Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden students reach finals of International and European Tax Moot Court Competition

A team of three Leiden tax law students have reached the finals of the most prestigious worldwide moot court competition in the field of international and European tax law.

Dominique, Marnix and Jean-Paul

Moot Court Training Programme

The Leiden team, composed of Dominique Beek, Marnix Louwinger and Jean-Paul van Toor, have been taking part in the competition since September 2022. It is organised by the Catholic University Leuven (Belgium). Twenty-four universities from all over the whole world can participate.

Coaches Esther Huiskers-Stoop and Judith Reijnen from the Department of Tax Law worked together with the Moot Court department to help train and guide the students throughout this competition. The training programme comprised three workgroups and four video training sessions. During the workgroups, the students discussed each other’s documents: ‘I hoped to learn how to think more out of the box.' At the video sessions, the students were given advice from video trainer Roos Schutte and the coaches on how to present the facts, formulate arguments and plead the case. 'Each participant has their own strengths with which they can complement the other team members.’ The competition is in English, so that was also the language used at the workgroups and video training sessions.

Preparing for the oral pleadings

On the basis of a case provided by the organisers, the students first had to write a written memorandum; a notice of appeal on behalf of the plaintiffs' team and a statement of response on behalf of the defendants' team (the Tax Office). 'The Moot Court competition is a great opportunity to work together towards one goal: the actual week of oral pleadings.' At the beginning of January, the memoranda were submitted and the competition organisation recently announced that the team from Leiden, one of the remaining 16 universities, has been selected to compete at the oral finals to be held from 26 to 31 March 2023 in Leuven. 'At the end of my studies, I wanted to go out of my comfort zone one more time, to find out if I’m capable of more than I thought possible’.

To prepare for the oral pleadings, the students are now finalising their pleading notes and practising their presentation. 'Working out a case from beginning to end is a valuable practical experience.' It promises to be a very exciting week, not only because the atmosphere will match that of actual court proceedings, but also because every day teams will be dropping out. 'The oral pleadings will also give a nice glimpse of the working methods of other (international) students, which in turn can lead to new insights.' Whatever the outcome, attending the competition will be a very special experience where the students' written and oral skills will be tested to the limit, 'something not really extensively covered during our studies'. We wish the team the very best of luck!

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