We are mourning the loss of “the father of the Vis Moot” Prof. Dr. Eric E. Bergsten

It is with great sadness that we have to inform the Vis Moot community that Prof. Eric E. Bergsten, the founder, former director and president, and honorary president of the Vis Moot (Association) has passed away on 1 July 2023.

We are mourning the loss of “the father of the Vis Moot” who has created an incredible legacy, which has impacted so many students, coaches and arbitrators around the globe in their personal and professional lives.
By founding the Vis Moot Prof. Bergsten has helped to create global access for students to learn about commercial law and arbitration, and legal advocacy. He made the field of arbitration broader and more diverse. We will always be thankful for his incredible achievements and his dedication to the students and the Vis Moot.

We will deeply miss you, Eric!

Highest Honors for Professor Bergsten

We are delighted to share that Prof. Dr. Eric E. Bergsten, Founder of the Vis Moot, has received one of the highest honors of the Republic of Austria.

The Federal President of the Republic auf Austria, Alexander van der Bellen, has awarded the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria (Großes Silbernes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich) to Professor Eric Bergsten acknowledging his remarkable service and incomparable commitment to the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

Founding the Vis Moot in 1993 and leading it for 20 years, Professor Bergsten created an incredible legacy that has impacted the education, professional development, and personal lives of many thousands of students, practitioners, and academics around the globe.

Congratulations, Professor Bergsten! And thank you for everything!

Digital Book Project

We are excited to share with you the announcement of a special “digital book project”, to which we hope you will contribute to.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Willem C. Vis Moot, the Vis Moot and Moot Alumni Association will celebrate the father and founder of the Vis Moot, Prof. Dr. Eric E. Bergsten, through recognizing and remembering his impact, both personally and professionally, on so many generations of “Mooties”, “Arbitrators” and “VIS supporters” by creating a digital celebration book.

The Vis community is encouraged to contribute to the book by sharing tributes, memories, photos, etc., reflecting the impact that Professor Bergsten and the Vis moot has had on the Vis community in personal and professional ways.  We hope that the contributions will reflect the wide and diverse global VIS community.

Please find attached the Call for Contributions and the Guidelines for Contributions.  Please share these with your relevant VIS supporting community and any person or organization that might be interested in contributing. We would welcome you to post these on your social media accounts and website, circulate them electronically through your mailing lists, and spread the word in any other manner.

Contributions and inquiries may be addressed to:  CelebrateBergsten@maa.net
Contributions should be received no later than February 26, 2023.

The “Editorial Board” consists of Patrizia Netal, Stefan Kröll, Chris Kee, Sherlin Tung and Patricia Shaughnessy.  The Board is assisted by two “Contribution Coordinators” Navin Ahuja and Ipek Ince.

We look forward to your contributions and continuing support
Patrizia Netal, Stefan Kröll, Christopher Kee, Sherlin Tung and Patricia Shaughnessy

Guidelines for Digital Celebration Book
Call for Contributions_Prof. Dr. Eric E. Bergsten

Format of the 30th Vis Moot

Vienna, 06 September 2022

Dear Vis Moot Community,

Another Vis Moot year just started and it requires us to take a decision on how to proceed with the organization of the 30th Vis Moot in light of the ongoing global pandemic. In the past three years we were required to conduct Virtual Vis Moots although we all thought one purely remote event was enough. Most countries and most persons have found now ways to live with the Covid-19 pandemic and try to resume social gathering. Governments loosened restrictions in most parts of the world. We therefore decided to go back to organize the Vis Moot as an in-person event only to meet all of you again in Vienna in the week before Easter (1-6 April 2023).

We strongly believe in the Vis Moot Spirit being created by personal relations. One of the most important features of the Vis Moot are the social- and network opportunities for students, coaches and arbitrators during the week of the oral hearings in Vienna. The benefits and the educational value of an in-person event are invaluable for the students. The Social Bubbles which we organized during the last edition of the Moot clearly showed us how important this factor is and how people are longing for exactly those interactions.

We are very conscious that the Virtual Vis did enable participation by teams and students who might not otherwise have been able to travel to Vienna (irrespective of Covid).  This breadth of participation is very important to the Moot, and we will be investigating ways we can support and enable wider participation in future years.”

We will try to set up an interesting and diversified social programme not only meant for participants but also for their spouses and families. The registration fee will be 700€ per team and will not be increased for inflation reasons. Possible additional fees might apply for the social programme.

