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Telders International Law Moot Court Competition
Last Update
13.07.2016

The Competition has today become the most prestigious and important moot court competition in Europe. Annually, teams from over 40 universities compete in the national rounds, with the successfully teams going on to represent their countries in the international rounds held at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Through the Competition students are educated in legal practice and such principles as the rule of law, civil society and fair play. The Competition also stimulates team-work and European integration. Students and academics consider participation important, a great honour and a wonderful experience of a friendly and international competition never to be forgotten.

Each year student-teams are presented with a case involving a fictitious dispute between two states. This dispute is put before the United Nations' most important legal organ, the International Court of Justice. It is up to the student-teams to defend the two states to the best of their ability. Each student-team has to represent the states substantively both in writing and through pleadings before so-called moot courts. Per European country, only the university winning the national rounds may participate in the international rounds held in The Hague. The students' memorials and pleadings are judged by legal experts. In this respect, the active involvement of judges from the real International Court of Justice, the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, professors of law and ambassadors schooled in international law guarantee the high intellectual standards of the Competition and its prestige. The Competition is traditionally held at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

The aim of the Telders Competition is to prolong the legacy of Professor dr. Benjamin Marius Telders, who became a professor of international law at Leiden University in 1937. Professor Telders was respected for his sharp mind and had the honour to represent his country frequently, including before the Permanent Court of International Justice. Even during the Second World War, Telders stood up for his belief in the rule of law and civil society, and as a result was sent to the concentration camp at Bergen Belsen, where he later died in 1945.

The University of Latvia represents the country in this competition since 1998.