International Moot Court: An Introduction

By Meghan Spillane; The International Bar Association | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Moot Court Structure

BASIC MOOT COURT MODEL

Moot court is structured to support its twofold purpose: to promote the development of written skills through the creation of briefs and verbal advocacy skills through the use of oral arguments. In all kinds of moot court competitions, participating students receive an appellate record, which contains the hypothetical problem that will form the basis for all arguments.4 Typically, students will craft arguments surrounding two distinct “issues” set forth by the court. The issues represent the questions that the court must resolve in order to reach a decision in the case. These issues will likely be outlined as the “Questions Presented” before the court. Students will use the information presented in the problem to craft arguments in support of their position on each issue. The problem will consist of a narrative record of the facts, which will read like a story of the persons, places, and events involved in the dispute. The problem may also contain lower court opinions in the same case, which explain how the issues were resolved at the trial level. Some competitions, including many international law competitions, may include additional documents within the problem packet from the lower courts that may be helpful in developing arguments. These additional sources may include pleadings, discovery material, motions, judgments, and opinions.5

4. Darby Dickerson, “In Re Moot Court,” 29 Stetson L. Rev. 1217, 1220 (Spring 2000): 1217–1227.

5. Ibid.

-8-

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