International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court

International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition

It is with great pleasure that the Government and Law Research Group of the University of Antwerp is inviting you to the 2023-2024 International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition!

  • After editions organized by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2019 and the University of Ghent in 2022 (link), we are looking forward to organizing the next edition of the moot court competition in Antwerp (Belgium). With its international seaport, Antwerp has been the place of embarkation for transatlantic sea travel since the 15th century.

    This international competition aims to bring together students interested in international migration and asylum law from around the globe. It provides them with an ideal opportunity to sharpen their analytical, drafting and pleading skills, as well as to broaden their network with colleagues from other universities and judges who are experts in the field.

    Moot Court Structure

    The moot court competition consists of a written round and a two-day oral round in Antwerp (Belgium). Each team will plead a fictitious case between a State and a migrant before a judicial body. A particular and challenging characteristic of the International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition is that the case develops throughout the competition. Particular attention will also be paid to a debriefing of the case and feedback to the teams.

    Moot Court Case, Rules and Booklet

    The 2023-2024 International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition case concerns a young Afghan woman, who applies for asylum in the Grand Duchy of Taurasia, a fictitious country, after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

    You can find the Case on this link.

    The Competition’s Rules, can be consulted on this link.

    The Clarifications are accessible via this link.

    The Legal materials that can be consulted can be found on this link.

    More information about the competition, including the finalized program, information about main and side events, the names of the judges and practical information for the participants will be made available in a program booklet via this link.

The Written Pleadings

Each participating team should submit written pleadings on behalf of both the State and the migrant. The written pleadings should not exceed 6000 words for each party (excluding footnotes). An international evaluation panel will evaluate these memorials. A maximum of 12 teams will be invited for the oral hearing in Antwerp on the basis of the quality of their written pleadings.

The Oral Pleadings

During the oral hearing, each team will plead twice (once for the State and once for the migrant). The initial case – as submitted for the written pleadings – will be the basis for the first rounds of the oral hearing. The best teams will compete with each other in the (semi)final(s), in which respectively a new element and an entire new migration law topic will be prepared and pleaded. Each court session takes 60 minutes, including pleadings, rebuttals and questions of the judges. All judges will be experts in the field of asylum and migration law, thanks to a collaboration with the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges.


Scheme Oral Pleadings (21 March 2024)

Pool 1Pool 2Pool 3Pool 4
Team 7 Team 3 Team 8 Team 6 
Team 5 Team 13  Team 1 
Team 10 Team 11  Team 9

Round 1

Applicant Respondent 
Team 7 Team 5 
Team 3 Team 13 
Team 8 Team 1 
Team 6 Team 9 

Round 2

Applicant Respondent 
Team 5 Team 10 
Team 13 Team 11 

Round 3 

Applicant Respondent 
Team 10 Team 7 
Team 11 Team 3 
Team 1 Team 6 
Team 9 Team 8

Results written round

The teams that advance to the oral round(s) are:

Team 5Team 11Team 3Team 1Team 4Team 13
Team 10Team 8Team 12Team 7Team 9Team 6

Evaluating Panel

Each team is required to nominate one qualified person, who consents to be a member of the evaluating panel. This member shall not be involved in (the preparation of) any of the participating teams. Each member of the evaluating panel evaluates two to four written pleadings.

Indicative Timeline

Release case and case material2 October 2023
Deadline for registration and submission registration form 30 October 2023, 23:59 CET
15 November 2023, 23:59 CET*
Deadline for submitting questions for clarification and correction6 November 2023, 23:59 CET
15 November 2023, 23:59 CET*
Distribution of answers to requests for clarification17 November 2023, 23:59 CET
Deadline for change in teams and/or coaches20 November 2023, 23:59 CET
Deadline for submitting written pleadings20 December 2023, , 23:59 CET
Evaluation of the written pleadings by the evaluating panel21 December 2023 – 15 January 2024
Written round results and invitation for the oral pleadings22 January 2024, 23:59 CET
Written pleadings sent to opposing teams26 February 2024, 23:59 CET
Oral pleadings at the University of Antwerp21 to 22 March 2024

*Due to inquiries by some of the interested teams, the deadline for registration and for submitting questions is postponed until 15 November 2023, 23:59 CET

Participation & Registration

The International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition is open to all universities. Each university may participate with one team. Teams should consist of four students and a coach. Students should be actively enrolled in a Master program of law (PhD students are not allowed to participate) or in an advanced stage of a Bachelor program of law. Non-law students may participate if they have a sufficient level of knowledge of international migration and refugee law.

Students may not have professional pleading experience. Student teams from the Global South are warmly encouraged to participate in the competition. Grants may be awarded to partially cover the travel costs to and from Antwerp (Belgium) of certain teams who have qualified for the oral rounds, in order to give students from diverse countries the opportunity to participate.

There is no registration fee.

You can find the link to the registration form here. This document has to be forwarded to

Organization Team at the Faculty of Law, UAntwerp

  • Prof. Dirk Vanheule
  • Mieke Verrelst
  • Jana Van der Smissen
  • Juliette Campogrande

Contact Details