Valeria Bevilacqua Awarded Best Oralist at the Moot Court Competition in Law and ReligionA YOUNG TEAM PERFORMED WELL AT THEIR FIRST EXPERIENCE IN AN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION WITH EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES
Judges of the European Court of Human Rights included Anne Power, Mark Hill QC and Oran Doyle, while the American Supreme Court was made up of judges Richard Sullivan, Frank Ravitch and Michael J. Wilkins. It was an audience that would make even the most experienced lawyer tremble, let alone the young second-year students from the Bocconi University course in Comparative Public Law, who found themselves arguing a real case before such luminaries of law. The five members of the team (Giulio Francesco Angius, Valeria Bevilacqua, Gaia Longeri, Katarina Mirkovic and Bianca Zavanone) who reached the final at the Moot Court Competition in Law and Religion actually gave an outstanding performance, with Valeria Bevilacqua winning perhaps the most coveted award, "Best Oralist." The event was held at the European Academy of Religion, in Bologna, on 6-7 March.
"An exceptional result," comments Arianna Vedaschi, Full Professor in the Department of Legal Studies, "considering that Bocconi participated with a Comparative Public Law team for the first time. In addition, our team included students at least a couple of years younger than those from other universities. Therefore, these are students who have not yet taken exams in EU Law and International Law, nor have they studied procedural subjects."
The competition consisted of a legal case involving delicate areas such as religion and freedom of thought of the individual. The Bocconi team worked with prestigious British and American universities (including Notre Dame), supporting their various arguments according to each jurisdiction. After a first phase in which the arguments were presented in written form, the ten best teams, including Bocconi, were admitted to the oral discussion.
"Our team had to make an argument before the European Court," explains Chiara Graziani, one of the two teaching assistants who, along with Davide Bacis, helped prepare the team. "They had to present their arguments and then their counterarguments to the other side, like in a real trial."
According to Katarina Mirkovic, a 21-year-old Como native with Serbian roots, and the second oralist on the team, "an experience like this allows you to understand what you want to do once you graduate. It's a great opportunity." But it is even more than that. “You find yourself arguing complex issues in English, encouraged by important and awe-inspiring judges. But I wasn't nervous, I was more curious to see how it would go."
"I think it is a great example of innovative teaching with a strong international focus," continues Vedaschi. "I am particularly pleased that a Moot focused on a subject in Public Law for the first time. These competitions allow students to grow and this is something that should be strongly encouraged."
by Davide Ripamonti
Translated by Jenna Walker