International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition

start-up moot court, B001681


The International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition focusses on the rights of both those that left their country as well as states where they are hosted and originate from. Participating students will become experts on the intersection of human rights and state sovereignty as well as the highly technical elements that international refugee and migration law consists of.

The International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition consists of a written round and a two-day oral round. Each team pleads 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.

The written pleadings: Each team has to submit written pleadings on behalf of both the State and the migrant. An international evaluation panel will evaluate these written pleadings. The 12 teams scoring best on the written pleadings, will advance to the oral hearing in Antwerp (held in March 2024).

The oral pleadings: During the oral hearing each team pleads twice (once for the State and once for the migrant). The initial case – as submitted for the written pleadings – is the basis for the first rounds of the oral hearing. The best teams compete with each other in the (semi)final(s), in which respectively a new element and an entire new migration law topic has to be prepared and pleaded. In previous editions judges were experts in the field of asylum and migration law, thanks to a collaboration with the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges.

Both through the preparatory work and participation in the oral rounds (if the team advances to this stage), students will dramatically improve their knowledge of international migration and refugee law in particular, as well as their written, presentation and pleading skills.


Application process:

  1. Come to the introductory information session, held Tuesday 26.09, at 9am, online, via this Teams link (Teams meeting ID: 349 868 535 452 and password: tBuP29).
  2. Share before Wednesday 27.09, 8:30 am your CV and a motivation (1/2 page) via email to Ellen Desmet (, Jean-Baptiste Farcy (, and Birte Schorpion ( In your motivation statement, also indicate your experience with migration law and human rights law, including previous and envisaged courses.
  3. The interview will take place on Wednesday 27 September, at 14:00 in the Human Rights Centre’s meeting room (Paddenhoek 5, first floor). Selected students will be informed via email asap.

For additional questions, consult the relevant Ufora webpage or contact Birte Schorpion and Jean-Baptiste Farcy via email.

Additional observations

This moot court did not have an admission fee in previous editions.

Previous editions of the moot court would cover the transport and accommodation costs of the students, on the condition that the participating university was further than 2 hours by public transport.

The hosting university of this year’s editions is Antwerp University, if the rules remain the same, the students from Ghent university would – if the team advances to the oral round – have to pay for their own travel expenses (train ticket to and from Antwerp, one or two nights hotel in Antwerp).


Past achievements

The team of Ghent University were the winners of the first edition, organised by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2019. The students both scored highest on the written as well as oral memorials. One of the students was further awarded as best pleader.

Further, the Migration Law Research Group (MigrLaw) was happy to host the next edition of the moot court competition in Ghent, one of Belgium’s most picturesque cities in 2022.

Combination with other courses

It is highly recommended to combine the moot court with the courses ‘Migratierecht’ and/or ‘European and international migration law and policy’, to ensure a solid knowledge of the issues at stake.