Capacity Building Project 10/3/2016
The thirst for greater knowledge and understanding of issues in international commercial law, whether public or private, and a need for a better understanding of different legal systems, both in terms of conflict of laws challenges under commercial proposals and also as models for domestic reforms have brought about this project. The lack of resources and lack of historical integration into the world economy are also a driving factor. Hence, many students in certain countries are missing out on training that is vital to the strategic interests of their home economy.
The strategy is for the program to build itself around the existing Willem C Vis Commercial Arbitration Moot, one of the largest international legal educational moot in the world. The advantage is that this already entails problem based learning in many of the key areas of international commercial law.
The key objective is a more comprehensive in country training. In particular, the in-country training would have a strong skills and practical focus so that students are then able to use the skills in their careers on an ever changing legal landscape.
Last year, 30 students from Cambodian law schools tookpart in the first Capacity Building Project of the Vis East Moot Foundation. The Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, which began 23 years ago in Vienna, is the premier private international law training ground in the world. For 10 days, tutors and coaches worked with Cambodian students on the basics of international law: sources of law, legal reasoning, the Convention on International Sales of Goods and international arbitration law and practice.
The goal of the course was not only to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for students to participate successfully in the Moot competition, but also to create a sustainable framework and resource base in Cambodia for future training of international lawyers and business executives.
The 10-day program included a professional course organised by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,a highly respected body headquartered in London with branches in 30 countries around the world. The Institute's East Asia Branch in Hong Kong provided the resources for the two-day course, which was also open to lawyers and to those with legal training or substantial international business experience and an interest in international arbitration.
"One of the great pleasures of coming back to the VIS East year after year is to see the progress many of the schools are making toward the practice of international arbitation. Particularly striking was the Royal University of Law & Economics (Cambodia) which I first saw two years ago. Two years ago, that team was at the VIS East on sheer determination and really weren't able to start the learning process until their first moot in Hong Kong. This year, the team from the same school, while not quite to the level of the teams progressing into the elimination rounds, certainly were at a level that a client would consider themselves well represented. This clearly demonstrates that with the availability of knowledge and practice such schools can compete with the rest of the world. I commend the VIS East Moot Foundation for their program which worked with the Cambodian schools during the past year. "
Paul G. Huck FCIArb