Czech law students excel in FDI Moot contest

Illustrative photo: Filip Jandourek

Czech law students from Prague’s Charles University excelled in this year’s FDI Moot contest beating their American counterparts from Harvard and Russia’s prestigious Lomonosov University. The Czechs say improvisation helped them win.

Illustrative photo: Filip Jandourek
Forty-eight teams from the best law schools the world over competed in the final of the FDI Moot contest in Boston this year honing their skills in complicated international arbitration cases involving private firms and state institutions. The FDI Moot contest, established in 2008, has an oral and written part in which the teams present their strategy and arguments to an international jury of law professors and experts.

In past years universities from the United States, Australia and Canada dominated the competition but other law schools are now making their mark as well. This year was a triumph for the four- member Czech team from Prague’s Charles University which placed second after the National Law School of India University, leaving behind rivals from Harvard and Russia’s prestigious Lomonosov University, among others.

Law student Helena Švandová says that paradoxically the lack of time to prepare and the need to improvise, worked in the team’s favour. “We only started preparing in August, in addition to studying and working part-time, so it was a bit hectic. Some of the other teams spend the whole year preparing for this contest with no other duties to take up their time. So in the end we had to improvise, which worked in our favour and really boosted the team spirit. Some of the others appeared more like lone players which worked against them in the end” she told the news site ihned.

Another member of the team Zuzana Strnadová says that in addition to the great sense of accomplishment the experience itself is invaluable. “The need to work under time pressure, against a deadline, work together and improvise with some of the world’s best law students against you –those are skills that no law school can teach you,” Strnadová told ihned. Coach Michal Stanek, himself a former contestant in FDI Moot, says he is extremely proud of his team.