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Vis Moot Court Team Sweeps Best Oralist Awards and Places Third Overall at CIETAC Cup in Beijing

Extending a streak of superb achievement dating back to 2013, Peking University School of Transnational Law’s (STL) Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team reached the semi-finals of the 13th annual CIETAC Cup in Beijing from December 7-10. The team is composed of 4 students – Ji Yang ’18, Jiang Xinxin ’18, Wang Yushi ’17, and Zhang Dongtian ’17.

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This year’s CIETAC Cup was contested by 39 teams from law schools all around China. After arguing four times in the preliminary round, twice each on behalf of the moot problem’s claimant and respondent, the team’s cumulative score placed them third among all teams, a new STL record for post-preliminary round ranking. In the quarter-finals, the team bested Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, before seeing their strong run end in the semi-finals against East China University of Political Science and Law, itself a two-time CIETAC Cup champion.

The team’s exceptional performance followed the two consecutive CIETAC Cup championships STL garnered in 2013, the first year in which STL competed in the CIETAC Cup, and 2014.

Both Wang and Zhang also earned individual distinctions. Wang was recognized as the highest-scoring oralist out of all students at the competition, and also took home awards for Best Oralist in the quarter-final round and semi-final round. Meanwhile, Zhang was recognized as the fifth highest-scoring oralist out of all students. Both represented the respondent in the moot problem while their teammates, Ji and Jiang, represented the claimant.

The next stop for the team is Vienna where they will vie for even greater success at the international Vis competition in March. The international competition attracts teams from up to 300 schools from around the world.

Ji commented, “I had expected the experience would be memorable, but never knew it would be so indelible.” Crediting the team’s success to STL’s “unique legal education,” Jiang noted the many opportunities for “extensive daily reading” and to “intensify our oral argument skills” that prepared her and her teammates for the rigors of the competition.

Zhang remarked on the team’s terrific chemistry, “it was a pleasure to work with my smart, dedicated and trustworthy teammates. Without them, none of what we accomplished would have happened.” Summing up the entire experience, Wang said, “this was an amazing journey. The entire preparation process was tough, but fun. We never stopped pushing ourselves. We tried always to read more, to think deeper, to express better, and all of our self-challenging eventually turned into self-improvement.”

The CIETAC Cup is sponsored by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). The CIETAC Cup uses the same case problem as the international Vis competition, focused around the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, and simulating an actual arbitral hearing. The competition is held entirely in English.

The four students on STL’s Vis team are among 24 who participate each year in the school’s international moot court program. The moot court competitions provide intense training in legal writing and oral advocacy, helping to augment skills acquired in the school’s Transnational Legal Practice program. Faculty coaches work closely with each moot court team to guide learning while the law school provides financial support for travel.

This year, in addition to the Vis team competing in Vienna, STL has teams competing in the Vis (east) Competition (based in Hong Kong), the European Law Student Association WTO Moot Court (based in Geneva), the International Criminal Court Trial Competition (based at the Hague), the Jessup International Law Moot Court (based in Washington, D.C.), and the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Court (based in Hong Kong).

By Eric H. Mao, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs

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Peking University School of Transnational Law

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Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School,
University Town, Xili, Nanshan District,
Shenzhen, China 518055