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Information for Judges. Since its inception in 1995, the Competition has been an important forum for the analysis of international human rights law and.

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Presentation on theme: "Information for Judges. Since its inception in 1995, the Competition has been an important forum for the analysis of international human rights law and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Information for Judges

2 Since its inception in 1995, the Competition has been an important forum for the analysis of international human rights law and a valuable educational tool. As a judge, you are the primary educator. Challenge student competitors by engaging them in cutting-edge legal discussions, and help them grow as lawyers in the field. The Purpose of the Competition

3 WELCOME & THANK YOU You have been chosen to serve as a Judge at the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition because of your legal expertise and interest in international humanitarian law. As a Judge, you have the opportunity to sit on a bench with fellow lawyers and listen to the oral arguments of the world’s brightest legal students. The following slides will explain your role and responsibilities as a judge at this prestigious international event. WELCOME & THANK YOU

4 The Hypothetical Case and Bench Memo The Hypothetical Case, Clarification Questions and Answers, and Bench Memo are the three most important documents you have access to as a Judge. Through these documents, you will gain a thorough understanding of the facts of the case, as well as what to expect in terms of student arguments. It is your responsibility to read these documents prior to the Oral Rounds, and be familiar with their content. The hypothetical case is available on the Competition website, and the Bench Memo will be emailed to you in early April.

5 ORAL ROUNDS: WHAT TO EXPECT You will be sitting on a panel of 3-5 judges, presided by the Panel President. A Bailiff will keep track of time in each round, and take your score cards at the end of each round. Simultaneous interpretation is available in rounds with multiple languages. Please use your headphones when appropriate.

6 ORAL ROUNDS: TIMING Regular Oral Argument Rounds are 90 minutes, each side being allotted 45 minutes. Interpreted rounds allow 50 minutes per side, for a 100 minute round. This allotment includes the pleadings of both orators, and each team’s rebuttal or surebuttal, as well as questions from the bench. The panel president may choose to allow an additional 5 minutes per team for both regular and interpreted rounds.

7 The Order Pleadings

8 SCORING ORAL ROUNDS The Oral Round score should be based on the persuasiveness and presentation of the competitors’ argument – not the merits of the case. Remember that students are not bound to their memorial during their oral arguments. Score Sheets Please read through the 3- page score sheet prior to each round, and judge the oral arguments according to its parameters. At the end of each round, write the Final Total Score and initial Page 1, and turn the score sheets into the bailiff.

9 DO’S & DON’TS OF BENCH BEHAVIOR As a judge, it is your responsibility to conduct yourself appropriately. Please keep in mind the following behavior during the Oral Rounds.

10 DO: ASK QUESTIONS When asking questions, remember: Questions from the bench may occur at any time throughout the round. Students are judged in part by their ability to respond to the question and the interruption. This is above all a learning exercise – ask questions that will encourage the students to think critically or creatively, and demonstrate their ability to think like lawyers. This is the students’ time to shine. Do not steal their limelight with your own legal analysis. Try not to ask so many questions that the students are unable to fully present their argument.

11 DON’T: ALLOW CONFLICT OF INTEREST It is very important that no conflicts of interest exist between you and the competing teams. If it comes to your attention that a conflict exists, notify the Panel President at the beginning of a round and dismiss yourself immediately. What constitutes as a conflict of interest? Judging a team from your alma mater. Judging a team that you coach or its opposition. Judging a team you observed. Judging a team where you personally know an orator. What is not considered a conflict of interest? Judging a team from your own country. Judging a team as a coach. Judging a team’s oral round after grading their memorial.

12 DON’T: DISCUSS INAPPROPRIATE INFORMATION IN FRONT OF TEAM Do not disclose the scores of individuals or teams in front of the competitors. Do not provide too much guidance in your comments; this is a learning opportunity, not a time to disclose the bench memo.

13 DO: BE POSITIVE Encourage teams! Rather than criticizing a poor performance, offer constructive advice. Judges need to be confident in their own understanding of the case and relevant law. Do not admit to, or openly accuse fellow judges of, being unprepared for the round.

14 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND RULE 5.2 CONFIDENTIALITY Judges have a duty not to disclose confidential information about the Problem, the Bench Memorandum or other Competition documents. Judges also have a duty to keep confidential their scoring deliberations. If a judge is found to be sharing the Memorial with members of participant teams, both the judge and the university of the participants who saw the Memorial shall be excluded from the competition for that year. The Technical Committee will determine the appropriate penalty depending on the severity of the offense.

15 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND 5.3.1 Socializing with Participants Judges may not socialize with any Coach or student competitor at any time during the Preliminary Oral Round outside of the oral round sessions. Coaches as Judges must adhere to the spirit of this rule.

16 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND 5.4.1 Observation of Rounds Unless expressly stated otherwise by a member of the Technical Committee, judges should recuse themselves if they are scheduled to judge the round of a team they have observed in a previous round. Due to this rule, judges are discouraged from observing rounds they are not scheduled to judge.

17 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND 10.1 General Judging of the oral argument sessions will be based on the organization of the presentation, quality and clarity of legal arguments and the ability to respond to opponent's arguments and questions from the judges. Judges should complete all score sheets at the conclusion of each round prior to deliberating with each other. After all score sheets have been delivered to the bailiff, judges are allowed to give feedback to the teams, in so long as it is not substantive argument assistance.

18 Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to review your responsibilities. Should you have any questions, please contact Catherine Rochon, Program Coordinator, at, ENJOY THE COMPETITION!

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