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【Great News】The Champions are back! The UIBE Law School’s CIETAC Moot Court Team once again won the CIETAC Cup!

Held from November 20-24, 2017, the 15th CIETAC Cup International Commercial Arbitration Moot (“CIETAC Cup”) was hosted by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”) and attracted 50 teams from more than 40 renowned universities across China. More than 400 participants took part in the competition, approximately 100 expert arbitrators were invited and the general rounds alone encompassed over 100 matches, all of which made this year’s CIETAC Cup the most exciting and competitive since its formation in 2000.

After making it through the general rounds of the first three days of the competition, the UIBE Team faced fierce opponents in the elimination round before making it to the finals and eventually winning the competition. For the past three years, the UIBE moot court teams have placed in the finals and won the competition twice, a record number of being finalists by any university in the CIETAC Cup. The UIBE Team’s unparalleled success in the CIETAC Cup is a testament to UIBE Law School’s profound history and well-established legacy in training talents in law and in the field of international commercial arbitration.


(Picture one: UIBE Team being awarded the trophy)

The CIETAC Cup is not only China’s highest-level English moot competition in the field of international commercial arbitration, but also the first regional pre-moot competition officially recognized by the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot ("Vis Moot"). The CIETAC Cup applies the same rules and case problem of the Vis Moot. Participating teams alternatively play the role of the claimant and the respondent in arbitration proceedings, submit memoranda and compete in the oral hearings.

The 2017 UIBE Team is comprised of Wang Boyang and Li Fangning (oralists and junior students enrolled in the undergraduate pilot program) and four researchers, Wang Ziyue, LianDan and Fu Yu (first-year Masters of Law students with their focus on international law, civil law and international dispute settlement, respectively) and Zhang Jingjia (a junior student also enrolled in the undergraduate pilot program). All team members werenew to the field of international arbitration and to moot court competition. Professor Chen Jianling of UIBE Law School, a legal specialist in international arbitration with rich experience in coaching Vis Moot, shared coaching duties with Feng Kun, a law school graduate student and member of the 2015 winning team and leader of the 2016 runner-up team. Together, they put their heart and soul into tirelessly enhancing the students’ knowledge base and honing their skills inoral pleadings through intensive training and moot practice sessions. They went above and beyond their duties to support and guide the team with unfading enthusiasm, which motivated and brought out the team’s best efforts during the six weeks’preparation time and warranted its final victory.


(Picture two: UIBE Team at the signature wall)

Rather than succumb to their disadvantages such as an initial weak knowledge base and lack of competition experience, the UIBE Team took up the challenge with good morale. Every member worked tirelessly to analyze the case problem and digest vast amounts of arbitral awards and academic publications, draft and polish memos and practice their oral pleadings until the last minute. As a result, the UIBE Team fought the battles of moot court competition with steadfast confidence, remarkable professional traits and strong English language competence.

In the general rounds, the UIBE Team competed against Hunan Normal University, Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Beijing Jiaotong University and Central University of Finance and Economics. During the competition, oralists Wang Boyang and Li Fangning remained calm and professionally presented their case, exhibiting the team’s solid legal foundation and extensive research results. Both of them were highly praised by the arbitrators. The UIBE Team’s four researchers kept a close eye on the process of the competition. They sharply captured critical points, timely updated their research findings and adjusted the team’s tactics accordingly. With distinguished teamwork, the UIBE Team made it to the elimination rounds along with seven other teams. Subsequently, the UIBE Team beat Xiangtan University in the quarter-finals and Wang Boyang, an oralist from the UIBE Team, was awarded the Best Individual Oralist of the quarter-finals.


(Picture three: UIBE Team and Xiangtan University Team in the quarter-finals)

The ensuing semi-finals was even more fierce. The UIBE Team encountered the Tsinghua University team, last year’s champion and this year’s first-place teamin the general rounds. While facing this competitive opponent, the UIBE Team made their oral presentation with confidence and poise. They stated their legal position in a precise and thorough manner, accurately pointed out the flaws of the opponent’s arguments, and never failed to give brilliant answers to the arbitrators’ tough questions, all of which enabled them to prevail over the Tsinghua University team andmake it to the finals. Li Fangning, an oralist from UIBE Team, was awarded Best Individual Oralist in the semi-finals.


(Picture four: UIBE Team and Tsinghua University Team in the semi-finals)

The final competition was held on November 24, 2017 in the Beijing Friendship Hotel. In the final round, Shanghai Jiao Tong University represented the claimant and the UIBE Team represented the respondent. The oralists from the UIBE Team remained calm and presented organized and persuasive arguments with clear logic and substantiated conclusions. They was highly praised by all arbitrators and won the competition. Upon reflection, team co-captain and oralist Wang Boyang had this to say: “To go through 7 matches in 5 days in a high-level competition against such worthy opponents with the result that we had, was a great gift, a tremendous achievement that took a lot of effort from the whole team and took great support which ultimately paid off.”


(Picture five: UIBE Team and award guests)

This is the second time the UIBE Team has won the championship in the last three years. Such success cannot be achieved without tremendous support from the law school. Under the leadership of Dean Professor Shi Jingxia, UIBE Law School adheres to an elite educational standard with a mission statement of "solid foundation, wide caliber, distinctive characteristics and high-end cultivation". UIBE Law School effectively uses its development of international legal study pilot programs and international moot court competitions as important platforms for training legal talents with focuses on international economics and trade. In recent years, the UIBE Law School has been awarded a number of awards of distinction in international moot court competitions, including the championship of CIETAC Cup 2017 and the world top-four in the FDI Moot Court 2017, which reflects the strength of the law school’s educational methods and stewardship.


(Picture Six: In the Ceremony: UIBE Team and Associate Dean Gong Hongliu (center left), team coach Chen Jianling (center right))

The UIBE faculty and alumni supported the team wholeheartedly, of without which success would not be possible. At the later preparation phase, Dr. Wang Xuehua, an outstanding alumni of UIBE (88’) and visiting scholar Professor Donald J. Lewis, provided meticulous guidance to the team. A member of the 2015 winning team, Lan Nan and members of the 2016 runner-up team, Wang Chen and Sun Wangqun, though being preoccupied with their own work or study, also assisted the team with their tireless support and encouragement.

The 2017 CIETAC Cup competition is over, but the journey towards further international competition has just embarked. As the champions of the 2017 CIETAC Cup, the UIBE Team will participate in the 2018 Vis Moot in Vienna held in March with the sponsorship of CIETAC. There is still room for progress, but there is little doubt this young team will keep the momentum of their accomplishments going, and will endeavor to represent the best of themselves and their law school to everyone in the 2018 Vis competition field, marching fearlessly with the support of those behind them, towards the goal of international success.


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