8 – 10 May 2013


Each year the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL, established in 1989, for initiative of some pioneers in the field of space law and under the auspices of the European Space Agency) organises the European Round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition as a part of a world competition held by the International Institute for Space Law (IISL). This world moot competition provides students with a practical opportunity to apply the different parts of law involved with space activities to a certain practical problem.

Law schools in four regions (Africa, America, Asia-Pacific, Europe)  register yearly for the Regional Rounds and submit written memorials on the moot problem. The Regional Rounds are held between March and June, with the North America Regional Round usually held in Washington (D.C.) and the Asia Pacific Regional Round hosted each year in a different country. In 2012, the African Region held its first Round in South Africa.

The ECSL organises the European Round in a European University in order to promote this competition and spread the knowledge of space law all over the region. Since 2007, the European Round was successfully organised in Riga, Athens, Györ, Saint Petersburg, Bucharest, and, this year, in Rome, Italy.

By participating in this Competition, students gain a valuable experience in international mooting, debating and analyzing issues of international law, during a simulated court proceedings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In October, the four regional winners gather for the World Finals, which are held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress (IAF) and the IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. The World Final of the Lachs Competition has the unique tradition of being judged by three sitting members of the International Court of Justice. In 2013, the World Finals will be held in Bejing.