Moot Courts, Theatre and Rehearsal Practices

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I have always felt ambivalent about coaching teams for moot courts competitions. While these competitions offer very valuable experiences for students and a lot of fun in the preparation stage, they also force teams and their supervisors to focus on a very particular form of competition. The competition takes place in an artificial environment that often has little to do with how international law is most often applied in practice. What is more: students are trained to compete; as if winning is the most important part of the exercise. In this chapter, I explore my ambivalence about moot court competitions. To that end, I treat those competitions as theatrical exercises in two different ways: (a) as theatrical re-enactments and dress rehearsals at the same time (see section ‘Moot courts as representations of past and future’); as a series of rehearsals in preparation for a performance (see section ‘Moot courts and rehearsal traditions’). Building on two traditions in theater rehearsal, I develop a critical take on moot courts and sketch some possible avenues for alternative ways of rehearsing legal practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBackstage Practices of Transnational Law
EditorsLianne J.M. Boer, Sofia Stolk
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429023583
ISBN (Print)9780367086572
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in International Law


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