Stockholm students to the semi final in an ancient arbitration case
A team comprised of Master students from the Department of Law at Stockholm University took it to the semi final in an international arbitration moot competition based on a case set in ancient Greece. Team member Daniela Palacios was awarded with Best Oral Advocate prize.
The FIAM is an investment arbitration moot competition taking place every year in Frankfurt, Germany. The competition is organised by the Wilhelm Merton Centre for European Integration and International Economic Order at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt.
The moot is built around a “case study” sent out to the teams. This year, the problem was set in ancient Greece (around 400 BC) and addressed issues of international investment law such as investor protection, money laundering, definition of investment, conflict of norms and human rights. Along with this “case study”, the students received a bilateral investment treaty on which they were to base their research.
A modern approach
The contesters had to apply modern laws on the ancient case. Thus they had to deal with ancient issues like testimonies from torture, slavery and citizenship versus nationality from a modern point of view. Daniela Palacios thinks that this anachronistic approach was very instructive because the ancient case put demands on the contesters knowledge of modern laws that a modern case would not do.
- We had to go to the basics of investment law. We had to think trough thoroughly how to develop our arguments and we needed to learn all the backround information of the case, says Daniela Palacios.
2011-2012 was the 5th edition of the moot. A total of 33 teams participated. All the teams were split into groups and pleaded against each other for points in three preliminary rounds. The 16 teams with the most points went to the “round of 16” (seeded from 1st to 16th) which was the first eliminatory round. This round was followed by quarter finals, semi finals and a final.
In Frankfurt, Stockholm University was grouped with Norman Manley Law School of Jamaica, the University of Warsaw, and Nirma University Institute of Law of Ahmedabad. The team pleaded against them and made it to the round of 16 as 1st seed (i.e. the one single team with the most points of the entire preliminary rounds). At the “round of 16”, the team beat West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences for a place in the quarter finals, where they faced and beat Gujarat University of India for a place in the semi finals. Once in the semi finals, the team lost against University of Versailles St. Quentin.
The final was won by Norman Manley Law School of Jamaica which beat the University of Versailles before a panel constituted of leading investment law experts Jan Paulsson, Raul Vinuesa and Pierre Mayer.
Best Oral Advocate
The Best Oral Advocate prize was awarded to Daniela Palacios and comprises the law firm K&L Gates scholarship for an LL.M in International and Comparative Dispute Settlement at Queen Mary School of International Arbitration in London.
- I’m overwhelmed! Queen Mary is one of the best universities in the world. It gives me an oppurtunity to specialise in another area that can complement my two other masters, says Daniela Palacios who already has a LL.M in International Arbitration Law and a candidate for LL.M of Environmental Law from Stockholm University.
Daniela Palacios thinks that in the future many environmental cases will end up in arbitration.
- Arbitration is time efficent, independent, impartial and more flexible than ordinary courts.
The four best teams of the competition (Jamaica, Stockholm, Mainz and Versailles) were invited to a special course on cross-examination held by Covington & Burling LLP partner Allan B. Moore.
A privileged oppurtunity
Apart from Daniela Palacios from Ecuador, the Stockholm University team was comprised of Olga Nalyvaichenko from Ukraine (candidate for LL.M in International Commercial Arbitration Law) and Malcolm Robach from Sweden (candidate for LL.M in International Commercial Arbitration Law). The team was sponsored by the Swedish lawfirm Setterwalls.
- The moot was a thrilling experience. From an academic perspective, this was a privileged opportunity to research, plead and learn about international law, investment law and investment arbitration. From a more personal perspective, I think we all thoroughly enjoyed socialising with the members of all the other teams, making friends and contacts, attending social events and sharing experiences with students and colleagues from all over the world, says Malcolm Robach.
Daniela Palacios agrees.
- We are extremly thankful to Stockholm University and our sponsors giving us the oppurtunity to take part in the moot.
The team was coached by Doctoral Student Olga Glukhovska and Guest Lecturer Gretta Walters.
The Stockholm team: Olga Nalyvaichenko, Daniela Palacios, Olga Glukhovska (coach) Malcolm Robach.