HOUSTON - (Oct. 16, 2019) — Law school teams from five countries participated in the second annual “Write the Award” commercial arbitration writing competition co-sponsored by the University of Houston Law Center’s Blakely Advocacy Institute with students from Australia taking first place.
The winning entry from Bond University Faculty of Law in Robina, Queensland, Australia, was awarded $5,000 by the competition’s co-sponsor, the North American Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The second place award of $2,000 went to the Chinese University of Hong Kong with John Marshall Law School of Chicago placing third, earning a $1,000 award.
Students from India and Iran also participated in the competition. Judges were Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Fellows from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and England.
The competition gives students a chance to complete the final step in the international commercial arbitration process – writing an enforceable award. The competition design builds on the students’ recent experience in the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot by using the same problem as the Vis. Competitors have submitted written memoranda for the Vis and they have made oral arguments. “Write the Award” competition asks the competitors to take off their advocate “hat” and put on their arbitrator “hat” and decide the outcome of the Vis case.
“This international competition is an invaluable experience because it gives students a rare opportunity to sit “in the arbitrator’s chair,” said Jim Lawrence, executive director of the Law Center’s Blakely Advocacy Center, which established, and co-sponsors, the event. “It’s a unique experience because competitors get to utilize research and knowledge they already have,” he added.
The Blakely Advocacy Institute gives Law Center students the opportunity to integrate substantive knowledge with practical skill. In addition to sending student teams to competitions across the country and abroad, the institute hosts the annual Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP Moot Court National Championship and the National Mediator Competition.
The North American Branch of the CIArb provides education and training for arbitrators, mediators and adjudicators and serves as an center for practitioners, policy makers, academics, and those in business concerned with the cost-effective and early settlement of disputes.
The Vis Moot competition is designed to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration and train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution to resolve international disputes. The competition, held in Vienna each year, draws more than 325 teams from around the world. The Vis (East), held each year in Hong Kong, had 127 teams this year.
Information for the 2020 Write the Award Competition will be posted here: http://law.uh.edu/blakely/write-the-award/
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The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the nation’s 4th largest city. UHLC’s Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Part-time programs rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.