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The purpose of the Vis Moot is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration and provide a practical training to students for resolving international business disputes. The business community’s marked preference for resolving international commercial disputes by arbitration is the reason this method of dispute resolution was selected as the clinical tool to train law students.

There are two crucial phases in the Vis Moot to train advocacy skills: the writing of memoranda for claimant and respondent and the presentation of arguments in oral hearings held before arbitration practitioners and academics. The forensic and written exercises require determining questions of contract — flowing from a transaction relating to the sale or purchase of goods under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and other uniform international commercial law.

The dispute is resolved in the context of an arbitration under specified Arbitration Rules. In the pairings of teams for each general round, every effort is made to have civil law schools argue against common law schools — so each may learn from approaches taken by persons trained in another legal culture. Similarly, the teams of arbitrators judging each round are from both common law and civil law backgrounds.