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

General Information

mc1It is with great pleasure that the Migration Law Research Group from Ghent University is inviting you to the 2022 International Migration and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition. After winning its first edition, organised by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2019, we are looking forward to organizing the next edition of the moot court competition in Ghent, one of Belgium’s most picturesque cities.

Please be informed that this moot court was first scheduled to take place in March 2021, but that, following the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to postpone the competition with one year. The decision was made aiming to ensure that participation in person is more likely, in particular for students from outside the EU.

This international competition aims to bring together students interested in international migration and asylum law from around the globe. It provides them 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 Ghent (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.

  • The written pleadings

Each 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 Ghent on the basis of the quality of their written pleadings.

  • The oral pleadings

mc2During 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. 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.

  • Evaluating Committee

Each team is required to nominate one qualified person, who consented 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 committee evaluates two or three written pleadings.

  • Indicative Timeline


A unique learning opportunity

This International Moot Court Competition attaches great importance to the students’ learning experience. To this end, a debriefing of the case, in the form of a panel debate, as well as individual feedback sessions between judges and teams will be organised 

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 programme of law (PhD students are not allowed to participate) or in an advanced stage of a Bachelor programme 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 will be awarded to cover the travel costs to and from Ghent (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. More information on registration will be shared on this website in the summer of 2021.

If you want to remain informed about the moot court competition, you can register via this link:

Organisation Team

Contact Details