The Manfred Lachs Competition, a true success

The 2012 European Round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition proved a success for all whom were involved, a true example both at academic level and in terms of the organization of such an event.

The competition, hosted this year by the University of Bucharest, in the Palace of the Faculty of Law (26-27 April), saw participating teams representing universities from France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and the UK, the number of registered teams being the highest in the history of European Round.

After some of the closest preliminary rounds, which saw the top 10 European teams compete, the ones that reached the final were those of the Institute for Air and Space Law of the University of Cologne and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The Competition winner was the team from Greece, which thus became the representative of Europe in International Rounds of the Competition, to be held in Naples, on 4 October 2012.

The participants, judges, teachers, students or guests only had words of appreciation for the reception they had received in Romania, as well as for the Competition program and, in particular, the way it unfolded.

The event was made possible through the support of the teachers of Public International Law, in collaboration with the International Law Students Association (Asociaţia Studenţilor în Drept Internaţional Public – ASDIP) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The representatives of ASDIP, together with students and friends played a very important role in organizing this event.

It was a great honour and pleasure for the Faculty of Law to host this competition, whose prestige had only to gain. Particular emphasis must be given to the positive effect that the competition has had on students, future top professionals in the field.


The Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition is organised annually by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). It is an important part of the organisation's outreach programme, and its principal mechanism for engaging future generations of space law experts.

The competition is based on a hypothetical space law dispute before the International Court of Justice.

Preliminary Regional Rounds are held each spring in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Participating teams are required to submit a formal written argument - called a memorial - for both the Applicant State and the Respondent State on the legal issues of the hypothetical case and to argue each side of the case before panels of judges in their respective region.

The European Centre for Space Law (ECSL), a body assisted by the European Space Agency (ESA), is the European Regional Organiser of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. After having hosted the event for many years in the premises of ESA Headquarters in Paris, the ECSL decided to organise it each year in a University in Europe in order to promote the competition and spread the knowledge of space law all over Europe. Thus, the European Round was successfully organised in Riga, Lithuania (2008), in Athens, Greece (2009), in Györ, Hungary (2010), in Saint Petersburg, Russia (2011) and in Bucharest, Romania (2012).

The winning teams from each Regional Round meet in the international final rounds, which are held in conjunction with the annual IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. The Final Round is traditionally judged by three judges of the International Court of Justice. This unique feature makes the Manfred Lachs Moot Court one of the most prestigious moot court competitions in the world.

Date of publication: 10.05.2012

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