UDSM Law Students Shine at International Commercial Arbitration Moot

Wed, 03.May.2023 19.58

By Jackson Isdory, CMU

As a manifestation of the University of Dar es Salaam’s long standing mighty locally and globally, three of its School of Law (UDSoL) students performed marvelously in the prestigious Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition  held recently in Vienna, Austria.

In this competition, which took place from 31st March to 6th April 2023 and drew more than 2500 students from 89 countries who were divided into 378 teams, the three students won a chance to participate in the second phase after performing well in the written rounds conducted remotely.

The competition was divided into two phases: the written rounds conducted remotely and the oral hearing held physically in Vienna. UDSM team comprised of competent Bachelor of Laws (LLB) students namely Ms. Getrude Naphatali Makunganya, Ms. Elaine Bawazir, and Mr. Joseph Isaac Masangula.

The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is a competition for law students to foster the study and practice of international commercial sales law and arbitration, and students from all countries are eligible.

A milestone

The Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic Prof. Bonaventure Rutinwa  commended the students for such a milestone which was a testament that the University of Dar es Salaam School of Law and its students were capable of competing at the highest global levels.

“The University of Dar es Salaam is very proud of the achievements of its School of Laws in this regard and encourages more students from all fields of study to participate actively competitions of this nature in the future”, said Prof. Rutinwa.

Prof Rutinwa insisted that, as the University was committed to ensure that both students (and later on graduates) lecturers had relevant knowledge and competence (skills), it was undertaning a major curriculum review process so that the knowledge provided met the needs and demands of the industry, locally and internationally.

“This process considers that students must acqure relevant practical skills and adequate theories. These competitions, therefore, are important avanues for students to demonstrate their professional practical skills which for Law students include legal advocacy, argumentation, and research”, he added.

In the same vein, the Dean of the School of Law, Dr. Sosteness Materu said they were very happy and proud of the impressive participation of their students in the competition – which was a significant opportunity for them to gain practical experience.

“The success of our team in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition, which is a very prestigious one and attracts some of the best law students from around the world, is a testament that the University of Dar es Salaam School of Law is commited to promoting excellence in the legal education”, said Dr. Materu.

In a statement, the three UDSM students expressed their joy for the opportunity to participate in the competition and thanked the University for providing the necessary support. “The experience that we have gained from our participation in the competition would indeed be invaluable in our future legal careers”.

The Moot

The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot involves a dispute arising out of a contract of sale between two countries that are party to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The contract provides that any dispute that might arise is to be settled by arbitration in Danubia.

Danubia is a country that has enacted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and is a party to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The arbitral rules to be applied rotate yearly among the arbitration rules of co-sponsoring institutions of the Moot.