Student Story
18 June 2019

The Importance of Moot Courts: A Coach's Perspective

Panagiotis Kyriakou is a second-year PhD Candidate from Greece and Cyprus. He coaches and prepares Graduate Institute students for the annual John H. Jackson Moot Court, the largest simulated court based on the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

I have been involved in the John H. Jackson Moot Court since the academic year 2013-2014, when I formed part of the winning team from the University of Athens. Since 2017, I have been involved as a coach for teams from the Graduate Institute. In June 2018, our team was the global winner of the competition.

My decision to apply for the PhD programme of the Institute’s International Law Department and, before that, the Master in International Dispute Settlement, was largely the result of my exposure to the Institute as a moot court participant in 2014. It was during my participation that I was introduced to the writings of some of the Institute’s faculty members, including those of Professor Joost Pauwelyn. That exposure amplified my interest in coming here for my master’s and doctoral degrees.  


For students interested in international economic law, this Moot Court is a must. Through the competition, students develop public speaking skills and learn how to draft succinct legal memos. They sharpen their legal research tools and learn the importance of teamwork and time management. Further, they are provided the opportunity to shine in front of renowned practitioners and scholars in the field of international economic law. Last but not least, students become experts in matters of WTO law and litigation and set solid foundations for a future career in trade law practice or academia.

For the Institute itself, the competition is of utmost importance. It supports the John H. Jackson Moot Court by hosting the preliminary matches and the quarter finals of the Final Oral Round, as well as provides assistance to the moot court organisers through the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI).

Each year, students from around the world are provided the opportunity to visit the Institute and become familiar with its premises and the work of its faculty. Moreover, being fully funded and compensated with 6 ECTS credits, as well as connecting participants with several Geneva-based practitioners and scholars, the Moot Court offers an attractive option in the curriculum of the International Law Department for prospective students.