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Official Rules 2019-2020

 

International & European Tax Moot Court Competition

 

Official Rules 2019-2020

 

Part I: General Provisions

Article 1. The Competition

1.1. The International & European Tax Moot Court Competition (hereafter referred to as "the Competition") is organized annually by the Institute of Tax Law of the KU Leuven and the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD).

1.2. The Competition is governed by the Official Rules embodied in this document (hereafter referred to as “the Rules”).

1.3. The oral rounds of the Competition shall be held in Leuven, Belgium.

1.4. The Competition has the following official website: https://www.law.kuleuven.be/taxmootcourt (hereafter referred to as the "Competition's website").

Article 2. Organization

2.1. There shall be a Permanent Office ("PO") in Leuven, Belgium. The PO is in charge of the administrative organization of the Competition. Unless otherwise indicated in these Rules, all communications with the PO shall be done by e-mail at the following address: tax.mootcourt@kuleuven.be. Any questions regarding the Competition are to be addressed to the PO. If the questions refer to the interpretation or application of the Rules, the PO will forward them to the Arbitrator who will handle them in accordance with Article 3.4 and 3.5. of the Rules.

2.2. There shall also be a Secretariat in Leuven, Belgium, responsible for all administrative matters concerning the Competition, which shall supply and distribute to the participating universities all the necessary information and provide logistic support. All communications by e-mail to the Secretariat are sent to: Ingrid.Matthys@kuleuven.be.

Article 3. The Arbitrator

3.1. The Arbitrator is the Academic Chairman of the IBFD. The Arbitrator may be assisted by one or more Co-Arbitrator(s). The Arbitrator will designate the Co-Arbitrator(s) on an annual basis out of the IBFD staff in regard of his or her qualities of integrity and fair judgment. Any reference in these Rules to the Arbitrator includes a reference to the Co-Arbitrator(s) if they have been so designated.

3.2. The task of the Arbitrator is to guarantee that the Competition is carried out in consistency with the Rules, the overall goals and objectives of the Competition and to resolve all disputes, which would arise during the Competition.

3.3. When a decision has to be determined by lot, the proceedings shall be organized by the Arbitrator.

3.4. The Arbitrator shall serve as final arbiter of implementation and interpretation of these Rules. Any questions concerning the interpretation and application of the Rules arising during any phase of the Competition shall be addressed by e-mail to the PO at the following address: tax.mootcourt@kuleuven.be.

3.5. All decisions of the Arbitrator are final and are not subject to appeal. Any decisions by the Arbitrator shall immediately be communicated by the PO to the inquiring party (or other interested parties). The PO will also keep a record of the decisions.

Article 4. Structure of the Competition

4.1. The Competition shall consist of four phases:

- a written phase in which a maximum of twenty-four teams have to prepare written memoranda as applicant and defendant, based upon a case on European Union and/or international tax law;

- a first qualifying round in which the sixteen highest ranked teams of the written phase (see Article 19.1. of the Rules) compete against each other, pleading both as applicant and as defendant;

- a second qualifying round in which the six highest ranked teams of the first qualifying round (see Article 22.1. of the Rules) compete against each other, pleading again both as applicant and as defendant;

- the final in which the two highest ranked teams of the second qualifying round (see Article 23.2. of the Rules) compete for the title of ‘Best Team’, pleading as either applicant or defendant.

4.2. The official language of the Competition is English. All communications as well as all written memoranda and all oral pleadings shall be done in this language.

Article 5. Time schedule

The time schedule for each year's Competition shall be determined by the Institute of Tax Law of the KU Leuven and shall be published on the website of the Competition at the latest on 15 August of the year in which the Competition starts (hereafter the "Time Schedule").

Article 6. The cases and clarifications

6.1. The Competition shall consist of two cases: one case for the written phase and the qualifying rounds and another case for the final.

6.2. The cases to be argued shall consist of a hypothetical problem dealing with European Union tax law and/or international tax law. Care is to be taken to avoid that participants of one particular country would have the advantage of dealing with the question from the perspective of their national tax law. Therefore, the cases shall either deal with rules of imaginary countries to which the effective rules of European Union law or international tax law have to be applied or with the rules of existing countries, in which case all relevant national provisions for this Competition have to be included in the cases. The argumentation of the participants cannot be based on other national provisions of these countries.

6.3. The IBFD, under supervision and coordination of its Academic Chairman, is in charge of preparing and drafting the cases. The cases shall be well balanced and provide equal chances for success for the applicant and the defendant.

