Dutch team wins Moot Court competition for international labour law

First Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court organised at the University of Amsterdam

7 July 2016

The first international moot court competition for labour law— the Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court, organised by the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute at the University of Amsterdam (UvA)— was held on 24 and 25 June 2016. The first prize for the competition involving participants from eight countries went to the Dutch team.

Cultural evening

Eight countries took part in the first Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition (HS MCC). In addition to the Netherlands, participating teams included included Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Spain. Before the actual competition, the participants enjoyed a cultural evening on 23 June complete with food and drinks from the participants' countries.

Following the draw for the quarter-final teams, the tension began to mount. The teams had just one morning in which to carefully examine the other party's statements of case and to reinforce their arguments. The quarter-finals began in the afternoon,  following a word of welcome by the academic director of the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute, Professor Evert Verhulp, LL.M.

Quarter finals Italy - the Netherlands

The Italian and Dutch teams in the quarter-final.

Excellent performance in arguing cases

The Dutch Team, comprising Annemijn Westerduin and Fanny Sax of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Imran Hyder of the UvA, and Janien Schunken, who studies at both the UvA and Maastricht University, already made its mark in the quarter-finals against Italy. In the semi-finals against Denmark the Dutch team grappled with the trenchant and probing questions posed by the Polish student judge. Despite the fact that the Danish team had a slight advantage in having scored more points for their statement of case, the Dutch team claimed victory based on their performance in arguing their case.

Dutch team HS Moot Court Competition

From left to right: Imran Hyder, Fanny Sax, Janien Schunken, and Annemijn Westerduin

The Dutch team contested the Lithuanian team in the finals. Based on their statements of case, the teams were neck and neck. The final result was ultimately determined entirely by their performance in arguing their case. Here too they largely proved to be equals, with the prize for the best counsel going to Aiste Butvilaite from the Lithuanian team and to Imran Hyder from the Dutch team. The excellent performance demonstrated by Janien Schunken in arguing the case ultimately sealed the Dutch's team victory.

Inception of the Moot Court

Three years ago, five labour law colleagues and mutual friends came up with the idea of setting up a moot court competition. Due to the lack of an international legal institution that can rule directly on labour law, the organisation was not immediately clear. Nonetheless the moot court materialised. Finding a suitable name was considerably less problematic. To this day, the legal sociologist Hugo Sinzheimer, who had fled to Amsterdam from Frankfurt during the Second World War, still enjoys international acclaim for his work in the field of collective labour law. It is therefore no coincidence that the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute (HSI) organised the first moot court.

Denmark to host next year

The second Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition will take place in Aarhus, Denmark, from 15-17 June 2017. The Netherlands will definitely join the event! Already keen to take part? Send an email with a letter in English stating why you would like to participate to: b.p.terhaar@uva.nl.

Published by  Amsterdam Law School