Susan J. Ferrell Intercultural Human Rights 
Moot Court Competition

Official Rules

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Susan J. Ferrell Intercultural Human Rights Moot Court Competition (hereinafter “the Competition”) is to increase knowledge about, and further the development of, an order respecting and promoting human dignity across cultures in the general context of international law.

2. Participation

(1) The Competition is open to teams composed of students enrolled in law schools, pursuing a J.D. or LL.M. degree or their equivalents, or graduate programs in human rights in the United States and abroad. Each school can only register one team. The team can have between two and five members.

(2) Each team shall have a faculty advisor or shall be sponsored by a recognized student organization within the school (e.g. the Moot Court Board, International Moot Court Board, or International Law Society). It may also have a student team coach. The role of the faculty advisor is limited to a general discussion of the issues, suggestions as to research sources and methodology, and preparation for oral argument.

(3) Registration is effectuated by the submission of a completed Registration Form and payment of a non-refundable registration fee as indicated on this Form.

(4) Upon registration, the Competition Coordinator assigns each team a number. Throughout the Competition, teams are to be referred to only by this number.

3. Memorials

(1) Each team is to submit one memorial for the Applicant and one memorial for the Respondent. 

(2) The memorials shall include the following components:

(a) Cover page, referencing the year and name of the Competition (e.g., “2014-2015 Susan J. Ferrell Intercultural Human Rights Moot Court Competition”); the team number (“Team No. __”); the venue (“In the International Court of Justice at the Peace Palace, The Hague”); the case name (e.g., “The Eastern Plains Case”); the names of the Applicant and Respondent (e.g., “Astavia” (Applicant) v. Restrepia (Respondent)”); and identification of the memorial as either “Memorial for the Applicant” or “Memorial for the Respondent”;

(b) Table of Contents;

(c) Table of Authorities;

(d) Questions Presented;

(e) Statement of Facts;

(f) Summary of Argument;

(g) Argument, including footnotes; and

(h) Conclusion.

(3) The memorials shall be prepared electronically. The preferred word processing format is Microsoft Word. Times New Roman is required, with a typeface no smaller than 12 point font. Line-spacing for all parts of the Memorials shall be double-spaced, with the exception of footnotes, headnotes, and quotations, which shall be single-spaced.

(4) The total combined word count of the Argument and the Conclusion (supra at (2)(g) and (h)) shall not exceed 10,000 words.

(5) The memorials shall contain no identification of the competing institutions and team members; identification should only occur by the team number.

(6) Each team has to send the memorial for the Applicant and the memorial for the Respondent in a single computer file for each memorial via e-mail on or before the deadline indicated in the Official Schedule of the Competition (for 2014-2015 competition; January 12, 2015, 5:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time).

(7) To ensure timely delivery, both the Applicant and Respondent memorials must be e-mailed in both the word processing format (e.g. Microsoft Word) and in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF) to all of the following four e-mail addresses:

(8) Teams who fail to submit their memorials on time will not be allowed to participate in the Competition.

(9) Each memorial shall be scored by three judges. The minimum score per memorial and judge is 25 points, the maximum score is 50 points. Criteria for evaluation are thoroughness of research, quality of grammar and style, knowledge of the facts and the law, clarity and organization, proper formatting and citation, cogency of analysis and reasoning, persuasiveness, and originality.

(10) Teams will be penalized by deduction of one point for every 250 words over the 10,000 word limit for Argument and Conclusion in each of their memorials. Any other formatting violation will be sanctioned by deduction of one-half point.

4. Oral Argument

(1) In the oral rounds of the Competition, each side will argue for 45 minutes in total before a panel of three judges. In each round, Applicant and Respondent will be represented by two team members. The total time for arguments can be divided by each team as desired, except for the following restrictions:

(a) Each oralist shall argue at least 15 minutes and no more than 25 minutes.

(b) Teams are encouraged, but not required, to present a rebuttal or surrebuttal. Neither rebuttal nor surrebuttal may exceed 10 minutes.

(2) Each team shall indicate to the bailiff, prior to the beginning of the match, how many minutes it wishes to allocate to its first and second oralists as well as to rebuttal and surrebuttal, respectively.

