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Since its inception by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) in 1992, the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition has grown to cover four world regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. More than 60 teams participate yearly in this competition. Registered teams get exclusive on-line access to papers of the IISL's Colloquium Proceedings from 2005 to date. Also many useful and interesting documents are freely accessible through the resources page of this website.
Regional winners receive financial support to attend the World Finals. The IISL's Lachs competition is particularly distinguished by the tradition of judges of the International Court of Justice presiding over and judging the World Final. The World Finals competition takes place within the framework of the IISL's annual Colloquium, which is a contained event in the International Astronautical Congress held on a different continent each year. The Lachs competition offers an unparalleled learning experience to all teams at all levels in a fair and cordial environment.
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The Manfred Lachs Moot Court Competition
The Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition is organised annually by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). It is an important part of the organisation's outreach programme, and its principal mechanism for engaging future generations of space law experts.
The competition is based on a hypothetical space law dispute before the International Court of Justice. The problem is written by a Member of IISL upon invitation by the Organising Committee of the Competition, alternating between the four regions (Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America and Africa). The problem for the current year can be accessed here.
A large number of resources, including sample memorials, videos, information about exclusive access to IISL Colloquium papers, useful links and more can be found on our resources page.
Preliminary Regional Rounds are held each spring in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Participating teams are required to submit a formal written argument - called a memorial - for both the Applicant State and the Respondent State on the legal issues of the hypothetical case and to argue each side of the case before panels of judges in their respective region.
The winning teams from each Regional Round meet in the international final rounds, which are held in conjunction with the annual IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. The Final Round is traditionally judged by three judges of the International Court of Justice. This unique feature makes the Manfred Lachs Moot Court one of the most prestigious moot court competitions in the world.
Regional Rounds must comply with the Official Rules for the Competition adopted by the IISL Board of Directors, although deviations may be agreed for practical purposes. Currently, there are specific regional rules in place for North America and Asia-Pacific.
In addition to the competition's regulations, this website provides a variety of resources for participants, including weblinks to online databases and space law bodies, as well as print and video resources from past years' competitions. Any further queries can be directed to the relevant person, whose information is provided in our list of contacts.
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