International Law and Religion Moot Court
Official Rules of the Competition
The International Law and Religion Moot Court (Brazil, 2022) is organized by The Brazilian Center of Studies in Law and Religion from August 2022 through November 2022. 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 Organizing 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. 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.
The Organizing 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Competition (e-mails, communications, written briefs, oral pleadings and judgments) will be entirely held in English. No translation will be provided.
Due to time constraints, the Organizing Committee will accept only a limited number of teams.
The Moot Court will consist of a panel of experts simulating the United Nations Human Rights Committee, hereafter HRC.
The oral rounds of the Moot Court will be held in the city of Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais - Brazil.
August 01, 2022 - Release of hypothetical case and the Rules of the Competition.
August 01, 2022 - Registration opens.
August 31, 2022 - Deadline for the request for clarification of facts.
September 14, 2022 - Response to requests for clarification of facts.
September 14, 2022 - End of registration
September 21, 2022 - Deadline for the submission of the provisional summary of the argument for each side of the case and recommendation letter.
September 28, 2022 - Announcement of qualifying teams.
October 24, 2022 - Deadline for payment of registration fees by qualified teams.
October 24, 2022 - Deadline for the submission of the brief.
October 28, 2022 - The Organizing Committee will inform the teams about the role assigned to each team.
November 8, 2022 - International Colloquium on Law and Religion.
November 9, 2022 - Competition in Brazil (Oral Pleadings and Final Judgement).
III. STRUCTURE OF THE COMPETITION
The competition will be structured according to this format:
SESSION 1 - The Organizing Committee will present the Competition and the topic of the case.
SESSION 2 - Arguments before the HRC will take place. The exact schedule will be provided at a later date. At the hearings before the HRC, each team (applicant/petitioner and respondent) will be allotted 30 minutes to present their argue. The applicant/petitioner team can reserve 5 minutes for rebuttal. Each applicant team should alert the HRC at the start of argument if it wishes to reserve that time. The HRC will have the opportunity to ask questions during the pleadings.
SESSION 3 - The HRC will express an oral judgment about the argumentations and the work of the teams, will give some advice about the presentations and will declare which team was best in filing a brief and in arguing. It will also announce an award of best speaker/oralist.
The Program of the Competition can be found here.
IV. TEAMS AND TEAM ADVISOR
Each team may be composed of a minimum of two (the two must be designated as speakers) to a maximum of four members (two of them must be designated as speakers and two as researchers).
It is forbidden to be a member of more than one team in Competition.
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.
Only team members can be involved in the work of the team.
On the Application Form, each team shall designate a contact person and provide the name, email, and phone number of that individual to the Organizing 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.
If a team must substitute a competitor before the end of the registration period, please notify the Organizing Committee as soon as possible. After that period, no team may substitute a member without good cause (i.e., uncontrollable circumstances). The Organizing Committee will decide what constitutes good cause.
Only the researchers of the team can argue as a speaker in the place of a Speaker, if there is good cause, with the permission of the Organizing Committee.
Each team may decide to be assisted by a team advisor who has the task of organizing, advising and training the members. The team advisor is not allowed to actively take part in the oral pleading, however she/he may attend.
V. DRESS CODE
The participants must wear formal clothes in the oral rounds.
A fictitious case is drafted by the Drafting Commission. The case shall concern Law and Religion.
The case will be published online on this website on the specified date at: https://www.direitoereligiao.org/moot/2022/Case.
Each team may make one formal request via email to the Organizing Committee for clarifications regarding the facts of the competition case. It is forbidden to contact individual members of Organizing Committee directly. Only one formal request for clarifications with a maximum of 3 questions may be made by any applying team.
Requests must be submitted by the specified date. Any request submitted after this deadline will not be taken into account.
The Organizing Committee will reply to any request by the specified date.
Questions and replies of general interest for the applying teams will be made available online on this website.
VII. REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION
Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to send by e-mail an expression of interest to email@example.com as soon as possible.
To participate in the competetion, each team member must fill the registration form.
The registration form is available here.
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.
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.
A letter of acceptance will be sent by e-mail to the qualified teams.
The registration fee for each team is R$400,00 (four hundred Reais), which includes only the participation in the competition. The fee does NOT include other expenses, such as meals, transportation and accommodation.
Information about the payment method for the registration fee will be sent to the qualified teams by email.
The Organizing 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.
By the deadline listed in the Timeline above, each team must prepare two written briefs, one for the applicant/petitioner and one for the respondent.
Written briefs will be used by the Organizing Committee to assign roles to each team.
Each brief shall not exceed 20 pages.
Each team must submit one electronic copy of each of the briefs in PDF format to the Organizing Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each brief must include the sections bellow in the following order:
i. Cover Page: The Cover Page of the brief must have only the following information, which should be in the following order: The Team Number followed by “A” if an Applicant Brief or “R” if a Respondent Brief. The name of the Case; The title of the document (i.e., “Brief for Respondent” or “Brief for Applicant”).
ii. Table of Contents: The Table of Contents should include a list of topics or sections of the brief.
iii. Table of Authorities: The list of sources must contain references to all page numbers where sources or authorities are used or cited in the “Arguments” section of the brief. Authorities may include, but not exclusively: legislation, case-law, literature, newspaper articles, expert reports, and any other relevant documents.
iv. Statement of the Case: The Statement of the Case should be limited to facts relevant to the “Arguments” section in the brief, and may not include unsupported facts, distortions of stated facts, argumentative statements, or legal conclusions.
v. Questions Presented: In this section, teams should present the legal questions the HRC is being called upon to decide in the context of the case. They must be presented as neutral questions, i.e. teams should not state their position on the questions raised in this section. The questions must be precise, relevant to the facts and each question should ideally not be more than a sentence. While each legal question might have further sub-questions, teams must state only the main legal questions in this section. Usually, there are 4-5 main legal questions in every problem.
vi. Summary of the Argument: A good Summary of Arguments should consist of a substantive summary of the “Arguments” section of the brief, rather than a simple reproduction of the headings contained in the Arguments section.
vii. Argument: Substantive, affirmative legal argument or legal interpretation of the facts of the Case may only be presented in the “Arguments” section of the briefs.
viii. Conclusion: This section should include a brief conclusion that asks the HRC to take a certain action (e.g. “For the foregoing reasons, this HRC should...”).
