In November 2019 The University of Miami School of Law will host the prestigious Global Rounds of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Moot – a competition initiated in 2006 by the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria. The student moot court competition in investor-state arbitration is comprised of more than 100 teams from the universities all around the world.
Choosing University of Miami Law as Host
Sandra Friedrich, Director of Miami Law’s White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program says, “I believe that Miami Law was chosen to host the 2019 FDI Moot because both the School of Law and the city of Miami are prominently positioned for the study and practice of international investment law and arbitration.”
Two years ago, Miami Law participated in the FDI Moot for the first time, and the team advanced all the way to the quarter-finals. Coaches Paula Arias, Director of the International Moot Court Program, and Sandra Friedrich were very impressed with the quality of this moot competition and thus, a plan was hatched to bring this competition to Miami.
After submitting an elaborate proposal to host the FDI Moot at Miami Law in 2019, Miami Law was chosen as the 2019 Host. Friedrich was not surprised. “Miami is not only a major international trade and finance center, but also is considered the second-most important locale for international arbitration proceedings in the U.S. after New York City.”
The venue for Global Finals normally rotates among the four co-founders: the German Institute of Arbitration (DIS), King’s College London, Suffolk University Law School and Pepperdine University School of Law. Occasionally, the FDI Moot goes off-circuit as it will in 2019 when Miami Law will host the notable competition for the first time.
A Moot Competition that Takes Place over Six-Month Period
The FDI Moot allows students to gain practical experience in a mock arbitration setting. It requires students to act as advocates, analyzing and arguing both sides of a hypothetical legal dispute between a foreign investor and the host state of the investment.
The entire FDI Moot spans approximately six months each year in two phases - written memorials for claimant and respondent and the hearing of oral argument - with the culmination in the Global Rounds. Usually, the case hypothetical is published in February, with the claimant’s statement of claim and the respondent’s statement of defense due in spring and summer respectively. The hearing of oral arguments at the global rounds usually takes place in early to mid-November.
Lastly, teams registered for the FDI Moot also may take part in several pre-moot competitions in October/November, which essentially are practice moots where teams may hone their oral argument skills, test out different argument and strategies, and receive feedback from pre-moot arbitrators before the actual competition.
LL.M. Scholarship Opportunity
The University of Miami School of Law offers a unique scholarship opportunity to participants of the FDI Moot to attend any of its LL.M. programs. One half-tuition scholarship (currently $25,640) is available. Each year, the scholarship is available for a present or past student participant, coach or arbitrator in the FDI Moot competition.
Looking Forward to November 2019
Friedrich and Miami Law students anxiously await the global rounds next November. Freidrich adds, “We are thrilled to host the Global Rounds! Very few institutions have had the honor to host this prestigious competition.
“It also is a testament to Miami’s growing importance as an arbitral seat and its growing community of experienced international arbitration practitioners, many of whom we hope will serve as arbitrators in the 2019 Moot.”
TO REGISTER: Registration for the competition will open on January 1, 2019, at FDIMoot.org (More information on specific event dates forthcoming)
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