Capacity Building Project

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 programme for the Capacity Building Project is built 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 has a strong skills and practical focus so that students are then able to use the skills learnt in their careers in an ever changing legal landscape. 

In the past three years the programme has been run in Cambodia where approximately 30 students from Cambodian law schools have taken part each year in the Capacity Building Project.  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.

Cambodia now has a good core of students and trainers who are now able to run the programme themselves. This is indeed being taken up by one of the Universities. The programme this year is being run in Mynamar, held at Dagon University. 

The goal of the course is 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.

"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