General Idea

The AfriCapacity Moot is designed to work as a stepping stone for African Universities interested in participating in international Moot Courts (simulated court or alternative dispute resolution hearings), especially the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

About the Vis Moot – The “Mother” Moot

The Vis Moot is worldwide the biggest Moot in the field of arbitration and private law. In the Vis Moot, teams are required to submit two written memoranda (for both claimant and respondent) and prepare for oral hearings in front of an arbitral tribunal. The Vis is held annually and starts in October with the issue of the case and ends around Easter the following year with oral pleadings in-person in Vienna or alternatively virtually. Every year, the case concentrates on problems about arbitration and international sales law (always around the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods – the CISG).


The AfriCapacity Moot will work with a case file that is basically the Vis Moot 2020/2021 case, altered to fit into the current situation and timeline. Therefore, the teams can gain experiences with working on a real Vis Moot case while being able to concentrate on the most important parts: writing a memorandum and preparing for oral hearings. The use of an “old” case allows the teams of the AfriCapacity Moot to focus on the research and writing strategies and gain experience on identifying important information within the case.


Apart from dipping the toe into the Vis Moot waters the teams will be guided throughout the AfriCapacity Moot by two expert coaches per team. Those additional coaches have experience in the Vis Moot and with coaching teams and are there to aid the team through the AfriCapacity Moot. All of them have worked with the case during the 2020/2021 edition of the Vis Moot and are therefore ideal to teach techniques and give insights into the Moot. They will also help draft the Memorandum and give their feedback during the oral phase for the arguments used in the pleading. Due to their involvement in the Vis, they also know the criteria for judging and pass on this knowledge to the new team to best prepare it for the upcoming Vis Moot 2021/2022.


As the AfriCapacity Moot is designed to aid teams to get a better understanding of the concept and subject of the Vis Moot, the AfriCapacity Moot is structured similarly.

There will be three phases:

  1. 20 June – 5 July
    Until the official start of the AfriCapacity Moot we are organising lectures and workshops to take place online for the participating teams that cover the general topics of arbitration, legal writing and international sales law that are always the basis of each year’s Vis Moot Case.

  2. 5 July – 5 August
    During the second part, the writing phase, the teams are asked to draft a Respondent Memo for a Claimant Memorandum that you will receive by us together with the case file. This phase is designed to mimic the written phase of the Willem C. Vis Moot in part so that you and your team can prepare yourselves for the research and legal writing that is required for the Willem C. Vis Moot Court.

  3. 5 August – 8 September
    The third and last period will be the oral phase. In line with the prepared memorandum and the insights the teams have gained, they will work on a pleading for both Claimant and Respondent and perfectionate their rhetoric to persuade the arbitrators.The oral phase will be concluded by the oral pleading event of the AfriCapacity Moot held virtually where the teams will be scheduled against each other to test their legal understanding of the case and their rhetoric skills.