Press Release

Out of this World: Law Students Compete in Mock Space Trials

By SpaceRef Editor
October 11, 2002
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Finals to Be Held During World Space Congress at UH

HOUSTON — The year is 2031. The State of “Utopia” has
charged “Friendlistan” with violations of Spaceliner laser
beam use and illegal crossing through international air
traffic lanes. Both states have accepted the jurisdiction
of the International Court of Justice.

This scenario may sound like an episode of Star Trek, but
for several competing law students this is a serious matter.
A select group of law students from around the world will
go head to head during the 11th Manfred Lachs Space Law
Moot Court Competition during the World Space Congress
2002. The Moot Court Finals, presented by the Blakely
Advocacy Institute of the University of Houston Law Center,
will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Wortham Theatre on
the UH campus.

Moot Court is a simulated trial which allows students to
research complex legal issues, write appellate briefs,
appear before judges, negotiate on behalf of clients,
counsel potential or existing clients, conduct a trial or
make an appellate argument.

This year’s finalists are Georgetown University Law Center,
Washington D.C.; University of Warwick School of Law,
Coventry, England; and University Of New South Wales,
Sydney, Australia. The finals are held between the two
top teams out of three regional winners representing the
United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. They earned the
chance to compete through arduous regional competitions.

The Lachs Moot Court has the distinction of having its
annual world finals judged by three sitting Judges of the
International Court of Justice in The Hague. The 2002
judges are H.E. Judge Koroma (Sierra Leone), H.E. Judge
Buergenthal (USA) and H.E. Judge Elaraby (Egypt).

The finals will be held in conjunction with the World
Space Congress and The International Institute of Space
Law (IISL) Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space.

IISL was established in 1960 to cooperate with
international organizations and national institutions to
foster the development of space law and studies of legal
and social sciences in the exploration and peaceful uses
of outer space. The IISL presently has more than 300
individual and institutional elected members who are
distinguished for their contributions to space law

The IISL has observer status as a non-governmental
organization with the United Nations. The UN looks to IISL
to provide it with expert analysis and opinions with regard
to space law issues. In this way, the IISL has assisted
in the preparation of information useful in negotiating
conferences to assist diplomats in their work in
formulating international space law and policy.

The IISL holds a four-session Colloquium each year during
the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Congress.
More than 40 annual Colloquiae have been held throughout
the world with published Proceedings that include
presented papers, discussion notations and other important

For More Information

On the IISL Moot Court competition:


For the complete WSC and IISL Colloquium schedule:


About the UH Law Center

The UH Law Center’s faculty includes nationally recognized
experts who teach both the legal theory and the practical
aspects of applying the law. Professors and scholars teach
in traditional areas, ranging from family law to corporate
practice and tax. Specialty programs ensure students have
access to the latest developments in rapidly expanding
areas of the law, including Intellectual Property &
Information Law, Health Law and International Law. The
Center’s graduate programs leading to the Masters of Law
degree add to the intellectual life of the school;
students have an opportunity to study alongside practicing
lawyers drawn from around the world and across the nation.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan
research and teaching institution, is home to more than
40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than
300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental
entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the
country, stands at the forefront of education, research
and service with more than 34,440 students.

SpaceRef staff editor.