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.
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.
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 e-mail that is sent with the brief. Any brief that is not submitted with this acknowledgment will not be graded.
The Organizing Committee will assign the role of applicant/petitioner or respondent to each of the applying teams. The roles’ assignment will be based solely on the substance of the arguments presented in the briefs and will try to make the applicants’/petitioners’ and the respondents’ arguments match.
After each selected team is accorded a role, the briefs will be assessed by the HRC members.
After roles are assigned to selected teams, each team will receive the relevant brief of the team it is arguing against; no other briefs will be circulated before the hearings are held.
Each brief shall be written in English.
IX. BRIEF SCORING
Each brief shall be individually and independently assessed by each member of the HRC. Team’s overall brief score will be the average of the panel of graders’ scores.
The brief will count toward 50% of the team’s final score.
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
X. ORAL PLEADINGS
The selected teams will participate in the oral rounds of the Competition.
Each team must prepare the oral pleadings for the role that was previously assigned by the Organizing Committee.
The oral pleadings will be in English.
A minimum of one and a maximum of two team’s members (speakers/oralists) shall plead and present the arguments at the hearings.
Any breach of the rules will be assessed by the HRC and may have consequences on a team’s final evaluation or lead to its exclusion from the Competition.
Each team (applicant/petitioner and respondent) shall have 30 minutes to present their arguments. The applicant/petitioner team may reserve part of their 30 minutes for the rebuttal.
Each team may divide its total 30 minutes as it deems best between its two oralists provided that:
Each applicant/petitioner team can decide to save time during the pleading and reserve it for rebuttal, provided that the HRC is notified in advance.
No more than 5 minutes shall be used for the rebuttal, if reserved.
A member of the Organizing Committee will indicate the elapsed time at request of the members of the HRC. 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.
The time for the oral presentations may be reduced, if needed. If this happens, teams will be notified in due course.
XI. CHECK IN AND ATTENDANCE AT ORAL ROUNDS
Any team failing to check in at least ten minutes prior to the commencement of the oral pleadings is subject to disqualification at the discretion of the Organizing Committee.
XII. COMMUNICATION DURING THE ORAL PLEADINGS
During the oral rounds, oral communication is limited to the members of the HRC and the speaker presenting a team’s arguments.
While an speaker is actively arguing before the HRC, communication between that speaker and the other members of her/his team (counsel table) is prohibited.
Any communication between team members at counsel table shall be in writing. The HRC will apply a penalty on the team for any time an oral communication occurs.
XIII. ORAL ROUNDS SCORING
Each team shall be individually and independently assessed by each member of the HRC. Team’s overall score ni the oral round will be the average of the panel of graders’ scores.
The oral pleading will count toward 50% of the team’s final score.
The oral pleading will be judged based on 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 members of the HRC: persuasiveness and fluency: 15
Rebuttal: ability to respond to opposing side’s arguments: 10
XIV. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND AWARDS
The final judgment considers the team’s briefs and the team’s oral round performance before the HRC.
The winning team before the HRC shall be the team with the best judgment. The HRC will name the best oralist of the hearings.
The HRC will express a judgment regarding the work of the teams and will give them some advice about the presentations.
In the event a tie occurs, the team with the higher brief score will be declared the winner.
The Organizing 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 Organizing Committee, or the spirit of the Competition.
XVI. OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE
Outside assistance is forbidden during the drafting of the brief and the oral pleadings. The brief and oral argument must be the work product of the student team members only, with optional assistance of the team advisor, who may support the team in organizing, advising and training the members. The team advisor is not allowed to actively take part in the oral pleading, however she/he may attend.
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.
The prohibition on outside assistance does not prevent a student coach, faculty member or other person from preliminary discussions about the case before the drafting of the brief by the team members nor 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.
Participation in the Competition, whether as a team member, team advisor, member of the Organizing Committee, member of the Moot Court's panel of judges/experts, regular participant, or participant in any other capacity constitutes consent to be photographed and recorded by the Organizing 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.
Each team must bring any print materials to the Competition upon which it wishes to rely in oral pleadings. The Organizing Committee will not provide any paper copies, and teams will not have access to a printer at the Competition site.
The Organizing Committee reserves the right to cancel the competition and to refuse/cancel registrations at any time. If the Organizing Committee cancels the event or refuses a registration, registrants will be offered a refund. The Organizing 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 Organizing Committee cancels the event, registrants will be offered a refund regarding the registration fee. Should circumstances arise that result in the postponement of the event, registrants will have the option to either receive the refund or transfer registration fee to the same event at the new date.
The deadline for cancelation by participants and the deadline to require a refund is fifteen business days before the event. Cancellations will be accepted in writing by email only and must be received by the stated cancellation deadline.
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 Organizing 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.
For requests for information or rule interpretation, please contact the Organizing Committee at email@example.com.
The Center and the Organizing Committee has the discretion to modify these rules whenever appropriate.