Young Lawyers Contest 2022 and beyond

  1. Aim of the contest

The contest will bring together young and newly-qualified lawyers to spotlight the importance of European law for their future legal practice.
In teams composed of contestants from different European countries, they will be challenged to apply their knowledge of European law in practical role-play scenarios. Under the watchful eye of a jury of leading European law practitioners, they will learn to work with peers from other legal cultures to build strong cases in areas as diverse as fundamental rights and the rule of law, access to justice, economic law, cross-border cooperation in civil and commercial matters, and criminal justice. The contestants will be judged both on their knowledge of European law and on their advocacy skills in drafting written arguments, conducting negotiations and pleading before a judge. The contest is an opportunity for national and regional Bars to encourage their young lawyers to get excited about European law and to learn how to use it to improve their day-to-day practice.

  1. Concept of the new project to be funded under the Justice Programme

ERA, in cooperation with the CCBE, is exploring the preparation of a project proposal in response to the European Commission’s pending call for proposals on judicial training.

For this new project, the cooperation with Bars would be extended to a larger number of national/local Bars, and their participation in the selection phase and in the organisation of the contest would be increased.

The project foresees the organisation of three annual contests over a time span of 36 months from 2022 on. A short description of the project is described hereunder:

  1. Organisation of each annual contest

Every year, the contest will be composed of 3 semi-finals (two half-days) and one final (3 full days). The topics will be defined according to the priority areas of law of the EU Justice Programme: fundamental rights and the rule of law, including the interplay with the ECHR, data protection, access to justice, and EU instruments aimed to facilitate judicial cooperation in civil and commercial maters.

Semi finals

• The 3 semi-finals will take place at regional level. Different Bars will be approached each year to host the semi-finals.

• The semi-finals will take place in the first semester of each calendar year.

• Number and composition of the teams:

– Number of lawyers per team: 4 young, newly qualified lawyers from different Member States

– Number of teams required per semi-final: 4

– Number of candidates required per semi-final: 16

– Total number of candidates: 48

• Each semi-final will consist of a written report on a question of EU law, and the oral presentation thereof.

• Jury: Two to four jurors per semi-final will be nominated equally by ERA, the CCBE and other partners among high profile lawyers in private practice with experience in litigation, pleas/summation, and EU law.

• Language: English

Final (3 days)

The two leading teams from each semi-final (i.e. six teams) will take part in a three-day final held at ERA’s premises in Trier and at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg. It will take place in the second semester of the calendar year.

• Part one will be held over two days in Trier, consisting of:

– One-day negotiation exercise to select the best two teams for the moot court in Luxembourg

– One half-day training session on “How to Litigate before the Court of Justice”. This training session will be offered in a hybrid format: along with the final six teams face–to-face, all other semi-finalists will be offered the possibility to join this specific training session remotely.

– One half-day of preparation for the moot court

– One networking dinner with participants and jurors

• Part two will consist of a moot court in Luxembourg and possibly be followed by a tour of the Court of Justice.

– The moot court will pit the two winning teams from part one against each other. The remaining finalists will be invited to participate by preparing questions to the two winning teams

– A short awards ceremony will take place at the Court including prizes not only for the winning team, but also the best contestant overall as well as the best team during the negotiation exercise

– A networking dinner with jurors and contestants will be organised in Trier at the end of the contest

• Jury: three jurors nominated by ERA and the CCBE, selected high profile lawyers in private practice with experience in litigation, pleas/summation and EU law. Two judges from the General Court will be invited to join the jury.

• Language: English

  1. Selection of candidates and financing of the contest

• Number of candidates required per contest: 48 (144 in total for the 3 contests)

• All cooperating national/local Bars will be invited to nominate candidates for the contest.

• The selection of the contestants will be made by ERA: nominations from the Bars hosting a semi-final will be automatically accepted. Nominations from other Bars will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

• Candidates applying individually without having been selected by a Bar are also admissible.

• The co-financing rate for this amounts to 90%, the remaining 10% will be covered by the Cyprus Bar Association for those contestants selected and had been nominated by the Cyprus Bar Association. The travel and accommodation costs of all contestants and jurors will be covered by the project.

For those interested, please proceed with completing the application form, which is available HERE, and sent it to along with your cv to support your application, by Wednesday 9 February 2022, 14:00 p.m.

*Email subject: Young Lawyers Contest 2022 – name

After examining the all the application forms, those who will be nominated by the Cyprus Bar Association will receive an email on the 11th of February 2022.

Cyprus Bar Association

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