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UFS Law students take on the world
2007-03-25

Back, from left: Prof. Elizabeth Snyman-Van Deventer (Associate Professor at the Department of Mercantile Law, UFS), Lucien Companie, Dee Leboela, Sunette Visser and Mr Jaco Deacon (Lecturer at the Department of Mercantile Law, UFS). Front, from left: Mr Van Aswegen (Naudes Attorneys), Prof Rita-Marie Jansen (Associate Professor at the Department of Private Law, UFS), J.C. Smith and Vicky Olivier.

Photo: Stephen Collett

A team of eight students from the Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) will compete in an international arbitration competition in Vienna, Austria, from 30 March to 5 April 2007.

The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is an annual competition organised by the Institute of International Commercial Law at the Pace University School of Law in New York, USA. The goal of the competition is to foster the study of international commercial law and to train students in methods of alternative dispute resolution.

Students will be judged on two crucial phases: the preparation of memoranda for the claimant and respondent, and the presentation of oral arguments before an arbitral tribunal. “The Moot teaches the basic framework of international arbitration and the application of the uniform sales law to all participating students during the preparation of the memoranda and the oral arguments,” says one of the team members, Dee Leboela, who also took part in last year’s competition.

“This competition definitely prepares students for the legal practice in all facets, whether as advocate, legislator or other areas,” added Deman Smit, one of the team members who also took part last year.

This competition brings together students from a range of legal systems and cultures from all over the world to learn from the process and from each other. “This encourages the development of social competence, and lifelong skills that are needed in our profession, of which social relations play an important role,” says Leboela.

In its maiden participation last year the UFS did not disappoint, with the highest score of 49 out of 50 and the lowest being 38 out of 50. This year the UFS will compete with 178 universities from 51 countries. “With the right strategy, which involves selecting the students on academic merit and excellent advocacy skills, I believe we would make it to the top 32,” says Leboela with confidence.

The UFS team is Leboela, Smit, Lucien Companie, Vicky Olivier, Sunette Visser, Qaqamba Vellem, Hanno Bekker and Lucy Nthotso.
 

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