(3) Oralists can address any issue pertinent to the problem, regardless of whether or not their team raised it in its memorial. The rebuttal, however, can address only issues raised in the main oral argument, and the surrebuttal may only respond to issues raised in the rebuttal.

(4) The bailiff will keep track of the time and notify oralists periodically of the time left and when time expires. When time expires, oralists shall stop their presentation. Upon their request, judges may allow them to briefly complete their argument.

(5) All oral arguments are open to the public, including members of other teams participating in this Competition.

(6) Each oralist shall be scored by each of the three judges in each match. The minimum score is 25 points, the maximum score is 50 points. Criteria for evaluation are clarity and organization, knowledge of the facts and applicable law, application of the law, creativity, quality of response to questions from the bench, logic and reasoning, style, poise and demeanor, as well as management of time.

(7) Upon completing the oral scoresheets, judges may comment upon the oral performance to the teams, but may not announce individual scores or winners.

(8) There will be four Preliminary Round matches for each team, acting twice in the role of Applicant and twice in the role of Respondent.

(9) The best two teams of the Preliminary Round will advance to the Final Round.

5. Determining the Winners

(1) Best Memorial
In order to rank the memorials, all of the three judges’ scores for both Applicant and Respondent memorials are added. The team with the highest total memorial score minus the penalties (maximum: 300 points) wins the Best Memorial Award.

(2) Best Oralist
In order to rank the oralists, all of the judges’ scores for each oralist in the Preliminary Round are added and divided by the number of times the oralist argued in the Preliminary Round. The oralist with the highest average score wins the Best Oralist Award. Oralists who only argued in one match during the Preliminary Round do not qualify for this award.

(3) Best Team
The best team is the winner of the Final Round. In order to advance to the Final Round, the best two teams emerging from the Preliminary Round are determined by their win-loss record of the four individual matches.

(a) A match is won by the preponderance of match points. A total of nine match points are awarded in each match, three to the competing teams’ memorials and six to their oralists’ individual performances.

(b) The highest score given by a judge to the Applicant memorial will be compared to the highest score given by a judge to the Respondent memorial; followed by the next-highest score, and ultimately, the lowest score. For each comparison, the team with the higher score will receive one match point. If the scores are equal in any such comparison, each team will receive one-half match point.

(c) The six match points for oral argument are composed of two match points awarded by each one of the three judges for the performance of the teams’ oralists. To determine the recipient of the two match points, a judge’s combined score of the Applicant’s oralists is compared to his/her combined score of the Respondent’s oralists: the team with the higher combined score receives the two points from this judge; if his/her scores for each team are equal, each team will receive one match point.

(d) The team receiving the higher number of the nine match points available wins the match. If both teams have an equal number of match points (four and one-half), the team with the highest total score of all the points awarded for the memorial and the oralists in this match wins the match.

(e) The teams’ rankings are determined by their overall record of wins and losses in the four matches of the Preliminary Round. A team with four wins is ranked above a team with three wins, etc. If two or more teams have the same number of wins, their total point score from all four matches (maximum score: 1,800 points) breaks the tie and determines their ranking, including the determination of the two best teams which advance to the Final Round.

(f) As between the two teams advancing to the Final Round, the team ranked higher has the privilege of choosing the side it will argue for, i.e. Applicant or Respondent.

(g) The rules regarding the determination of individual matches in the Preliminary Round also govern the determination of the winner of the Final Round. The team with the higher number of the nine match points available wins the Final Round.

(h) The President of the distinguished panel of three judges of the Final Round will announce the winner and recipient of the Ferrell Trophy.

6. Final Provisions

(1) Participating teams may send questions regarding the interpretation of these Official Rules or clarification of the Problem to the Competition Coordinator at by November 10, 2014. The clarifications, if necessary, will be posted on the website of the Competition by November 26. 2014.

(2) The Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights has the discretion to interpret or amend the Official Rules. If, in its judgment, a departure from these Rules is required, it shall inform all participants as soon as possible thereof with a statement of reasons.

Faculty Coordinator:

Professor Roza Pati 
Executive Director
Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights 
St. Thomas University School of Law 
16401 NW 37th Avenue
Miami Gardens, FL 33054
Tel.: (305) 474-2447
Fax: (305) 474-2413