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Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

In 1992, the U.S. members of the International Institute of Space Law invited Georgetown University, George Washington University and the American University to each send two teams to participate in a moot court competition in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress. In 1993, the European Regional Round was created and, after the passing of Judge Manfred Lachs, then President of the IISL, the competition was renamed in his honor and memory. In 2000, the Asia Pacific Regional Round was created, and the African Regional Round was formally established commencing in 2012. Each year some 60 law schools worldwide participate in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition.

By participating in the Lachs Competition, students gain valuable experience in international mooting, debating and analyzing issues of international space law.

Each year, invited space law scholars produce the moot problem for the following year, which is released in August to universities and posted on this website. Law schools in each region register for the Regional Rounds and submit written memorials on the moot problem in March. Regional Rounds are held between March and June, with the North America Regional Round usually held in Washington, D.C., and the European and Asia Pacific Regional Rounds hosted each year in a different city in their respective regions. In 2012, the African Regional held its first round in South Africa.

In October, the four regional winners will gather for the World Finals, which are held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress and the IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. The memorials of the winning team of each region are scored by an independent judging panel of space law scholars. The four teams will compete in oral semi-finals where the best two teams (from the combined results of memorials and orals scores) participate in the World Final. 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 addition to the Manfred Lachs Trophy, awards are also given at the World Finals for the best memorials and the best oralist.

Previous winners

Year Location Winners
2016 Guadalajara National and Kapodistrian University, Athens (Greece)
2015 Jerusalem University of Mississippi, School of Law, Oxford, Mississippi (United States)
2014 Toronto National Law University, Delhi (India)
2013 Beijing Georgetown University (United States)
2012 Naples National Law School of India University, Bangalore (India)
2011 Cape Town Florida State University College of Law (United States)
2010 Pilsen George Washington University (United States)
2009 Daejeon National Law School of India University (India)
2008 Glasgow University of New South Wales (Australia)
2007 Hyderabad George Washington University (United States)
2006 Valencia University of Auckland (New Zealand)
2005 Fukuoka George Washington University (United States)
2004 Vancouver Leiden University (Netherlands)
2003 Bremen University of Auckland (New Zealand)
2002 Houston Georgetown University (United States)
2001 Toulouse National University (Singapore)
2000 Rio de Janeiro University of Paris XI (France)
1999 The Hague Vanderbilt University (United States)
1998 Melbourne University of North Carolina (United States)
1997 Turin University of Paris XI (France)
1996 Beijing University of Helsinki (Finland)
1995 Oslo University of North Carolina (United States)
1994 Jerusalem John Marshall University (United States)
1993 Graz Leiden University (Netherlands)
1992 Washington DC George Washington University (United States)

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