Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

COVID-19 Update, updated 2 May 2020:

The international semis-finals and Final oral arguments will be by video. Distinguished IISL Members will judge the semis and we anticipate ICJ judges will judge the Final. The 31 July 2020 deadline for Submission of written memorials for the world finals remains firm. Thereafter, the memorials of the Regional winning teams will be graded by distinguished scholars and the teams will be seeded for the semi-final arguments. Oral argument schedules will be arranged taking into account the schedules of the teams and judges. All of the usual awards (Best Team, Best Memorial, etc.) will be made.

Due to the public health situation world-wide, all Regional competitions have made changes to schedules and processes. It is important to check frequently the information on the website for your Regional competition.

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.



The Lachs Moot Calendar for 2020 can be found here (updated 26 March 2020).

Please note that some dates for Regional Competitions have been updated! 


The latest version of the 2020 Problem can be found here.

See for the 2020 information on names here.

See for the responses to the requests for clarification here


The latest version of the Lachs Moot rules can be found here (updated 2020).

Please note that some Lachs Moot regions have their own rules.




Update 19 February 2020:

Dear AP Teams:

Here is more important information regarding the revised AP competition:

• BIT will handle Memorial grading in the normal manner and announce scores on 25 April. International and AP Regional Rules applicable to Memorials are to be followed. After this initial grading is complete, BIT will advise the Moot Court Committee Chair of the top five teams based on total scores (combined Applicant & Respondent scores). Those teams will advance to a second round of grading. If there is a tie for number 5, the top 6 will advance. Teams will be advised that they are in the second round.

• The Moot Court’s AP subcommittee, led by Professor Steven Freeland, will invite and form a group of six distinguished IISL members, many of whom will be IISL Officers, with considerable moot court experience (the “Final Graders”), who will rank (not score) the AP memorials from number 1 (the best) to number 5 (or 6 if applicable).

• Three Final Graders will rank the Applicant memorials and another three will rank the Respondent memorials. By May 15, all Final Graders will report their rankings to the AP subcommittee through Professor Freeland and to the Moot Court Committee chair & co-chairs. The rankings will be totaled and the team with the lowest number will be the winner. In the event of a tie for first or second place, the Final Graders will confer and identify the winner based on the best overall Applicant and Respondent memorials. The team with the best memorials will advance to the International Finals at the IAC unless a mini-oral competition among the top four teams is organized. At this point, such a competition is unlikely, but is not yet ruled out. Teams should proceed as if the memorial rankings will solely identify the winning AP team.

• Teams will continue to be identified solely by their assigned AP number.

• All of the top five (or six if applicable) teams will get recognition (certificates or plaques) generally as follows: Best Team, Runner Up, Semi-Finalist. The placement of the top five (or six if applicable) will be announced by the Moot Court Committee not later than May 25.

• Any questions on the original grading of memorials should be directed to BIT at

• Questions about the second round of grading, only if really necessary, should be directed to the Moot Court Committee.

• This process has gone through weeks of evaluation by the Moot Court Committee, the AP Subcommittee, and others. We understand the lack of an AP oral competition is disappointing. We encourage all teams to focus on their memorials and do the best job possible.

Best regards,

Regional Organizers,
Asia-Pacific Moot Court Competition






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Previous winners and other news

IISL Young Scholars Awards

The IISL Young Scholars Fund was created in 2011 to support the achievements of students participating in each of the five 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 …


Contact us For all general enquiries about the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, please email Access to IISL papers for all registered teams All registered participants in the Manfred Lachs Moot Court Competition will be granted exclusive access for the duration of the competition to IISL Colloquium papers (from 2005 to date), …