The Eighth International Roman Law Moot Court Competition was held on the Bay of Naples from 15 to 18 April 2015, amidst the splendour of Vico Equense’s Castello Giusso and the evocative grandeur of the Terme Stabiane in the archaeological site of Pompeii – a rare and special privilege secured through the tenacious efforts of hosts Professor Carla Masi Doria, Professor Cosimo Cascione and Dr Natale Rampazzo of the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II.
The spectacular setting for the moot also featured in the problem, albeit transposed back to the sixth century AD and the cities of Neapolis and Aequa: the libellus required counsel to engage with complex questions of the law of succession, property and choice of law, against the backdrop of geopolitical convulsions in the south of Italy following the Ostrogothic occupation and Emperor Justinian’s reconquest of the peninsula.
The palma victoriae went to the University of Naples – no doubt stirred by the occasion of mooting on home ground – who defeated the University of Cambridge in the Grand Final, before a panel consisting of Athina Dimopoulou (Athens), Jean-François Gerkens (Liège), Joshua Getzler (Oxford), Marcelo Nasser (Santiago) and Constantin Willems (Trier).
In the Small Final, also held in Pompeii, the University of Athens edged out the Oxford team, comprising Keith Chan (Oriel College), Yizhen Clark (New College), Hannah Edwards (University College) and Brian Lee (Christ Church). The Law Faculty congratulates the Oxford team on their sterling performance in reaching the Small Final; our advocates were ranked 7th, 9th, 10th and 13th after the preliminary rounds, and their detailed research and ingenious arguments challenged both other teams and judges to re-evaluate the facts and their legal consequences in all six rounds of the contest.
The Clifford Chance LLP Best Oralist Prize was jointly awarded to Rory Gregson (Cambridge) and Panagiota Kondyli (Athens), and the LMS Studio Legale Best Legal Analysis Prize was awarded to the University of Naples.
The organising committee of this year’s moot, as well as the participating universities, gratefully acknowledge the longstanding and generous sponsorship of international law firm Clifford Chance LLP and the significant contribution this year of LMS Studio Legale of Milan, in addition to support from the Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, the Centro Interdipartimentale Vincenzo Arangio-Ruiz and the Consorzio Interuniversitario Gérard Boulvert. At the Clifford Chance LLP European Private Law Dinner, particular thanks were expressed to Professor Massimo Osanna, the Soprintendente della Soprintendenza speciale per i beni archeologici di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia, and it was announced that the Ninth International Roman Law Moot will be held in Vienna in April 2016.
Dr Benjamin Spagnolo
IRLM Mooting Coordinator
Oxford's 2015 IRLM team (l to r): Brian Lee (Christ Church), Yizhen Clark (New College), Hannah Edwards (University College) and Keith Chan (Oriel College) at the Small Final in the Terme Stabiane at Pompeii