International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition - Ghent, March 2022

General Information

foto 1The Migration Law Research Group (MigrLaw) from Ghent University had the pleasure of organizing the 2022 International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition. After winning its first edition, organised by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2019, MigrLaw was happy to host the next edition of the moot court competition in Ghent, one of Belgium’s most picturesque cities.

Next edition

The next edition of the International Migration Moot Court will be organised by the winners of the 2022 edition: the University of Antwerp (Belgium). The international pleading competition will be organized again in the academic year 2023-24.

For mor information, please check the University of Antwerp's dedicated webpage on the International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition

Moot Court structure

The moot court competition consisted of a written round and a two-day oral round in Ghent (Belgium). Each team pleaded 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 was that the case developed throughout the competition. Great importance was given to the students’ learning experience, and collective as well as individual feedback session between the teams and the judges were organised.

  • The written pleadings

Each team had to submit written pleadings on behalf of both the State and the migrant. The written pleadings could not exceed 6000 words for each party (excluding footnotes). An international evaluation panel has evaluate these written pleadings. The 12 teams scoring best on the written pleadings, were for the oral hearing in Ghent.

  • The oral pleadings

foto 3During the oral hearing each team pleaded twice (once for the State and once for the migrant). The initial case – as submitted for the written pleadings – was the basis for the first rounds of the oral hearing. The best teams competed with each other in the (semi)final(s), in which respectively a new element and an entire new migration law topic had to be prepared and pleaded. Each court session took 60 minutes, including pleadings, rebuttals and questions of the judges.

foto 2

Judges were experts in the field of asylum and migration law, thanks to a collaboration with the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges.

  • Timeline


Moot Court Case, Rules and Booklet

The 2022 International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition case concerns a national of the Syrian Arab Republic, who asks for international protection in the People’s Republic of Kalakuta, a fictitious country.

You can find the Case on this link, as well as the new element for the semi-final and the new case for the final.

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

The Clarifications, are accessible via this link.

The Annex to the Competition's Rules, with regards to Virtual Oral Pleadings, can be consulted on this link.

And more information about the competition, including the finalized programme, information about main and side events, the names of the judges and practical information for the participants can be found in this booklet.


The competition was open to teams from all countries in the world (only 1 per university), and in total 40 teams of 23 different countries signed up. Teams came from: Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, India, Iran, Ireland, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, South-Africa, Turkey, Uganda, UK, and USA.

Teams advanced to the oral rounds

The following teams qualified for the oral rounds as their written pleadings received the highest scores by the Members of the Evaluating Committee:


Oral rounds moot court

Thanks to the generous financial support of the international migration law firm Fragomen and the Global Minds Fund of Ghent University, the following two teams will be awarded a travel grant: 

  1. University of Lagos (Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria)
  2. National University of San Marcos (Lima, Peru)

Finalist & awards

foto 4The finalists of the moot court competition pleaded on a new migration law topic (return) during the second day of the oral hearing.

The winner of the competition was the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and the runner-up City Law School (University of London, UK).

Awards were further granted to Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (Chicago, USA) for the best written pleading on behalf of the applicant, and City Law School (University of London, UK), for the best written pleading on behalf of the respondent.

Side events

side eventJudges from Costa Rica, South Africa and Kenya presented on the most burning issues in their respective countries with regards to asylum and migration, from a legal and policy perspective, during a guest lecture for the course of European and International Migration Law and Policy. We had the pleasure of welcoming (from left to right in the picture): Judge Esteban Lemus Laporte of the Costa Rican Administrative Tribunal of Immigration, Judge Nomatamsaqa Geraldine Beshe, from the High court in South Africa, and Judge Patrick Kiage, from the Court of Appeal in Kenya.

side eventDuring a panel discussion on Minors in Asylum and Migration Procedures Judges Catherine Koutsopoulou (Greece), Nadia Mansour Cherif (Tunisia) and Judge Johan Berg (Norway) shared their experiences, and in this regard provided a diverse and global view, on how minors are approached in asylum and migration procedures.

side eventThis International Moot Court Competition attached great importance to the students’ learning experience. To this end general feedback, in the form of a panel debate, was provided by judges Katelijne Declerck (Belgium), John Keith (UK) and Johan Berg (Norway). Afterwards individual feedback sessions between judges and teams were organised.

side eventFragomen hosted a session on “Your Career: Building your brand and professional network”, where students received insights and tools to progress their careers. The session included practical advice on building relationships through networking and online activities, as well as a meet and network with Fragomen HR and some of the firm’s talented immigration lawyers and consultants to learn more about careers in an immigration law firm.

Pictures of the event

foto 5
foto 6
foto 7
foto 8
foto 9
foto 10
foto 12
foto 13
foto 14

Organisation Team

Migration Law Research Group (MigrLaw), with as coordinators Prof. Ellen Desmet and Birte Schorpion.

GhentMigrLaw Research Group

With the financial support of 

Logo Fragomen

afbeelding Belgium

afbeelding vliruos

Logo Oost-Vlaanderen