CityU victorious in global battle of legal minds

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2012, 12:00am


City University law students have triumphed over 91 other teams at an international commercial arbitration competition held in the city.

They crossed swords with representatives of the universities of Harvard, Houston, Fordham and La Trobe to come out top in a four-day Willem C. Vis (East) moot last month.

Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel in simulated court.

One member of the five-man CityU winning team is studying a master's degree in arbitration.

'I'm interested in arbitration because there's a greater flexibility to decide the means to resolve disputes,' said Jason Lau Chirk-yen, who joined CityU after finishing his undergraduate law studies at the University of Hong Kong.

Three of his teammates are studying the Bachelor of Laws degree, while the remaining one is a Juris Doctor student.

Teams argued over a hypothetical controversy arising from a supplier's failure to deliver equipment for the manufacture of a ship, acting for the claimant and respondent every alternate day. The students based their arguments on a UN convention in the debate, which ended on March 25.

Congratulating the winners yesterday, CityU's dean of the school of law, Professor Wang Guiguo, said the championship proved the capabilities of his students amid fierce competition from two local institutions - HKU and Chinese University - that also offer legal studies.

'What's most important is students' confidence,' Wang said. 'When faced with students from Oxford or Cambridge, [our] students' concrete knowledge base matters most.'