Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition - European Rounds

8. - 12. April 2024
University of Vienna, Austria

The European rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court provide students across Europe with the opportunity to engage in public international law and space law. Winners from these rounds advance to the World Finals, with travel support provided. Participating enhances employability, fosters professional networks, and improves advocacy skills.


  • European Centre for Space Law (ECSL)
  • International Institute of Space Law (IISL)

Content Description

Since its inception by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) in 1992, the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition has grown to cover five world regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. More than 60 teams participate yearly in this competition. Registered teams get exclusive on-line access to papers of the IISL's Colloquium Proceedings from 2005. Also many useful and interesting documents are freely accessible through the resources page of this website.

Regional winners receive financial support to attend the World Finals. The IISL's Lachs competition is particularly distinguished by the tradition of judges of the International Court of Justice presiding over and judging the World Final. The World Finals competition takes place within the framework of the IISL's annual Colloquium, which is a contained event in the International Astronautical Congress held on a different continent each year. The Lachs competition offers an unparalleled learning experience to all teams at all levels in a fair and cordial environment.

European Regional Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court - Benefits

  • The Manfred Lachs Moot Court Competition (MLMC) was establishhed in 1992 by H.E. Manfred Lachs, a former judge and president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • The MLMC provides students with an opportunity to engage with and delve into public international law and the law of outer space. It is the most prestigious moot of its kind.
  • Participants will compete against teams from across Europe, and the annual European champion will compete against other regional champions in the World Rounds. The European regional champions' travel, accommodation and IAC registration will be sponsored by ECSL.
  • The student awarded best oralist in the European Rounds will be awarded a unique prize. The last three years, the best oralist was awarded with an internship at the Legal Services Department of the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • Competing in the moot will boost employability, expose the students to a professional network of international lawyers and improve their advocacy skills.
  • Former European champions have come from many countries including Greece, Germany, Slovenia, Belarus, Austria, United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.
  • Finalists of the World Rounds will have an opportunity to moot in front of a bench comprised of three sitting judges of the ICJ. Former judges include: H.E. Peter Tomka (former president of the ICJ), H.E. Kirill Gevorgian (current vice-president of the ICJ), H.E. Joan Donoghue (current president of the ICJ), H.E. Xue Hanqin (former vice-president of the ICJ), and H.E. James Crawford.

The Case

This year's case addresses "Dark and Quiet Skies," the issue of "light pollution" caused by the large swarms of small satellites. A conflict with the interests of astronomical research, which is becoming increasingly prominent in reality with over 2200 satellite launches per year. The authors of the case may seek ideas from the younger generation on how to resolve this conflict.

Participant Information


Open until 29. February 2024, 23:59 CET.

In order to register for the competition, please complete the following steps:

  1. Register online.
  2. Fill out the IISL License (also found at the bottom of the page) and submit it alongside your registration by email to
  3. Submit the registration fee of 200 Euros to the ECSL bank account in accordance with the instructions listed on the registration form.
  4. Obtain a proof of payment by your bank latest by 29. February 2024 (a screenshot will suffice). Send this to the

Each team must have one faculty advisor. In addition, a team may have one assistant advisor. Only members of the team will be permitted to the competition, allowed entrance to social events and be allowed to observe closed pleadings for their team.

Detailed information on participation, registration and fees on the European Space Agency website.

Contact Address

ECSL Executive Office