The Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition: The Department of Law excelled and won it all!

From 13 to 15 June 2019, the Hugo Sinzheimer Moot-team from the Department of Law, Aarhus BSS participated in this year’s Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition and won all categories. Every single one.

2019.06.27 | Tine Bagger Christiansen

Here are the winners: Linea Nielsen and Frederikke Krogh flanked by Peter Ahlberg (Kammeradvokaten), Natalie Videbæk Munkholm (AU), Mette Søsted (AU), Mikkel Isager-Sally (Kammeradvokaten). Photo: Natalie Videbæk Munkholm

For the oral part of the competition in Hasselt, Belgium, the team consisted of the two law students Linea Nielsen and Frederikke Krogh. They swept the board and won all categories: Winner of the final, best advocate (Linea Nielsen) and best pleading.

This year’s case
The topic of year’s case was a corporation that wanted to reorganise their production, close a factory and focus on new markets, Internet of Things, and therefore had to dismiss about 450 employees. The themes were negotiation procedures, inadequate implementation and the obligation to interpret consistently with EU law with regards to the concept of employees, working hours and formal and material demands for the negotiation process in a corporation. The participants had to excel in EU law, EU labour law and the judicial practice of the European Court of Justice. And indeed they did! In the final, they were questioned by a 12-member panel of judges consisting of professors of labour law, international labour law and EU labour law from all over Europe, presidents from labour law courts of justice in Finland and Belgium as well as previous winners of the competition. The Danish team answered well and clearly on all questions, they improvised on the spot and pulled their knowledge about EU rulings out of the hat again and again with legendary remarks that will be anecdotes for future participants. They worked impressively well as a team; they were smiling and unshakable.

The team was coached by two lawyers from Kammeradvokaten (the Legal Adviser to the Danish Government) and researchers from the Department of Law in Aarhus. The coaching worked really well. Natalie Munkholm, who is a coach and coordinator for the Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition from Aarhus University, commends the partners from Kammeradvokaten for their dedicated effort in coaching, support and encouragement for the team.

The competition

- In the preliminary group on Friday, the team faced Belgium and Lithuania. They won the group convincingly and continued on to the semifinals on Saturday morning with many compliments from the panel of judges.

- In the semifinals, they faced a strong and eloquent team from Poland, but the Danish advocates were solid in their references to sources of law, facts from this year’s case and EU case law. The judges smiled satisfactorily whenever Denmark answered a question.

- In the final, they faced a just as strong and eloquent team from the Netherlands that was solid and silver-tongued. Yet again, Denmark won convincingly.

In addition, Linea Nielsen won the prize for best advocate for her solid, consistent and unwavering answers to all questions, and for being a good team player.

Denmark also won in the category best pleading. The team had submitted two pleadings in English of about 45 pages each on 1 May. Here they had to argue for the claimant and defendant’s side of the case respectively. Two other law students were a part of the team for the written part, namely Jonas Erhardsen and Mia Amby, who helped secure the victory for Denmark in this category.

This was Denmark’s first time in the final, and the first time in the history of the competition that the same team won in all three categories.

“I’m very impressed by the great performance of our participants and would like to congratulate them on the prizes,” says Department Head Tine Sommer from the Department of Law, Aarhus BSS.


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