It is our great pleasure to welcome as many of you back in Vienna to celebrate with us the 30th Anniversary of the Vis Moot. Join us to refreshen “old” bonds and to create “new” ones in the Vis Moot community.

The Vis Moot Directors
and the Association for the Organisation and Promotion of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot


Statement from the Vis Moot Directors March 7, 2022

Dear Members of the Vis Moot Community, We issue this statement to inform you that the below teams and several other Russian teams have decided to withdraw from the 29th Vis Moot: •        Lomonosov Moscow State University •        National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow •        MGIMO University •        St Petersburg University •        Russian School of Private Law •        RUDN University •        The All-Russian State University of Justice We consider this step as one taken in support of the Vis Moot. As a result of these withdrawals, we will be amending the schedule of the hearings. Please note that changes can appear in your dashboards. This continues to be an evolving situation. We ask that all participating arbitrators ensure that their availabilities are up do date in their accounts, as we expect to issue arbitrator schedules very shortly. Vienna, March 7, 2022

Statement from the Vis Moot Directors – 2 March 2022

Dear Members of the Vis Moot Community, The continued and escalating aggression of the Russian Government with the apparent support of the Belarussian Government towards Ukraine is unlawful and is categorically condemned by both the international legal community and the Vis Moot Community. Over the past few days we have received and listened carefully to the very many different views that exist within our community.  We appreciate this input, because we feel it is important that further actions are taken after consideration of the views of the Vis Moot Community.  Most importantly we have heard the voices of the Ukrainian teams, their coaches and Ukrainian lawyers.  We wish to reassure the whole community that the Vis Moot is taking actions to support, and signal its support, for the Ukrainian teams, and more widely the people of Ukraine. All the information we are receiving helps to determine how we respond, and while we always strive to respond quickly, we need to bring together all the information from the different channels and carefully consider it. However, we feel it is important to share with you the actions we have already taken, and to be transparent that we intend to do more. The Vis Moot Social Bubble planned for Russia was cancelled.  The sponsorship of the Russian Arbitration Centre has been declined and the RAC removed as a sponsor of the Moot. We acknowledge these are small but hopefully symbolic steps.  We will make a further statement in the coming days setting out how we expect to continue upholding Moot ideals. We ask for your patience and understanding in this regard. We stand with Ukraine. Vienna, March 2, 2022  

Statement from the Vis Moot Directors on Ukraine

STATEMENT FROM THE VIS MOOT DIRECTORS One of the foundational ideals upon which the Vis Moot is based is that peaceful and respectful dispute resolution is always possible.  A second foundational ideal is that respect for the rule of law is fundamental in today’s world. Whilst the Vis Moot does not typically comment on external matters, we do stand with others in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Vis Moot recognises that many Russian people, both within and without the arbitration community, are just as concerned and distressed by these actions.  As an educational exercise that promotes peaceful dispute resolution, the Moot needs to model the behaviours and approaches we advocate.  As such we will not be excluding Russian teams from the Vis Moot competition. Furthermore it is critically important that these Russian teams do not suffer prejudice because of the unacceptable actions of the Russian government. Instead, we ask that all the Vis Moot community focus their attention and support on the Ukrainian teams.   We have read the posts of the Ukrainian members of the Vis Moot family written from bunkers and bomb shelters, explaining with extraordinary eloquence given the situation, of exactly the situation they are experiencing.  We urge the Vis Moot community to look for ways we all can support these colleagues and participants (and those in Ukraine more widely). We will do whatever we can to support the Ukrainian teams. Vienna, February 26, 2022

