Athens Law School students Persephone Vernadou, Panayiotis Theodoropoulos, Panayiotis Kyriakou and Anna Ventouratou came first in the World Round of the global Moot Court Competition on May 18 at the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, beating a team from Harvard University.
“There are students who work systematically, showing great dedication to their studies even when the university is closed,” senior law student Anna Ventouratou, 22, told Kathimerini.
As the team’s supervisor, lecturer Anastasios Gourgourinis, told Kathimerini, the competition was organized for the 12thyear in a row by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) and is aimed at creating mock judicial scenarios in which to test students’ skills and aptitude. The teams sent in submissions for the complainant and respondent of a fictitious case written by a World Trade Organization professional. This year’s debate was about a legal controversy between two WTO member states – a developed and a developing country – over waste following an unsuccessful privatization.
The competition featured teams from 117 universities around the world. The Athens Law School’s team managed to reach the semifinals and then the final round among groups from other universities such as Harvard and Georgetown, the universities of Hong Kong, Geneva and Barcelona, as well as the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in India and the University of International Business and Economics in China. During the preliminary rounds, the Greek students knocked out their counterparts from the American University in Washington and Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, while they went up against a group from the University of Hong Kong in the quarterfinals and the University of Amsterdam team in the semis.
The final round against the Harvard team took place at the WTO’s main conference hall, with a nine-member court granting victory to the Greeks. The students received scholarships for summer courses on international economic law, as well as job offers at big firms.