ELSA European Human Rights Moot Court Competition (EHRMCC)
Full course description
The ELSA Human Rights Moot Court Competition (EHRMCC) is an annual competition, inviting teams of 2-4 law students to participate in a simulation of complaint proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. As such, it provides an opportunity for students to experience the practical application and implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Each academic year in late September, a fictitious case is distributed amongst the participating teams on a topical human rights issue, which the students must argue. The competition involves written submissions by all teams, and a Final Oral Round at the ECtHR in Strasbourg where only the best 20 teams from all over Europe compete against each other.
Unlike many other moot court competitions, the EHRMCC does not limit its awards to prize money, but additionally grants traineeships at the ECtHR to the students of the winning team. This competition therefore presents a unique opportunity for students to plead before the ECtHR, to engage in networking with other participants and Judges from all over Europe, and to win a traineeship at the ECtHR.
For more information, please see: https://ehrmcc.elsa.org/.
Maastricht University participated for the first time in the EHRMCC back in 2015 (3rd edition). After having been chosen as one of the (back then) best 16 teams on the basis of their written submissions, the Team participated in the Final Oral Round from the 23rd – 25th of February, taking place at the ECtHR in Strasbourg. Being the youngest Team participating, with no prior human rights experience, they did exceptionally well by taking fifth place, missing the Semi-Finals by only one point. The Team consisted of Sara Hadžić, Clara Decamps, Theano Karanikioti and Shahar Sverdlov, (all 2nd year ELS Bachelor Students), and was coached by Dr. Jennifer Sellin.
From October 2018 – April 2019, Alexandra Nadasan (3rd year ELS Exchange Student, studying at University of Kent), Emilia Klebanowski (2nd year ELS Student), Florentina Pircher (3rd year ELS Student), and Ruben Tans (Master Student Globalisation and Law, General Programme) participated in the 7th edition of the EHRMCC. The competition received written submissions from over 100 participating university teams by its December 2018 deadline for the written round. Out of this total, the Judges ranked Maastricht University’s pair of written memoranda second best and, additionally, awarded our Team with the first prize for Best Written Submission for the Responded. The Maastricht University Team was the only one out of all teams representing Dutch Universities that qualified for the Final Oral Round of the 7th EHRMCC. They made it all the way to the Semi-Finals, missing the Finals by less than one point. Ruben furthermore received the award for Best Orator of the Quarter-Finals. The Team also attended the optional Pre-Round in Odessa, Ukraine (22 – 24 February 2019). With a vote of six to one, the Grand Jury in Odessa awarded our University’s Team the First Prize.
This competition is held entirely in English.
Only the best 20 participating teams are selected for the Final Oral Round in Strasbourg on the basis of their written submissions. However, National and Local Groups of ELSA organise so-called EHRMCC Pre-Rounds. The participation in these Pre-Rounds is optional and does not influence the selection for the Final Oral Round. Pre-Rounds are a stand-alone competition, which are open to all teams participating in the official EHRMCC and nearly identical in format to the EHRMCC’s Final Oral Round. Accordingly, many teams participating in the EHRMCC consider Pre-Rounds a valuable practice session for the oral part of the EHRMCC, as well as an additional opportunity to demonstrate their hard work regarding the EHRMCC case before a panel of (inter)national experts in the field of human rights law.