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International Roman Law Moot


Mooting in the Stoa of Attalos in the Ancient Agora of Athens, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen defeated the University of Cambridge in the Fifteenth International Roman Law Moot Court Competition on Friday 8 April 2022. The victorious team consisted of Benjamin Zeeb, Patroklus Witte, Constantin Diem and Emilia Pfau, and was coached by Konstantin Schönleber and Armin Hesselschwerdt. Presiding at the Grand Final were A./Prof. Athina Dimopoulou (Athens), Prof. Jean-François Gerkens (Liège), Ms Maria Lux (Trier), Prof. Cosimo Cascione (Naples) and Ms Artemissia Papadaki (Athens).

The Tübingen team attained the approbation not only of the bench but also of the audience, which included the Hellenic Republic’s Vice-Minister of Education, in a popular vote was cast by the collection of black and white marbles at the conclusion of the hearing. This process recalls the discovery of such votes at the site of the Stoa, and of the klerotirion device by which lots were drawn—both connected to the work of the ancient popular court of the Heliaia, described by Aristotle in The Constitution of the Athenians.

In addition to the team’s overall honours, Benjamin Zeeb won the Best Oralist Award, ahead of Michael Smith (Cambridge) and Jake Emerson (Oxford), who received Honourable Mentions for ranking second and third, respectively. 

In the Small Final, also conducted in the Stoa, before Prof. Richard Gamauf (Vienna) and Prof. Carla Masi Doria and Mr Riccardo Bordi (Naples), the home team from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens defeated the University of Oxford, to take third place in this year’s contest.

Some 70 students, academics and sponsors relished the first opportunity to moot and meet in person since the onset of the pandemic. A curiously familiar ‘crown’ disease played a central role in the libellus for the Fifteenth IRLM, which had students research and argue claims for rescission and compensation arising out of the purchase of a familia of acting slaves that went sour. Following the competition, A./Prof. Dimopoulou and her dedicated and enthusiastic team of supporters, all current or former mooters, treated participants to a splendid tour of Athens in the spring sunshine.

The participating universities record their profound thanks to the sponsors of the Fifteenth Moot: the Greek Society of Legal Historians; the Property Development and Management Company of the University of Athens; the Master’s Program of Legal History of the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; the Law Firms Zepos & Yannopoulos, Karatzas & Partners, and Potamitis Vekris; the Central Archaeological Committee of Greece of the Greek Ministry of Culture; the Ephorate of Antiquities of the City of Athens; and the Museum of the University of Athens.