The Rules of NMCC 2017

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The National Moot Court Competition 2017



1) Language

Art. 1 – The official language of the National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) is English. All submissions must be in English.


2) Definitions

Art. 2.1 – Every “team” is a group of two participants, with or without one coach.

Art. 2.2 – A “coach” is a team member who offers support to their team members before the beginning of the local rounds and the national rounds.

Art. 2.3 – The “Organizing Committee” (OC) is the group of people responsible for organizing either a local round or the national rounds.

Art. 2.4 – The “local rounds” are the rounds in the NMCC that are hosted by a local ELSA group.

Art. 2.5 – The “national rounds” are the rounds in the NMCC that are hosted by ELSA the Netherlands.

Art. 2.6 – The “oral sessions” are the moments within the local and national rounds in which two teams present their cases orally to the jury.

Art. 2.7 – The “jury” is the group of people selected by the OC to rule over a particular oral session. The jury contains either actual judges, lawyers or law university professors.

Art. 2.8 – A “local ELSA group” is any of the following students’ associations: ELSA Amsterdam, ELSA Groningen, ELSA Leiden, ELSA Maastricht, ELSA Nijmegen, ELSA Rotterdam, ELSA Tilburg, ELSA Utrecht.



3) The teams

Art. 3.1 – Any law student who has not yet acquired an LL.M. degree may be a participant in the National Moot Court Competition.

Art. 3.2 – In order to participate in the NMCC, each team must submit their application at a local ELSA group.

Art. 3.3 – Only the local ELSA groups submit the application of the teams that will participate in the national rounds.

Art. 3.4 – Each team must prepare the case from the position of both applicant and respondent.

Art. 3.5 – The teams only get to know which position they will actually defend (applicant or respondent) at the beginning of both the local and national rounds. A raffle is held at the beginning of the round to determine the positions.


4) The oral sessions

Art. 4.1 – During the oral sessions, the timekeeper keeps track of time.

Art. 4.2 – Before each team starts their plea, they deliver their pleading notes – one to each member of the jury and one to each member of the opposing team.

Art. 4.3 – Each oral session contains a 20 minute plea by the applicant, followed by another 20 minute plea by the respondent.

Art. 4.4 – After the respondent’s pleadings, the applicant and the respondent have 5 minutes to present their reply and rejoinder, respectively.

Art. 4.5 – The jury may interrupt a participant at any time for a question.

Art. 4.6 – During the oral sessions it is up to each team to decide whether both participants speak during the plea and reply/rejoinder or that one participant speaks during the plea and the other one speaks during the reply/rejoinder. It is not allowed that only one participant speaks during both the plea and reply/rejoinder.

Art. 4.7 – After the rejoinder the jury withdraws for deliberation.

Art. 4.8 – The jury offers feedback to the participants.

Art. 4.9 – The participants are handed their assessment sheets at the end of the local rounds and the national rounds respectively.



5) The evaluation

Art. 5.1 – The jury evaluates the participants’ presentations during the oral sessions. This evaluation is expressed in a score between 1 and 100 per participant. The team’s score is the average of the score of both participants together.

Art. 5.2 – In its assessment, the jury pays attention to: the content, the presentation, the time management and the pleading notes – as set in the assessment sheet provided by the OC.

Art. 5.3 – If a participant exceeds their speaking time, the team loses one point in their overall score, and an additional point for every 30 seconds extra to a maximum of 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the timekeeper interrupts the participant and they may speak no further.

Art. 5.4 – The team which has the highest score wins.

Art. 5.5 – The scores from the local rounds count as 20% of the scores from the national rounds.

Art. 5.6 – In case of a tie, the team which hasn’t submitted their pleading notes loses. If that still doesn’t solve the tie, the team which has outlined the content the best way wins.

Art. 5.7 – The decision of the jury is always final.


6) The local rounds

Art. 6.1 – Each local ELSA group may accept for their local rounds any even number of teams that is greater than zero.

Art. 6.2 – Only the winning team from each local round may participate in the national rounds.


7) The national rounds

Art. 7.1 – The national rounds are comprised of semi-finals and finals.

Art. 7.2 – During the semi-finals the winning teams from the local rounds compete against each other according to the scheme provided by the OC.

Art. 7.3 – The teams with the highest and second highest scores after the semi-finals are placed for the finals.

Art. 7.4 – The teams that get through to the finals get 30 minutes to prepare their case.

Art. 7.5 – The teams don’t need to hand out pleading notes during the finals.


8) The case

Art. 8.1 – Unless otherwise expressly provided, the case is governed by EU law.

Art. 8.2 – The case is made available to participants at least two weeks before the beginning of the local rounds.

Art. 8.3 – The case will be uploaded on the website of ELSA the Netherlands.

9) Final Provisions

Art. 9.1 –No electronic aids are allowed during the oral sessions and the preparation for the finals.

Art. 9.2 –In all cases not covered by these regulations, the OC has the final say.

ELSA the Netherlands

January 2017