University hosts international arbitration contest

Law students from China and abroad hone their skills at Vis Moot as city builds itself into globally-oriented center for arbitration.

More than 170 university students from China and abroad gathered at East China University of Political Science and Law recently to attend the 2019 Shanghai International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition.

The students, from Chinese universities such as Tsinghua, Fudan and Tongji, as well as higher educational institutions in other countries, including National University of Singapore and University of Amsterdam, competed in 26 teams in the three-day event.

Moot Shanghai, initiated by the Shanghai Arbitration Commission and East China University of Political Science and Law in 2011, is the only simulated arbitration moot competition on the Chinese mainland that attracts university students from the mainland and overseas.

The event adopts the competition scheme of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, or Vis Moot, an international moot court competition held annually in Vienna, Austria, attracting more than 300 law schools from all around the world. The objective of the Vis Moot, named after international commercial law expert Willem C. Vis, is to foster study of international commercial arbitration and encourage the resolution of business disputes by arbitration.

Moot Shanghai has organized more than 500 simulated arbitration events and attracted more than 1,000 students specializing in 15 law areas.

Zhang Mingjun, vice president of East China University of Political Science and Law, said the Belt and Road Initiative, the development of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Shanghai’s efforts in building itself as a global center for economy, trade, finance and shipping have facilitate the development of foreign legal services in the city.

He pointed out that Shanghai’s plans to build an international-facing arbitration center in the Asia-Pacific region sets high requirements for universities in cultivating international law talent, which are also new targets for the development of Moot Shanghai.

Yu Weifeng, president of the Shanghai Bar Association, said Moot Shanghai is a platform for law students to show their professional skills and to exchange with their peers.

A forum was also held at the university recently to address the challenges Shanghai faces in building itself into an international arbitration center.

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