoted material.
  2. The prohibition on outside assistance does not prevent preliminary general discussion of the issues with the student coach, faculty or others before beginning to write the brief. Nor does it prevent a student coach, faculty member or other person from critiquing a practice argument after submission of the brief, provided that the finalized substance of the oral argument is the work product of the team members.


XVII. MISCELLANEOUS

Participation in the Competition, whether as a team member, coach or faculty advisor, constitutes consent to be photographed and recorded by the Committee and third parties invited or hired to perform such services. Photographs and recordings may be displayed or distributed during or after the Competition in a variety of formats and media, including posting on the internet and use in press releases and promotional materials. Participants waive all claims for any compensation, damages or other remedies in connection with such photographs or recordings and their use.


XVIII. CANCELATION

  1. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to cancel the competition and to refuse/cancel registrations at any time. If the Committee cancels the event or refuses a registration, registrants will be offered a refund. The Committee also reserves the right to cancel the competition, at any time, due to low enrollment, inclement weather, epidemics, pandemics, global economic crisis, cancelation of flights, or other circumstances which would make the event non-viable. If the Committee cancels the event, registrants will be offered a refund. Should circumstances arise that result in the postponement of the event, registrants will have the option to either receive the refund or transfer registration to the same event at the new date.
  2. The deadline for cancelation by participants and the deadline to require a refund for an individual ticket is three business days (72 hours) before the event. Cancellations will be accepted in writing by email only and must be received by the stated cancellation deadline.
  3. In any case, the Organizing Committee reserves the right to deduct from the amount to be reimbursed all related fees and taxes already paied or to be paied by the Committee to the Foundation that manages the event account, bank fees, bank wire fees, online payment plataform/solution/company fees (such as Paypal), and others.


XIX. TIMELINE

  • January 02, 2020 - Release of hypothetical case ad Release of the Rules of the Competition.
  • February 01, 2020 - Registration opens.
  • March 03, 2020 - Deadline for the request for clarification of facts.
  • March 10, 2020 - Response to requests for clarification of facts.
  • March 25, 2020 - End of registration.
  • March 28, 2020 - Deadline for the submission of the provisional summary of the argument for each side of the case and recommendation letter.
  • March 31, 2020 - Announcement of qualifying teams.
  • April 10, 2020 - Deadline for payment of registration fees by qualified teams.
  • May 08, 2020 - Deadline for the submission of the brief.
  • June 16-18, 2020 - Competition in Brazil.


XX. ADMINISTRATION

  1. For requests for information or rule interpretation, please contact the Committee at moot@direitoereligiao.org.
  2. The Center and the Organizing Committee has the discretion to modify these rules accordingly.