Moot Court Administrative Law: Tutorial Gives Students Real-World Insight

This year's moot court also focused on COVID-19. Together with experts at the regional court, students were able to work on how to address lockdown violations.

Studierende beim Moot Court 2020.
Studierende beim Moot Court 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual "Moot Court for Administrative Law" had to be postponed from last Summer Semester to this past Winter Semester. Together with the Regional Administrative Court of Upper Austria, interested students had a unique opportunity to delve into real-world legal practices.

Under the direction of Hon. Prof. Dr. Johannes Fischer (president of the Regional Administrative Court of Upper Austria), Vice-Dean Prof. Janko, and Prof. Leeb (both from the Institute of Constitutional Law and Political Science), instructors and students re-enact an administrative court procedure by first filing a complaint, learning how it is officially submitted to the pleadings of any other parties and then how a decision is rendered by the administrative court. Teams of up to three people take on the roles of party(ies), prosecuting authority, and judicial panel.

This year's moot court had a timely COVID-19 topic regarding an appeal for a fine issued for violating the ban in place to enter service establishments during the lockdown. In addition to preparing briefs, the oral argument is always a highlight of the course. This year, the nine participating students were once again able to demonstrate and hone their negotiating skills in an authentic court setting at the Upper Austrian Regional Administrative Court. Students received feedback from the course instructors after the session.

The administrative court team now has until the beginning of January to decide whether or not the complaint will be dismissed, or if the fine will be lifted, or if the fine will be reduced.

Subsequently, students can also choose to include parts of the course in their Diploma degree thesis. This requires elaborating on a legal opinion linked to the moot court case topic.