Future Lawyer Blog

Good news from Ghent! The International Refugee and Migration Law Moot Court Competition

Rosa Thomas (BVS), Ciara Coleman (BVS), Becky Moon (GDL) and Adithi Shenava (GDL) were selected to represent City at the International Refugee and Migration Moot Court Competition back in October 2021. They had until mid December to get their written pleadings completed and then heard in mid January that they were amongst the top 12 teams to be awarded the highest scores and would advance to the oral rounds of the 2022 Competition. In mid-March they headed off to Ghent, Belgium to compete, unfortunately without poor Adithi who got Covid. Below, Ciara gives us a rundown of their experiences.

What did the case concern?

The case surrounded a fictitious problem on the intricacies of refugee status for the Applicant. 

Your prior knowledge of the subject area

Rosa Thomas, Ciara Coleman and Becky Moon

The team had little knowledge of the areas of law that the moot was focused on which included international migration and refugee law as these areas of law are not usually taught on the syllabus of LLB or the GDL. 

What you needed to do to qualify for the oral rounds

To qualify for the oral rounds, we had to submit two skeleton arguments, one for the Applicant and one for the Respondent of a maximum of 6,000 words each. 

How you managed yourself as a team

In the preliminary stages we split up the work equally and then met frequently to collaborate our work together. During the moot itself, when we advanced to the semi-final and then the final, we worked as a team to incorporate the new elements into our case.


One of the team members was unwell with COVID-19 so was unable to travel to Ghent. She plead in the preliminary rounds via Zoom and then worked with us over Zoom to incorporate the new elements in the semi-final and final. 

What happened in Ghent…

On Thursday (17th March) which was the preliminary rounds we plead as a team twice, once for the Applicant and once for the Respondent. We then made it through to the semi-final where we had to incorporate a new element into our case within half-an-hour. We then plead in the semi-finals. 
We then went to a dinner on the Thursday evening provided by the Moot Organisers and there was live music. At the dinner we found out we had made it through to the final, and we were sat on the same table as the University of Antwerp who had also made it through to the final. It made for lots of cheering! 

At 8:15am on the Friday (18th March) we received the new case which centered around a deportation order for the Applicant. We had until 1:45pm to plan and write our submissions and the final started at 2:30pm.

We met teams from all over the world who were extremely kind and were thrilled for us when we succeeded.

How it ended up..

We came second overall in the competiton and won best written pleadings for the Respondent. Team member Ciara Coleman also won best pleader in the competition. 

[Ed – congratulations to the whole team. City is incredibly proud of your achievements in Belgium!]

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