January 30, 2009

Uppsala University won the Swedish Law Championship in 2008 – who will it be this year?

It’s time again for the annual Swedish Law Championship, a competition where finalists are selected from Sweden’s law schools to compete in the national championship. Two winning teams from each campus will have an opportunity to plead a case before Justices of the Supreme Court. Preparation and academic excellence are put to the test as each team competes for this honour-filled title.

“It’s challenging and fun to compete in these moot trials. The Swedish Law Championship really is a tough challenge and you learn a great deal from participating,” according to Joel Mårtensson, who competed for Uppsala University in 2006.

Umeå University’s law student association and Mannheimer Swartling are the main organisers for this year’s competition and they are supported by the Association for the Swedish Law Championship (“Sammanslutningen för de Svenska Juridiska Mästerskapen”) a not-for-profit organization founded by law student associations at universities in Lund, Uppsala, Stockholm, Umeå and Gothenburg, where the law student association of Örebro University now also is a member.

The final day to register for this year’s local competitions is 6 February. The national round of competitions begins on 24 April. Qualification for the national round is determined by how well each team performs on the local level in written submissions and oral argumentation before the local jury.

“We were well-prepared and it was inspiring to be able to apply legal arguments in a more realistic setting when we competed before a jury,” explained Joel, who along with Jonas Lindqvist received an award for Best Defendant in the 2006 national competition. Both Joel and Jonas now work as associates at Mannheimer Swartling.

The finalists from each university that continue to the national level are given a new dispute to work on before 24 April. They are divided into claimant and defendant teams at the onset of this round in order to have ample time to prepare. Altogether, twelve teams will have the chance to make oral arguments before the Justices of the Supreme Court.

“The most important thing to remember when preparing for the competition is that everything that has been considered and submitted in written form also has to be presented orally in a convincing manner – that’s the biggest challenge,” concludes Joel.

With the honour of the championship title, the winners receive 10 000 kroner each and the association that accumulates the most points holds the trophy for a year. In addition to the overall championship and the two category prizes, Mannheimer Swartling also awards a prize for outstanding achievement during the trial presentation. Last year’s award went to Jon Karlsson from Umeå University and consisted of a trip for two to Berlin, and a visit to Mannheimer Swartling’s offices in Berlin.

Swedish law students can learn more about the competition and how to enter via the SJM-site (Swedish).