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Moot Court Public International Law


Admission requirements

This course is intended for exchange (law) students and requires a good working knowledge of public international law. Participation for Dutch law students is contingent on the availability of spots.


The course Moot Court Public International Law offers students skills training in research, analysis, legal writing and advocacy through the participation in an international law litigation simulation.

Since 1992 Leiden University has an extensive and successful Moot Court programme. All law students in Leiden have to complete a compulsory Moot Court course in civil law, criminal law, administrative law, European law or public international law. It is one of the few courses directed to obtain skills essential for lawyers: tackling legal problems in a structured way. The course includes a library instruction, lectures and training in argumentation, writing assignments, presentation skills training and concludes with a Moot Court session.

The course Moot Court LLC Public International Law is designed for exchange students studying in Leiden. It provides students an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of a particular issue in international law. The case problem distributed to the students presents a (hypothetical) dispute between two countries before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea or an arbitration tribunal. Cases pertain to the use of force, human rights, environmental law, climate change, law of the sea and other fields of international law. The course serves as an excellent preparation for a Moot Court competition in any field of law.

Course objectives

Students will learn to present a well-structured argument, both in writing and orally.

At the end of this course, students are able to:

  • write a memo concerning a specific legal question.

  • make a persuasive oral presentation before a panel of three judges/practitioners/experts.


The course includes three plenary sessions and a library instruction in the first two weeks. Tutorials and skills training will take place on Thursdays or Fridays (subject to changes). A detailed timetable will be made available on Brightspace.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 3

  • Names of lecturers: Ms. E. Kentin

  • Required preparation by students: to be announced


  • Number of tutorials: 5

  • Names of instructors: Ms. E. Kentin

  • Required preparation by students: writing assignments

Other methods of instruction

  • Description: Presentation skills training

  • Number of (1 hour) trainings: 5

  • Names of instructors: to be announced

  • Required preparation by students: instructions in the syllabus

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Partial exams in the form of writing assignments: list of arguments (12%), memorial (36%), memorandum of oral pleading (24%). Only the list of arguments can be retaken (maximum grade for retake is a 6, out of 10). The weighted average of the writing assignments should be above 5.5 to proceed to the oral exam.

  • Final examination in the form of an oral exam: presentation before a Moot Court of three judges (28%). Only in exceptional circumstances this oral exam can be retaken.

Submission procedures
Upload via Brightspace. See for further information the syllabus.

Areas to be tested within the exam
General knowledge of and case specific, in-depth knowledge of international law. Writing, presentation and argumentation skills.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Syllabus available on Brightspace

  • OSCOLA (4th edn, Hart Publishers) and OSCOLA 2006: Citing International Law, both available at oscola.php

  • CE Schjatvet & Z Hafez, ILSA Guide to International Law Moot Court Competition (LLI 2003) (available online at ($10) and to be borrowed from the lecturer)

Recommended course materials

  • S Bailey, The Essentials of Academic Writing for International Students (Routledge 2015)

  • E Baskind, Mooting: the definitive guide (Routledge 2018)

  • C Kee, The art of argument: a guide to mooting (CUP 2006)

  • JG Merrills, International dispute settlement (6th edn, CUP 2017)

  • SI Strong, How to write law essays and exams (4rd edn, OUP 2014)


Maximum of 32 students. Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first by the Office of International Education. Remaining spots will be available for law students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities. Please email the coordinator.


  • Coordinator: Ms. Esther Kentin

  • Work address: KOG, Room A311

  • Contact information: Moot Court Secretariat A319.

  • Telephone number: 071 5275358/1985

  • E-mail:


  • Institute: Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law

  • Department: Moot Court and Advocacy

  • Room number Secretariat: A319

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00-16:00

  • Telephone number Secretariat: 071 5271985

  • E-mail: