An overview of Politics, Law and Economics MOOT competitions

@Robert Wagner

Politics, Law and Economics (PLE) is a degree that will often challenge students with situations related to their field of study. Among these situations are simulations, which are set out to mimic the real-world applications that are being taught in class.

During the first semester of the 2018-2019 academic year, students were asked to prepare for a courtroom simulation. In this simulation, they were given a case and were required to either defend or oppose a certain position. This simulation closely followed the guidelines of the already recognized MOOT competitions around the world (including the prestigious Harvard MOOT). Thus, the exercise was created by the professor to be both competitive and challenging, as well as being a helpful and motivating introduction to the realm of legal proceedings.

Before the MOOT cases, students were assigned to groups and asked to prepare for cases together. Each team was given a briefing, as well as preceding cases related to the same or similar topics. It was entirely up to the Politics, Law and Economics (PLE) students on what to do. However, they were all expected to synthesize the knowledge learned from the course and degree all together and use it to present coherent arguments for their case. Students carried out extensive studies of the provided text. This took several days to ensure the text was completely understood. After this, students had to prepare a verbal presentation. This needed to be adaptable to the situation, responding to the other side’s arguments. It was, therefore, crucial for the groups to have a full understanding of the case; they needed to be able to think quickly and respond effectively to any unpredicted arguments given by the other side.

The cases took several days to complete, each group having a full session to make and defend their arguments. There were three sessions in total. Although it was not a requirement, the PLE students recognized the importance of the simulation, and all appeared in formal business attire, as any lawyer should. The days went on and groups won or lost cases, but the entire class was unanimous in its agreement that the simulation was both insightful to the field and enjoyable.

Law, being one of the three pillars of the PLE program, must be held to the utmost respect in the mind of a prospective PLE student. Law is the string that ties modern society together. It allows for effective cooperation between firms and allows governments to defend the rights they are sworn to protect.

Therefore, simulations (like the one above) will be compulsory for all PLE students. Despite the difficulty of these simulations, this should not dissuade potential candidates. As law plays an important role in holding together its counterparts – Politics and Economics – it is important that students understand how it works to the best of their ability. It is for these reasons that IE University has chosen to incorporate these simulations into the degree; to give the student a competitive advantage when entering the workforce. Therefore, the legal side to the PLE course tends to be more demanding. However, it can also be the most interesting and enjoyable for our students.