International Moot Court Competition: The space law team of SZE is among the bests of Europe

Providing outstanding performance, the team of the Deák Ferenc Faculty of Law at Széchenyi István University competed against students from the continent's most reputable law schools offering courses in law for outer space in the "Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition”, which is an international competition on giving oral arguments in the field of space law. The University of Győr has been successfully performing at this prestigious competition for years.

The "Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition” was established in 1992. In 2010, the European Regional Round was hosted by the Faculty of Law of Széchenyi István University. Each year, the International Space Law Institute's competition simulates a fictional legal dispute between two imaginary states. Traditionally, the complex legal problem to be solved is based on the current and open regulatory issues of space law.

In the first part of the competition, teams prepare written memorials in English for the applicant and respondent states, complying with the format, structure and wording of the court filings submitted to the International Court of Justice. Having these memorials successfully submitted, the teams earn the right to participate in the oral part, where they are required to present their arguments in front of a judging panel of three renowned judges. Each student team will compete in a regional round corresponding to the geographical location of the sending institution and their winners advance to the world finals hosted at the International Astronautical Congress.

In the standing row from right to left, you can see prof. dr. Gábor Sulyok, a Full Professor, Barbara Horváth and Júlia Orsolya Erős students, and dr. Gábor Kecskés, Associate Professor representing the Széchenyi István University together with the team from Leiden. In the bottom row, the members of the jury can be seen sitting.

The team of the Deák Ferenc Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Széchenyi István University - with the support of the Ministry of Justice's programme to raise the quality of legal education - has been continuously participating in the European regional round since 2019. The round is held every year at a different higher education institution, organised by the European Space Law Centre under the auspices of the European Space Agency. This year, the European regional round was held at the University of Jaén in Spain, where the hypothetical legal case focused on blinding a spy satellite by laser which gone wrong and the destruction of another satellite by a rocket that became uncontrollable.

Having prepared two written memorials of more than 50 pages each, Júlia Orsolya Erős and Barbara Horváth, students at Széchenyi University, competed with students from the Universities of Vienna, Cologne, Leiden and Luxembourg - twice on the plaintiff's side and twice on the defendant's side. All four of these institutions are among the continent's most renowned educational institutions with degrees in space law, and have a long history of institutionalised research and teaching in this increasingly important area. The level of difficulty of the competition is reflected by the fact that three of the four opponents in the four trials reached the semi-finals, and the final was won by the University of Cologne. The excellent preparation, innovative reasoning and confident performance of the students of the Faculty of Law in Győr were appreciated by both the judges and the opponents in the case. The judges particularly praised the technical and scientific aspects integrated into and reinforcing the legal arguments.

Júlia Orsolya Erős and Barbara Horváth were supported by Kíra Zsuzsanna Dolmány as the third team member in the written part of the competition. As for the teachers, the nearly eight months of preparation were led by the staff of the Department of International and European Law, prof. dr. Gábor Sulyok, Associate Professor, and dr. Gábor Kecskés, Associate Professor, dr. Mónika Ganczer, Associate Professor, Vice Dean for Academic and International Affairs, dr. Dalma Takó, Assistant Professor, and the members of last year's competition team.

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