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International Competition – Model European Court of Human Rights

In the 2014-2015 academic year HSE’s Faculty of Law team for the first time took part in the model European Court of Human Rights international competition, which is held by the European Association of Student Lawyers under the auspices of the Council of Europe.

Each year over 100 teams from the best European universities take part in the competition. HSE students were among the 16 highest-performing teams in the first round, and the only team from Russia to make it through to the final – outperforming teams fielded by Kutafin Moscow State Law University and MGIMO.

They returned from the final which took place at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, having won third place for written memoranda, a better result than many highly respected European universities achieved – including the Queen Mary University of London (UK), Maastricht University (Netherlands), and Essex University (UK).

The participants, Venyamin Geinbikhner, Polina Gligen, Bike Gyulmagomedova and Elena Cherkasova, said that the competition offers an opportunity to significantly deepen your knowledge of European systems of human rights law, and to improve the practical skills you’ll need as a lawyer. They said they settled on the idea of fielding a team at this competition after several role-playing sessions about international courts that were held as paert of the International Process course during their third year of undergraduate studies.

The teams were trained by HSE law lecturer, member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, and recipient of the Femida law prize for ‘Human Rights Defence’ Anita Soboleva.

All participants stressed her support throughout the competition. They said that, without her, they would have been unlikely to make it so far.

Under the competition rules, each student can only be a finalist once, giving each team that makes it through to the finals a fair chance of victory.

Next year, the students of the Faculty of Law who participated in this year’s competition, will help train the new team, sharing their experience with them.

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