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April 20, 2017

Irvin Henriquez-Guerrero and Philip Padron, students at the University of Kentucky College of Law, recently traveled to Vienna, Austria, to compete in the Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, vying for the title of best international arbitration advocacy team.

The 24th Vis Moot attracted 348 schools from across the world and was held April 7-13 at the University of Vienna. “I’ve known about the competition for a while and had dreamed of competing in it for years,” said second-year law student Henriquez-Guerrero.

The competition consisted of submitting two written memoranda advocating for each party in the case and then litigating before arbitration panels made up of attorneys from around the world. The law students had to master the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), as well as the Center for Arbitration and Mediation of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CAM-CCBC) arbitration rules and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNICITRAL) Model law. Leading up to the competition, the law students met weekly, beginning in November, and received support from UK Law faculty.

“We were really motivated by the fact that the faculty cared,” said Henriquez-Guerrero.

Although the UK Law team was eliminated just before the round of 64, the students received praise throughout the competition for their professionalism and knowledge of international law.

“Much credit must be given to our studies at UK Law,” said Henriquez-Guerrero. “I hope to establish a Vis Moot program within the college to offer students interested in international arbitration an opportunity to practice this very valuable skill.”

Before heading back to the U.S., Henriquez-Guerrero and Padron had the opportunity to explore Vienna, walking through the Graben shopping street and trying the Viennese cuisine. They hope to compete in Vienna again next year.