Students from Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Law and Public Policy (CLPP) made it to the semi-finals of the 4th EUROPA Moot Court Competition held in Greece. HBKU was the first university from outside the European Union to participate in the competition, and the team of four had the unique opportunity to engage with law students and academics from across Europe.

HBKU Law School’s Juris Doctor (JD) candidate, Aisha Al-Naama bagged one of the Best Oralist Awards at the competition. When asked about her experience, she said it was a great opportunity to gain exposure to the EU legal and court system. She hailed HBKU and the great potential of its students to take part in international proceedings.

Their team, made up of her peers from the College, includes Khalid Al-Ansari, Asma Al-Khulaifi and Mohammed Al-Ahmadani. They competed against seven other law schools from Europe.

The panels of judges for the Moot Court Competition comprised of the former President of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the First Advocate General and law clerks of the Court, and academics from all over the European Union. The competition focused on issues of European Union law, migration and refugee law, and Islamic law.

The Moot court competition was organised by the Chambers of the First Advocate General of the CJEU Melchior Wathelet, and the Mohammed Ali Research Centre, a Greek, private non-profit, non-governmental research centre that focuses on the Muslim contribution to shared scientific and technological heritage of the world.

Georgios Dimitropoulos, Assistant Professor at HBKU’s College of Law & Public Policy, who coached the team said that their being part of EUROPA was a great experience for the students.

They had the chance to get exposed to the intricacies of European Union law, at the complicated junctures between EU law, international law and Islamic law, improve their advocacy skills, and interact with Judges, Advocates General and clerks at the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as students from all over Europe.

He added that they had already been invited to the 5th edition of the EUROPA Moot Court Competition.

On the invitation of Dr Paschalis Paschalidis, Legal Secretary at the Chambers of the First Advocate General of the CJEU, the team also got the chance to visit the premises of the CJEU in Luxembourg, met with law clerks, and attended a hearing concerning the European Union Law aspects of the refugee and migration crisis in Europe. The team visited the area of Schengen, where the Schengen Agreement on the abolition of checks at the common borders of EU countries was signed.

Dr Paschalidis said he was delighted that a group of HBKU students took the time to visit EU’s highest court and that it was a rare event to receive visitors from universities outside the EU, such opportunities, according to him can lead to a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas. The students’ visit to the CJEU in Luxembourg gave them the chance to witness first-hand how the Court operates and how EU law works in practice.

To learn more about the HBKU’s College Law & Public Policy and the Juris Doctor programme, go to hbku.edu.qa.