The 2017 Bond Vis (East) Moot team competed in the Queensland round of the CIArb Australia Vis Pre-Moot in Brisbane on 16 February 2017, and as winners of that round progressed to the national round of the CIArb Australia Vis Pre-Moot in Melbourne held on 1 March 2017.
Although Australian pre-moots have been held for a number of years, it is the first time that the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators have become involved in the pre-moot competition. It is also the first time that Bond University participated. Pre-moots are an important part of the Vis moot competition, and pre-moots are held all over the world.
The Vis moot competition is the second largest moot competition in the world, and has two ‘sister’ moots – the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition held in Vienna, and the Willem C Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition held in Hong Kong. In 2016, more than 350 teams from all over the world participated in the Vienna moot, and 115 in the Hong Kong moot. The Vis (East) moot is now in its 14th year, and the Vis Vienna moot in its 24th year.
Bond University has participated in the Willem C Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition since 2009, and has won three of the major awards in the competition since 2011. In 2011, the Bond team won the David Hunter Award for the Team that prevails in Oral Arguments. In 2012 the Bond team won the Eric Bergsten Award for the Best Claimant Memorandum, and in 2015, Lachlan Hopwood, a Bond team member won the Neil Kaplan Award for Best Oralist.
The moot problems set for this competition always deal with matters relating to international commercial dispute resolution through arbitration, and they always involve the application of the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods. The issues in the problem this year are very interesting, and include the question as to whether an order for security for costs should be granted against the party bringing the matter to arbitration. Another issue is whether a vaguely worded hand-written addendum to an agreement can have the effect of including a fixed exchange rate clause into the original agreement where there was no express regulation of the exchange rate in the original agreement.
The 2016-2017 Bond University team is a diverse team with two Canadian JD students, Moira McAvoy and Blake Thomas, and two Australian LLB-combined degree students, Stephanie Centorame and Makaela Fehlhaber. They are coached by the Director of Mooting, Assistant Professor Louise Parsons. The student coach, Jeremy Butcher, was the runner-up in the Neil Kaplan Award for the Best Oralist in the Vis (East) moot in 2016.
The team will head off to Hong Kong at the end of March 2017 where they will compete against 125 other teams from all over the world.
We wish our team all the best in the rest of the competition!