zum Inhalt springen

Current Team

Das aktuelle Telders Moot Court Team 2023

v.l.n.r. Walerij Polyakov, Franca Stauth, Katharina Backes, Marie Wegener, Christian Goldkuhle

Franca Stauth (24) was born and raised in Cologne. In 2017, she graduated from the Kaiserin Augusta-School. Prior to her graduation, she spent a term studying at Kent College in Canterbury. During that time, the desire to study law developed. She decided to work for a human rights project in Tanzania after her graduation. This experience confirmed that studying law was the right choice. Currently she is in her 8th semester at the University of Cologne.

Growing up as the child of a foreign correspondent, she got interested in international affairs and conflicts early on in her life. Her law studies and her time abroad have only intensified her enthusiasm. The ongoing war in Ukraine has affirmed the conclusion to choose European and International law as the main focus of her studies. In her view, the importance of Public International Law remains of vital importance.

Recently she participated in the PROTEUS project, which requires students to shape and defend their positions concerning topics related to European Law and Politics. Furthermore, she is participating in the CUSL-program to improve her English language skills and get an insight into the foreign legal system of the United States of America. Besides her studies, she is a member of the Amnesty International asylum group in Cologne and she is working on improving her French.

For Franca, being part of this year’s Telders Moot Court Team is the perfect opportunity to improve her soft skills as well as her knowledge of Public International Law. Furthermore, she is looking forward to intensely working together with her teammates and dealing with interesting and specific legal issues.

Katharina Backes (25) was born and raised in Langenfeld, where she graduated from Konrad-Adenauer-Gymnasium in 2016. She is currently studying law in her 5th semester at the University of Cologne. Before coming to Cologne she studied social work and social pedagogy at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf. There she completed her Bachelor of Arts and received state accreditation to work as a social worker. Her thesis touched upon the persecution of sexualized violence in armed conflicts. Katharina has always been interested in law and fascinated by topics surrounding justice, political and social issues and issues of equality. Therefore, she decided to obtain a law degree after her Bachelor studies. 

Before starting the degree of law she worked at a small organisation giving legal support and consultation to refugees especially on their right to asylum and residence. During this time, she deepened her passion for defending the interests of others.

Her previous work at the Hochschule Hannover for Prof. Dr. Maria Wersig, President of the “Deutscher Juristinnenbund e.V.”, focused on reproductive rights on the national level as well as in the international comparison. This furthered her fascination for having an interdisciplinary approach to legal questions. This interest has led Katharina to her current job, working for Prof. Dr. Julia Zinsmeister at the Institute for Social Law TH Cologne. Those previous endeavours as well as her lectures in Public Law also sparked her interest in Constitutional Law and its relation to Public International Law and International Criminal Law. Therefore, she enjoys this unique opportunity to gain a more profound knowledge in the field of Public International Law. 

Katharina, coming from a very social and interdisciplinary field of study originally, believes that working as a team and sharing different ideas and opinions can not only improve her own legal skills but also lead to an excellent outcome. She is thus looking forward to working with her team members. Already she is able to prove her rhetorical skills as she is currently holding a seminar on Civil and Social Welfare Law. But Katharina cannot wait to improve her rhetorical skills even further by joining the Telders Moot Court Team. 

Marie Wegener (23) was born in Cologne, where she graduated from the Apostelgymnasium in 2018. She is currently studying law at the University of Cologne in her 8th semester.


Ever since learning English in school, Marie developed a great interest for the English language. When she was 15 years old, she moved to the USA as an exchange student and went to High School for a full school year. After deciding to study law at the University of Cologne, she wanted to keep practicing the English language. She enrolled in the CUSL program to improve her legal English and legal writing skills along with learning about different legal systems.


Marie has gained work experience from internships at the Police Department in Krefeld, at the Federal State Office for Central Police Services and at the Pelka law firm in Cologne. After completing her internship at the Pelka law firm, she continued working there as a student assistant, which offered her a dive into the complex and diverse work as an attorney with national and international clients. She was able to research relevant legal issues to cases and has helped with the preparation of memorials.


Her interest in international law grew through the lecture on German Constitutional Law and its relations to Public International Law as well as the lecture on Private International Law. In 2022, she participated in the PAX Moot Court on International Private Law, where she was able to draft memorials and compete in the oral rounds in Paris.


As she is particularly interested in Public International Law with its ever-growing relevance in today’s current issues, she wishes to venture into legal practice in a court-like setting whilst pleading Public International Law issues. Marie is certain that the Telders Moot Court will exceptionally expand her knowledge and rhetorical skills. She wishes to further explore interesting legal issues together with her teammates and is looking forward to meeting students from all over Europe!

Walerij Polyakov (23) was born in Frankfurt am Main and graduated from the Ev. Gymnasium Siegen-Weidenau in 2017. Currently, he studies Law in his 6th semester and Regional Studies China (M.A.) in his 3rd semester after absolving his Bachelor’s degree in the same field in 2021. He studied abroad in Taiwan (Fu Jen University) and southern China (Sun Yat-Sen University).

Given the fact that Walerij’s interests are twofold, he decided to continue his studies on China (M.A.) on the one hand and to deepen his legal studies by aiming for a double degree on the other hand. Encouraged by Prof. Dr. Björn Ahl, this interdisciplinary approach sparked his fascination for international legal contexts, thus guiding him to his passion for Public International Law. His latest academic works on sanctions and the right to self-determination increased Walerij’s passion for this field of law.

Due to his legal knowledge and his proficiency in the Chinese language, Walerij was able to work together with various Chinese students assisting them in their academic works (be it a LL.M. or PhD thesis) on different subjects within the field of law.

His lifelong enthusiasm for extracurricular projects and his passion for Public International Law consequently have led him to his participation in this year’s Telders Moot Court.

As the Telders Moot Court offers a unique chance to deepen his knowledge of Public International Law by devoting himself intensively to specific legal issues concerning this field of law and poses a great opportunity to sharpen his rhetorical skills, he is very excited to take part in this competition. Together with his team members, Walerij looks forward to facing this new challenge.