Participants of the two contests will be 72 trainee lawyers (36 lawyers per contest) or, in jurisdictions in which initial training does not include a period of legal practice, newly qualified lawyers. Participation is limited to trainee and newly qualified lawyers from countries participating in the Justice Programme. Lawyers from countries not belonging to the Justice Programme can apply, but if they are selected, they will have to bear their own travel and accommodation costs.
A person is considered a “trainee lawyer” if he or she is regarded as such under national law, including in the form of an induction or apprenticeship period, and if s/he has not attended initial training activities for more than two years. The training institution to which the trainee belongs will have to certify his/her status, according to the above, at the moment of registration. A person is considered a “newly qualified lawyer” if s/he, at the date of registration, is in her/his first year of practice, such year commencing with the date when the person was first admitted to the Bar. Participants will not be allowed to take part in the contest more than once.
The trial run is proposed for twelve teams from as many Member States as possible.
Contestants will be nominated or supported by participating bars but will not be running in national teams. Instead, to enhance the transnational character of the contest, the teams will each be composed of nominees from different Member States with different legal traditions, assigned to the teams by the Project Leaders with the aim to ensure a level playing field between competitors with different levels of skills and experience.
It is not allowed to run in the contest more than once.