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Following the well attended VII Belgrade Arbitration Conference, University of Belgrade Faculty of Law had the honor of hosting the eight annual Belgrade Open Pre-Moot tournament for the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, over the weekend of 21-22 March 2015. This year the Belgrade Open welcomed more than 600 participants – students, coaches, arbitrators – and gathered teams from 65 universities coming from 30 countries of the world: from North and South America, Europe and Asia to Australia and Oceania. In line with the trend from previous years, the Belgrade Open attracted great interest of law schools worldwide. Accordingly, the participant waiting list for the Pre-Moot was very long. By the number of participants, the Belgrade Open Pre-Moot grew into the world’s biggest pre-moot for the Willem C. Vis, and as a testament to the quality of the tournament leading experts in arbitration underlined its significance in further promotion of arbitral dispute settlement in their monographs (Jan Paulsson in “The Idea of Arbitration”), while the German publishing house C.H.Beck enlisted Belgrade Open Pre-Moot as one of the leading premoot tournaments in the world in their “Willem C. Vis Moot Guide”.

During the two days of pre-moot, more than 160 arbitration hearings took place in the seminar rooms of the Law Faculty and in the offices of Karanović/Nikolić law firm, Moravčević, Vojnović & Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr, Nikolić, Kokanović, Otašević law firm and American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia.

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The participants of the Pre-Moot had the opportunity to test the persuasiveness of their arguments before highly competent and renowned lawyers, arbitrators, judges, academics and other practitioners coming from all over the world. The success of the Belgrade Open Pre-Moot is further proven by the fact that this year 23 of the participating teams in Belgrade practice rounds qualified for the elimination rounds at the Moot in Vienna (top 64 universities). The Schedule of hearings can be downloaded here.

The sponsors of this event did their best to provide to the participants of the Belgrade Open Pre-Moot not only with the necessary and thorough practice but also a rich social calendar. Thanks to the support provided, a welcome cocktail has been organized in the Bona Fides Faculty Lounge (El Derecho), Moravčević, Vojnović and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr threw a traditional party for all the participants of the Pre-Moot in the unusual ambiance of the Allure Caramel Hotel (former Admiral Hotel), while the closing of the Belgrade Open took place in the authentic and pleasant atmosphere of Skadarlija bohemian quarter. A special evening cocktail organized for arbitrators preceded the opening of the Pre-Moot and was kindly hosted by Karanović/Nikolić law firm.

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The successful organization of the eight Belgrade Open Pre-Moot tournament was generously supported by GIZ Open Regional Fund for SEE, the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), Serbian Arbitration Association, law offices Karanović/Nikolić, Moravčević, Vojnović & Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr, Nikolić, Kokanović, Otašević law firm and American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia.

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