Manfred Lachs North America (the North American Regional Competition) is held annually in Washington, DC. on a Friday and Saturday at the end of March or the first weekend of April. The Competition is judged by experts in the field of space law and provides an opportunity for student teams to meet many of those judges after the competition is over.
The Regional Competition selects the winning team that will be funded to travel to the International Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition.
The North American Regional Competition also welcomes teams from Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Update 23 April 2020:
The Memorial Scores will be released on Monday, May 4.
From that point, the top 8 teams will schedule their individual Quarter-Final Argument as soon as practicable, and then the Semi-Final arguments, and then a Final Argument.
If we are able to stream the Final Argument, all competitors will be invited to watch.
Statement on 2020 North America Regional Competition of March 20, 2020:
After evaluating the reality of the impact of Covid-19 on the academic and professional community, as well as the public health, we have decided to cancel the in-person competition of the Manfred Lachs North America Space Law Moot Court.
First and foremost is the health and safety of our competitors and volunteers. However, we are also aware of our responsibility as stewards of public health to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 to more vulnerable populations and groups.
Similarly, multiple schools have begun to escalate their response by limiting domestic travel, attendance at group events, and closing their campuses. Our host venue Georgetown University Law Center, suspended on and off-campus events for the rest of the semester. So even if your school has not done so yet, the likelihood will continue to increase in the next week that more schools will close travel and events.
This is also true for our volunteers and professional partners, whose workplaces in DC and across the country have implemented telecommuting and limits to travel and attendance.
For the reasons above, we believe it is infeasible and inadvisable to continue with the in-person competition, and that the situation in the future is too uncertain to consider postponing.
After consultation with the IISL Moot Court Committee, the Manfred Lachs North America Regional Competition will proceed as follows:
- Memorials will be scored and ranked in two divisions by 30 March.
- Scores and memorials will be released to all teams.
- The top four (4) memorial scores in each division will advance to the Quarter-Finals.
- At that time, we will work with quarter-finalists to schedule oral arguments.
This alternative competition plan is dependent on the continuing availability of remote teleconference services, and the feasibility of such an option for teams.
Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding as we all continue to process the current situation.
Nathan A. Johnson, Regional Organizer
|2020 Manfred Lachs North America Registration|
|2018 Supplemental Rules for North America
(2018 edition applies in 2019)
- 15 December 2019: Deadline for Submission of Requests for Clarification
- 15 December2019: Deadline for Early Registration (lower fee)
- 31 January 2020: Deadline for Team Registration
- 31 January 2020: Deadline for Author to Respond to Requests for Clarification
- 6 March 2020: Deadline for Submission of Written Memorials
- 27-28 March 2020: North American Oral Rounds – Georgetown Univ., Washington, DC
- 30 March: Release of Memorial results
Further information and resources about the competition in general can be found on the resources page.
IISL Young Scholars Awards
The IISL Young Scholars Fund was created in 2011 to support the achievements of students participating in each of the four Regional Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. The Fund grants monetary awards in the following categories:
- Winning Team: 200 Euros
- Team with the Best Memorials: 125 Euros
- Best Oralist of the Regional Round: 100 Euros
The Young Scholars Fund has been formed and is largely maintained by donations from IISL members, to honor the very significant achievement of these students.
Mr. Nathan Johnson, JD, LLM
2018 North American Competitors (At Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC)
2018 North American Champions: Louisiana State University
Participating in the 2018 Manfred Lachs competition was without a doubt the highlight of my law school experience. Being a new team going into the North American regional round, we went into the competition with no expectations. Now that my team has finished our run, we feel blown away by how rewarding the Lachs competition actually was. Getting to argue in front of subject matter experts—literally the people who wrote the books you cited in your memorial—is not something you get to do every day. At the international rounds in Germany, we had the fortune of meeting three sitting ICJ judges, and we even were able to have dinner with them at the IISL awards banquet! I sat one seat away from Judge Gevorgian and had a friendly chat with Vice President Xue. All of this took place within the context of having access to the International Astronautical Congress, the largest annual space conference in the world.
My team feels very grateful for the outstanding experience we have had in the Lachs competition. As our coaches will tell you, this competition is special in the level of access it gives you to experts in the field and the opportunities it provides. Above all, the best part of the Lachs competition is its inclusiveness and fairness. This was LSU’s first time competing in Lachs, and LSU Law does not have any space law experts laying around. With a lot of hard work, using general international law as our bedrock, my team was able to win the regional round as a first-year team. To me, this is symbolic of the field of space law: freedom of access for all teams, regardless of economic or scientific development. If you are motivated enough to invest in the competition, Lachs promises to be an incredible experience.
Zach Miller, LSU Law Center
Read about the experiences (in Spanish) of the team from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma