Leuphana team reaches European semi-final

Experience report MLMC

The high-ranking legal competition of Manfred Lachs Moot Court on Space Law is now an integral part of the Bachelor's Law program of Leuphana. This year we, Henri Beekmann, Ronja Christiansen and Jannis Wessel, represented our university from 21.05. until 24.05. internationally in Lisbon at this competition.

Over the past 8 months, we have been given the necessary expertise in the areas of space-, telecommunications- and international law. This year's case primarily involves the conflict of interests of two states on Mars, one of which is seeking to extract resources while the other is seeking to colonize the planet. In the context of this conflict, damage has been caused by digital intervention, so that it was necessary to innovate existing legislation with regard to new technologies.
Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court (MLMC) is a global judicial competition whose European rounds are hosted annually by the European Center of Space Law (ECSL) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). Judges include space law experts and English lawyers representing the International Court of Justice.
After two semesters preparing and completing the memorials, we traveled to Lisbon in May to compete in court with over 20 participant teams from 16 European countries. In the preliminaries against the teams of the University of Rome and Lisbon, the judges were impressed by our presentation and the clear structure of our arguments. Because of this achievement, the jury decided that the Leuphana Team, as one of the 4 best European teams, should proceed to the semi-finals. Thus, we were privileged to once again present our pleadings in the venerable courtroom of the Portuguese Bar Association (see photo), in the presence of all the participating teams and renowned scientists of the field.
There we had to be narrowly defeated in a duel against the team from Bulgaria. The finals were later won by two students from Belarus who will represent Europe in the world rounds in Bremen in October.
Following the competition, we and the other European teams were able to discover the beautiful city of Lisbon and enjoy the rest of the time in perfect weather.
By participating in Manfred Lachs Moot Court, we now have numerous opportunities beyond our competition to pursue our interest in the field of space law. In the summer, ECSL, together with renowned space law scholars in Helsinki, is offering a 2-week course about Space Law and Policy, where we have seats reserved that will be free of charge. In addition, we will have the opportunity to work at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen in the presence of well-known entrepreneurs such as Jeff Bezos (Amazon and Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX).

We would like to express our sincere thanks to our coach Vincent Seffinga from Amsterdam, who prepared us for the competition in numerous Skype conferences as well as during our time in Lisbon. In addition, special thanks go to Prof. Dr. med. Lesley Jane Smith, who has been advocating Leuphana University's participation in the MLMC for years, and has largely contributed to our success in doing so. Thanks again Bernhard Schmidt-Tedd, who took long ways to share his profound expertise with us. In addition, we would like to thank our university for taking over our travel expenses.
We are happy about the valuable experiences and in this way we would like to encourage all interested students to also decide to participate in this competition. With our acquired knowledge, we are happy to assist in the next case.

Henri Beekmann, Ronja Christiansen and Jannis Wessel