MAA – Generations in Arbitration Conference: Hong Kong Legal Week

The MAA is excited to announce the “Generations in Arbitration Conference: Hong Kong Legal Week Edition”, which will take place on 3 November 2021! This special edition of the GIA will feature two panels comprised of distinguished, internationally renowned individuals, speaking on key topics in international arbitration. The first panel: “Why Strong Legal and Judicial Systems Strengthen (Rather than Weaken) International Arbitration” consists of Ms. Melody Chan, Mr. Joseph Chu, Ambassador (R.) David Huebner, and Ms. Amy Klaesner and Ms. Joanne Lau. The second panel: “Second Bite at the Apple: Is Public Policy Really only a Last Line of Defence?” showcases Dr. Lisa Beisteiner, Mr. Simon Chapman, Dr. Patricia Shaughnessy, Mr. Baiju Vasani and Ms. Sherlin Tung. Although this edition of the GIA is an official part of Hong Kong Legal Week 2021, it is being offered in hybrid form to allow participation from an audience worldwide! Details are provided in the enclosed flyer. Sign up today by registering with the following links: Panel 1 – https://withersworldwide.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qq4EK0X3SGa1jLBY1Eo-rA?fbclid=IwAR09DH7vfwewDBo32-mFFl-VmywyMP2XAIhKxg49i3ANhzRjx61LYEIX9eA Panel 2 – https://withersworldwide.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ibn01wRdR3aCy6O7S46Diw?fbclid=IwAR3_IGbDO4yrn2bJCRH2UEz82PdJAfw7WiUroGWYSSMazT7T7c5JHRRRYC8 For details about Hong Kong Legal Week 2021, please access the following link: https://legalweek2021.hk/registration We look forward to seeing you (whether in person or virtually)! #MAA #generationsinarbitration #conference #internationalarbitration #hklegalweek   For any queries, please email: maaconferences@maa.net

The Vis Moot Journey is about to begin

A message from the Moot Alumni Association (“MAA“) The Vis Moot Journey is about to begin! Will you be mooting? Will you be coaching? Do you want to know how to have a successful Moot year? Do you not have a coach? If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we are excited to inform you that the MAA is now launching its latest webinar series: “The Vis Moot Journey”! We are kicking off the series with the first episode: “Selecting a Winning Team and Preparing Before the Moot Problem Release”, which will take place on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 4 a.m. (EST) / 10 a.m. (CEST) / 2:30 p.m. (IST) / 4 p.m. (HKT) / 6:30 p.m. (DST). On the panel will be Dr. Patricia Shaughnessy (Professor, Stockholm University), Dr. Rajesh Sharma (Senior Lecturer, RMIT University), Catalina Bizic (Associate, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP) and Eric Ng (Managing Counsel, HKIAC), all of whom have had incredible success in the Vis Moot (as coaches and/or mooties), offering their insights and discussing the best strategies for building a winning team and preparing before the Vis moot problem comes to light. The MAA’s very own Dr. Navin G. Ahuja (who has also had incredible success in the Vis Moots) will moderate this amazing panel and also lead a Q&A session. With thanks to Withersworldwide for its sponsorship, you can register for the webinar using the link below. https://withersworldwide.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EILrA_yVT2mI1bVDB3jszg We look forward to seeing you! For any queries, please email: maaconferences@maa.net The Vis Moot Journey-Flyer

29th Vis Moot – Format

Vienna, 1 September 2021 Dear Vis Moot Community, Another Vis Moot year and we needed to take a decision on how to proceed with the organization of the 29th Vis Moot in light of the ongoing global pandemic. Covid-19 has become part of our lives for more than one-and-a-half year and will most likely continue to impact our world in the foreseeable future. One of the most important features of the Vis Moot are the social- and network opportunities for students, coaches and arbitrators during the week of the oral hearings in Vienna. The benefits and the educational value of an in-person event are invaluable for the students. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about the extent to which international travel will be possible next year with governmental restrictions being lifted and then re-imposed again. Under these circumstances, we have decided to host the oral hearings of the Vis Moot on an online hearing platform again. For the 29th Vis Moot, however we are also exploring options to create “Social Vis Moot Bubbles” around the world where Moot participants can meet in-person. The idea of having “Social Vis Moot Bubbles” is completely separated from the oral hearings. All hearings will take place virtually like in the last two years. Students will not meet each other in-person for the hearings. Instead the idea is to gather smaller groups for certain events that would be organized with special health safety precautions. We would like to create one main “Social Vis Moot Bubble” in Vienna and some additional ones around the world (e.g. in Northern and Southern America, Asia, Australia, Africa). At this stage, we are not able to provide much more detail.  A lot will depend on the further development of the pandemic and the rules for social gatherings pending next year. Deciding now to go for another Virtual Vis Moot also allows much greater opportunities to deal with planning and logistics from an organisational perspective. More details will be released as they are determined regarding the hearings specifically, such as the platform that will be used. The memoranda competitions will proceed as usual.  There will be again a reduced registration fee of €400 per team due to the remote participation in the oral hearings. Possible additional fees might be attached for social events. We remain very firmly committed to the benefits and the educational value of bringing all participants together for in person-hearings. We therefore hope to be able to set up at least some opportunities for social gathering during the Vis Moot week in 2022. The Vis Moot Directors and the Association for the Organisation and Promotion of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot 29th Vis Moot_Information_3rd_Virtual_Vis_Moot