skip to content

Manfred Lachs Moot Court

The Manfred Lachs Moot Court first took place in 1992 and now is held annually by the I.I.S.L. (International Institute of Space Law). The Moot Court is a simulated trial on the basis of a fictional case on present legal questions of space law.

What is Space Law?

Even though space law does not form part of any core area of the basic legal education every student is familiar with, as a subject area of public international law it deals with legal questions of fundamental relevance for our daily life. The use of navigation systems, television and weather prospects would not be possible without the relevant space technologies and their legal regulation. Furthermore, military aspects of the use of space are of high relevance for security politics as can be seen for example by the U.S. American rocket protection shield, also known as “Starwars-I-Project”, and the use of anti-satellite weapons.

What skills will I need to provide?

In order to become a member of the Moot Court team you should possess team work ability, enjoyment and stamina in producing your own research paper within a constantly developing field of law as well as your interest in trying out the role of a defence lawyer. A further prerequisite are good English language skills.

Participants are not expected to have previous knowledge of space law, on the contrary, the necessary knowledge will be gained during the work on the fictional case. A fundamental interest in questions of public international law is however desirable

What can I expect?

The selected team members, either two or three, will thoroughly work on the fictional case which is generally published in September. The first part of the competition encompasses producing the written memorials. During the second part, participants will practice orally pleading the case for the fictional trial. The conclusion of the writ-ten memorials will take about six months. Students will be guided and supported by one of the Institute's employ-ees as their mentor. They will have a quiet room available for their team work as well as constant access to the Institute's library which encompasses various world renowed literature on the matter. Subsequently, the partici-pants will approach the oral presentation from the perspective of a defence lawyer. The practice will be accompa-nied by language training and video analysis with the goal to achieve a self-secure and persuasive presentation.


The training for the oral presentation serves as preparation for the Europe-an Regional Round which will be conducted in front of the ECSL (European Center for Space Law) where teams from all over Europe will plead against one another. The winning team of the Regional Round will have the honour of represent ing Europe at the world finals against the winning teams from the Asia-Pacific and North American Regional Rounds. The world finals offer participants the opportunity to gain first hand practical experience on a global scale as they take place alongside the annual world-wide Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space and the board of judges will be constituted among others by judges of the ICJ (International Court of Justice).

In the year 2010, Europe was represented by the University of Cologne which had then participated for the first time and won the European Round. We would like to further this success and also offer the opportunity to plead in the world finals to future participants of our faculty!

What benefits does participation offer me?

From the multitude of benefits only some shall briefly be summarized:

  • Fun!
  • Academic recognition in the form of a Schlüsselqualifikationsnachweis and can be used as a Freisemester in the context of the regulations of study.
  • Practical experience in applying legal norms from a lawyer's perspective
  • Highlight of your CV
  • Contact with judges, lawyers and other practitioners
  • Intensive oral presentation training, including language training and video analysis
  • Self-esteem and training for the oral state exam

Application deadline: 21 June 2023

Send your application to

How can I apply?

For your application you will need to provide your CV and an overview of exam results previously achieved at university. For any questions please contact us via mootcourt(at) or personally during the opening hours of the Institute.

Students already possessing a master's degree (or Maîtrise) unfortunately cannot participate in the ManfredLachs Moot Court.

Further information is also available at: or on the the ECSL homepage.