Welcome to the website of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition

The Telders Organizing Office is pleased to announce that the winning team of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition 2009 is Serbia from the University of Novi Sad. The other finalist was the Austrian team from Vienna University which won the Max Huber Award for the Highest Overall Score of both the Applicant and Respondent sides, and both Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn Awards for Best Oral Argumentation. The Telders judges deciding the final were H.E. A. Koroma, Judge at the ICJ, Prof. jhr. dr. F.A.M. Alting von Geusau, Honorary President of the Telders Student Society of International Law and Prof. S. Freeland from the University of Western Sydney.


Other awards

This years EUROCONTROL Award for Best Memorial for the Applicant went to the Romanian team. The jury awarded Laurens Miserus from Utrecht University with the Award for the Best Oralist. Runner-up for the Best Oralist Award was Aqeel Hasan Noorali from King’s College London. The Best Judge Award was awarded by the participating teams to Mr. Marc Steiner from Switzerland. The Students for Students Award was awarded by the participating teams to the Irish team from the Honorable Society of King's Inn. The Leiden Journal for International Law Award for Outstanding Team Effort went to the Belarusian team from Belarusian State University.


Final of Telders International Law Moot Court Competition 2009

The Finals were held from 16 to 18 April in the Peace Palace in The Hague. Ultimately 25 teams from 24 European countries took part in this year’s competition. This year its 32nd edition coincided with the 400th anniversary of Hugo Grotius writing his renowned document of maritime law, Mare Liberum (the Free Seas) in The Hague. Therefore, in this proclaimed Grotius Year, there could not have been a more appropriate theme for the International Semi-Finals than the Mare Liberum Case, including the law of treaties, international environmental law and the law of the sea.


Objectives Telders Competition

The competition takes place in the Peace Palace in The Hague. The annually growing number of teams participating resulted in a total of 44 registrations from universities across Europe. The main objective of the Telders Competition is to stimulate students’ interest and knowledge of international law. It is an exceptional opportunity for the participants in a variety of ways. In taking part, students are educated in legal practice, and such important principles as the rule of law and fair play.

You may find the final results of the Telders Competition 2009 here.



 About the Competition

The first Telders Competition was organised in 1977, with teams of students from the universities of Bonn, Cologne, Strasbourg and Leiden participating. 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 interaction and integration.  


Telders Competition, 18 April 2009

Due to its success, the Competition has been held annually ever since. Teams from over 40 universities compete in the national rounds, with around 25 teams from as many European countries participating in the international rounds held in no other than the prominent Peace Palace in The Hague, thereby adding to the Competition’s prestige as the most prestigious and important international moot court competition in Europe.

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 (ICJ). It is up to the teams, composed of 4 students each, to defend the two States to the best of their abilities. Each teams 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 oral argumentations 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, prominent academics and practitioners schooled  in international law guarantee the high intellectual standards of the Competition and its prestige.

Throughout its existence, the Telders Competition has enjoyed the support of several prominent members of the ICJ and the international legal world. The late Judge Manfred Lachs (ICJ), the late Judge Carl-August Fleischhauer (ICJ), Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (ICJ) and Judge Gilbert Guillaume (ICJ) have been chairmen of the Supervisory of the Competition. The Competition’s Supervisory Board is proud to have among its past and present members the late Judge Sir Robert Jennings (ICJ),  Judge Pieter H. Kooijmans (ICJ), Judge Vladlen S. Vereshchetin (ICJ), Judge Krzysztof Skubiszewski (President, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal), Judge Bengt Broms (Iran-United States Claims Tribunal), Mr. Sibrand K. Martens (former President, Supreme Court of the Netherlands), Professor Dr. John Dugard of Leiden University (member of the International Law Commission) and Professor Dr. Nico Schrijver (Leiden University).

*** Pictures of the 31st Edition of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition can be accessed here ***


Legacy of Professor B. M. Telders

Professor B. M. Telders

The Telders Moot Court Competition is named after Professor dr. Benjamin Marius Telders, who first became a professor of international law at Leiden University in 1931. Telders was extremely interested in why and how law operated. He considered international law to be a unique study and challenge, since it was— and in many respects still is— undefined and interwoven with history and politics. Professor Telders was respected for his sharp mind and frequently had the honour to represent his country, The Netherlands, before the Permanent Court of International Justice, predecessor of the International Court of Justice.

His interests and activities were not, however, limited to international law. Professor Telders was a man who enjoyed life to the full. He spent his time doing various other activities as playing the piano, editing a literary magazine and leading a political party. These other activities complemented his duties as a professor and a lawyer. 

His approach to law was a practical one. Problems were meant to be solved, but not in contravention with important legal principles such as the rule of law and civil society. Professor Telders stood and fought for those principles even in the most difficult of times during the Second World War. Even being imprisoned for four and a half years did not break him morally or mentally, but made him more determined. He continued to write about international law, using a small pencil and match sticks. His fellow prisoners had great respect for his ability to put moral guidance and leadership into practice. Professor Telders died in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in April 1945.

In 1947, former students of Professor Telders founded the Telders Society for International Law (Telders Dispuut). The first Telders International Law Moot Court Competition was organised in 1977 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Telders Society for International Law. Now, 30 years later after the first competition, the Telders Moot Court continues to maintain and live up to the legacy of the learned professor of international law.

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact us at the Telders Organizing Office.

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