- Award to candidates
The contest will be composed of 3 semi-finals and one final.
The semi-finals will consist of the preparation by the teams of a written report on a question of EU law with a practical relevance for the daily professional practice, and the oral presentation of it. The written report will be prepared ahead of the face-to-face semi-finals. Teams of up to four contestants from different EU Member States will be put into contact at least two months ahead of the semi-final by means of online communication and will be invited to exchange their ideas and work for the preparation of their written report.
The best two teams from each semi-final will take part in a three-day final held at ERA’s premises in Trier and at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg. The final will include training on “how to litigate before the Court of Justice” and negotiation exercise. It will close with the organisation of a moot court at the General Court of the European Union where the two winning teams of the previous exercise will contest in front of a jury composed of high-profile representatives from legal practice, and judges from the CJEU.
The semi-finals will consist of the preparation by the teams of a written report on a question of EU law with practical relevance for daily professional practice and an oral presentation of this report. The written report will be prepared ahead of the face-to-face semi-finals. Teams of up to four contestants from different EU Member States will be put into contact at least two months ahead of the semi-final and will be invited to exchange their ideas and work online to prepare their written report.
How the semi-finals will run
The semi-finals will run in two different phases:
- First phase: written report to be prepared remotely by teams
- Second phase: oral defense of the written report to take place in one of three locations
In the first phase, once teams have been created and then contacted by the project manager, team members will be put into contact with one another and asked to prepare a written report on a practical question relating to European law. They will only know at this stage to which semi-final they will travel.
The written report has to be submitted to the project managerat the date indicated by him/her. Each team will be given the task at least eight weeks before the face-to-face semi-final. The teams will be able to select in advance between three different areas of European law.
This work is to be fostered by means of online communication (Skype/Facebook/Facetime/etc.) as the teams will consist of participants from different EU Member States.
The written report must not exceed 15 pages (Word format, Times New Roman, size 12, line spacing 1.5). For the avoidance of doubt, all written references such as summaries, side comments, annexes, bibliography or endnotes shall be included in those 15 pages. A cover page may be added in addition to the above limit.
The use of machine-learning technologies like ChatGPT is not forbidden, to the extent that it is not used to write the written report. Any form of plagiarism to write the written report is not allowed. If any sort of AI tool is used to prepare the written report, participants will have to cite the purpose of the use, the source used, and how and where it has been applied to the written report .
The written reports will be read by the jury, and rated according to the following criteria:
- Overall structure of the written report
- Respect of the length of the report
- Written language skills
- Understanding of the topic
- Argumentation/critical thinking
- Reference to the relevant case law of the European Court of Justice and/or the EU legal framework
- References to sources
In the second phase, teams will defend orally their written report during one of the three semi-finals. Teams will have one hour to meet before the oral phase in order to prepare. Each team will be given 20 minutes to introduce their written report before a jury of experienced and highly qualified legal practitioners. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Each team will be ranked on the basis of their oral performance and written report. The members of the jury will also give her/his EU perspective on the arguments developed by the teams and give feedback to the teams on their written and oral performances.
In order to evaluate the teams, the jury will take into consideration the following aspects:
- Quality of the overall oral presentation of the report
- Clarity and persuasiveness of the answers
- Communication skills
- Time management
- Team spirit
How the final will run
The best two teams from each semi-final will take part in a three-day final held at ERA’s premises in Trier and at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg. The final will include the following:
Training on “how to litigate before the Court of Justice”
All participants of the contest will be able to attend the training either remotely (for the teams not selected to participate to the final) or face-to-face (for the best two teams from each semi-final invited to Trier)
The negotiation exercise will be based on relevant European law cases. The teams working in parallel sessions will each be assigned to represent one of the parties involved. They will have one hour to prepare their respective positions. They will take part in a 90-minute negotiation in the presence of a Jury member. The jurors will assess the performance of each team according to the following criteria:
- Anticipation of future problems and solutions
- Critical thinking
- Communication skills
- Clarity, consistency and persuasiveness of oral skills
- Reference to the relevant EU law and case law of the European Court of Justice
- Team spirit
At the end of this round, the jury will deliberate, advise the teams on their performances, and finally announce the two teams selected to go through to the moot court.
Moot court at the General Court of the European Union
The two winning teams of the negotiation exercise will contest in front of a jury composed of high-profile representatives from legal practice and judges from the CJEU. The other teams will be invited to attend the moot court in Luxembourg.
During the moot court, the two winning teams will confront each other in oral pleadings. The teams will be asked to represent opposing parties based on a case study or topic which will be provided to them at the close of the negotiation exercise. Each team will have three hours to prepare their pleading.
The jury will assess the teams’ overall performance according to the same criteria as listed for the negotiation exercise. It will also give its EU perspective on the arguments developed by the teams and advise the teams on their performances.
All candidates having participated in the Young European Lawyers Contest will be granted a certificate of attendance mentioning the number of training hours.
They will also benefit from a one-year free membership of the Friends of ERA Association, which gives rise to a number of benefits.
Furthermore prizes to the winning teams will be granted by the Friends of ERA Association:
- 1st winning Team: €2000
- 2nd winning Team : €1000