Hungarian success at the Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition (HS MCC)

The eighth International Labour Law Moot Court Competition, the Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition (HS MCC), was held at Károli Gáspár Reformed University in Budapest, Hungary, from 15-17 June 2023. Law students from some twenty-five universities in thirteen countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands) participated in the European Labour Law Competition. This year the competition was hosted in the Károlyi-Csekonics Palace, which provided a dignified and professional environment for the competition. Teams from twelve countries competed in both defendant and plaintiff positions, while students from the thirteenth country, this year Italy, as the country providing the case, competed in the position of judge. Organised by the Department of Labour Law and Social Security of the Faculty of Law, the event was attended by around 100 participants, including law students from renowned European universities and eminent labour law academics and practitioners.

The competition is named after Hugo Sinzheimer (1875-1945), a German scholar and lawyer widely regarded as the founding father of labour law. The HS MCC is the only international mooting competition on labour law in Europe, hosted by a different university each year. The first HS MCC took place in Amsterdam in 2016, last year the competition was hosted by the law school of the Portuguese capital and in 2024 it will be hosted by the University of Vienna. Prof. Attila Kun, representing the Károli Gáspár Reformed University, has been involved in the international organising committee, an international body of six members, from the very beginning. Since the competition's launch, every year a Hungarian team of law students from Károli has participated in the event. Since 2016, the national selection and preparation of the Hungarian team has been coordinated and led by the Department of Labour and Social Law of the University of Debrecen, with the involvement of the co-departments of all Hungarian law universities, and in constant cooperation with the labour law departments of the University of Debrecen and ELTE.

The aim of the mooting competition is to offer law students in the field of EU labour law the opportunity to debate as real lawyers - in front of a panel of judges - to deepen and improve their practical knowledge, unlike the normal classroom learning experience. The competition involves students working in teams in an international environment. The competition simulates real court situations and addresses the most challenging and topical issues in EU labour law and its application in the Member States. Preparation for the competition takes place over several months, during which teams prepare written submissions in advance, culminating in oral arguments during the three-day competition.

This year's jury of fourteen distinguished professors and practitioners included some of the leading figures in the international labour law profession. The jury was also assisted by experts from the European Commission and the United Nations International Labour Organisation. The jury also included professors from the University of Amsterdam, the University of Bristol, the University of Ghent, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Ljubljana. Our country was represented by Prof. György Kiss, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Dr. Bálint Rózsavölgyi, a group-leading labour judge and European legal adviser. The jury was also composed of four representatives of the Italian professional committee that drafted the case: two professors (Bologna, Naples), a judge (Monza) and a lawyer (Baker McKenzie, Milan).

The Hungarian Team
The Hungarian team

Hungary was represented in the competition by the team of Dawud Savannah Rose (KRE-ÁJK), Gergely Lőrincz (DE-ÁJK), Ádám Poncsák (ELTE-ÁJK) and János Jenő Tóth (PPKE-JÁK). Their instructors were Sára Hungler, Assistant Professor at ELTE, Attila Kun, Professor at Károli Gáspár Reformed University and Péter Sipka, Assistant Professor at the University of Debrecen.

In the final of the competition, the Hungarian team came in second (Runner-up) in a close fight with the German team, which is the best result of the Hungarian team in the history of the competition. In addition, Dawud Savannah Rose, a student of KRE-ÁJK, won the Excellent oral plea award for her individual performance.

The German Team
The German team

Cultural and gastronomic programmes were also organised to deepen professional contacts and enrich the students' social experience. The opening ceremony was closed by a cultural evening allowing the teams to introduce themselves, and the final event was a sightseeing boat trip and folklore programme in the presence of Rector Prof. László Trócsányi.

For more information about the competition, click here.


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