Moot Court

“Teams from around the world meet here in Nuremberg to compete in simulated international criminal law proceedings in the historic Courtroom 600.”

International Criminal Law in Courtroom 600

Die Richterbank kurz vor der Urteilsverkündung. Foto © Lérot

The judges’ bench before the decision is pronounced. Photo © Lérot

A moot court is a competition in which participants compete against one another as parties in simulated court proceedings. The aim is to convince the judges of one’s view of the law. Arguments are based on a fictional case. The facts are clear, the legal situation is not.

The Nuremberg Moot Court explores all of this in the field of international criminal law; the hearings are held before the “International Criminal Court”, in session in Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, the historical setting of the Nuremberg Trials.

Courtroom 600

Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice is not the birthplace of international criminal law. Yet the Courtroom today still symbolises the promise made to all of mankind by the Allies in 1945 in the course of the proceedings against the major German war criminals: to end the impunity of state leaders. From the Nuremberg Trials, it would take another 50 years until the establishment of the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002. The development that was initiated in Courtroom 600, however, was not to be stopped.

Learning from Practice – Interaction with Students from around the World

Students from around the world meet in Courtroom 600 to compete with their arguments in international criminal law. The judges are leading international criminal law experts. Members of the international tribunals and their institutions, the prosecution and defense, practitioners and academics all come to Nuremberg to evaluate the students’ pleadings and to decide the case.

Die Teilnehmer des Nuremberg Moot Court 2016. Foto © Lérot

The participants of the Nuremberg Moot Court 2016.
Photo © Lérot

It is hard to imagine a more international environment. The Nuremberg Moot Court offers the unique opportunity of developing, so to speak directly from one’s doorstep, international relationships to the practitioners and theorists in international criminal law both of today and of tomorrow.

Dates and Registration

The Nuremberg Moot Court takes place annually over the course of four days during the last week of July. Information on registration is available here generally around the New Year, the registration deadline is usually at the end of the first quarter of every year. The facts of the case are released in the second quarter, and there is a period for drafting the memoranda assessing the facts both from the standpoint of the prosecution and defense. After the submissions’ deadline, there is still time to prepare the oral pleadings.

The International Criminal Law Research Unit organises the Nuremberg Moot Court together with the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, which, for its part, makes available information on the moot court here.

Addition information