6.4. The case for the written phase (see part II of the Rules) and the qualifying rounds (see Articles 21 and 22 of the Rules) shall be distributed by the PO to all registered participants by e-mail in accordance with the official Time Schedule. The case will be published on the Competition's website. A new case for the final round shall be distributed to the participants to the final round as soon as possible after the proclamation of the results of the second qualifying round. It may be decided to distribute to all competing teams some basic research materials documenting the tax laws applicable to the imaginary countries of the case.

6.5. The facts in the dispute that is the subject matter of the Competition are described in the cases or in the clarifications given to the cases (see Articles 6.6.-6.8. and 23.4 of the Rules). No additional facts may be added by the parties and, if introduced into the Competition shall be disregarded by the Readers and the Judges (as defined in Article 16.1. of the Rules). The Readers and the Judges shall enforce this rule strictly in both the memoranda and oral pleadings and shall evaluate the team's efforts accordingly.

6.6. Participants may submit to the PO up to five written requests for clarification that are pertinent to understanding the cases within the time limit indicated on the Time Schedule and in Article 23.4. of the Rules. The subject field of the e-mail should indicate “MCC Clarifications” followed by the identification of the team. Requests have to be sent to tax.mootcourt@kuleuven.be.

6.7. Requests for clarifications on the cases should be limited to matters with legal significance in the context of the cases and shall include a short explanation of the expected significance of the clarification. Any request that does not contain such an explanation may be ignored.

6.8. The clarifications, but not the explanation from the requesting team concerning the expected significance of the question for the case for the written phase and the qualifying rounds (as meant in Article 6.4. of the Rules) will be published. Once it is done, the clarifications become part of the case. They shall be sent by the PO to all participating teams by e-mail and published on the Competition’s website. Regarding the clarification requests on the case for the final (as mentioned in Article 23.4. of the Rules), the PO shall provide the clarifications, but not the explanation from the requesting team concerning the expected significance of the question, to both teams pleading in the final by e-mail.

Article 7. Participation and eligibility of universities and students

7.1. Any university that organizes specific tax courses in European and/or international tax law either at the master level or at the doctoral level, as well as a research centre with capacity of granting official titles is eligible to participate in the Selection Procedure described in Article 8 of these Rules.

7.2. All participating universities must pay the moot court fees. If a university is given notice by the PO that it should pay its outstanding debts to the organisation or third parties arising from the participation to a previous edition of the Competition and does not pay such amounts in full or does not give the PO a good reason for not doing so, the Arbitrator may exclude this university from participating.

7.3. Each participating university may enter one team. Each team may contain between two and four students, none of which have any significant working experience in the field of international taxation. Part-time or full-time short-term experience will not be considered to be significant. For purposes of verifying this condition, all students shall include at the date indicated in the Time Schedule and on the Competition’s website a short CV, in which they set out in detail their academic and professional career, which will be relied upon by the Arbitrator in the selection procedure. They will explicitly authorise the use of their CV for purposes connected with the moot court, including the disclosure to the sponsors of the Competition.

7.4. All students enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis in a programme of study leading to a grade, master or doctoral degree (or equivalent) in Law, Business Administration and Economics (or assimilated areas) at the participating universities are eligible to participate in the Competition.

7.5. Students who have participated in previous editions of the Competition in any role shall not be allowed to participate again. However, they may act as coaches.

7.6. The participating students shall conduct themselves in a sports(wo)manlike manner at all stages of the Competition.

Article 8. Selection procedure of the university

8.1. The selection procedure is composed of (i) the automatic selection procedure and (ii) the final selection procedure. For registration purposes each university shall use the General Agreement Form as published on the Competition’s website (http://www.law.kuleuven.be/taxmootcourt/registration).

8.2. The automatic selection procedure is reserved for the six teams that have passed to the second oral qualifying round in the previous edition of the Competition. Teams that are automatically qualified can waive their right to participate in the Competition before the date indicated to that effect in the Time Schedule.

8.3. The final selection procedure: all teams that have registered (by the General Agreement Form) at the date indicated on the Competition’s website, (for the 2019-2020 Competition: 30 September 2019) will be eligible for selection within the final selection procedure. The Arbitrator will select the teams, taking into consideration the following criteria (no specific order is followed):

a) performance of the university in the previous editions of the Competition;

b) geographical spreading;

c) place of the university in the worldwide ranking of universities (http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2016/law-legal-studies#sorting=rank+region=+country=+faculty=+stars=false+search=);

8.4. All decisions of the Arbitrator under this article will be communicated by the PO to the universities that applied for participation in the Competition.

8.5. All selected teams must register their team members at the latest at the date indicated in the Time Schedule and on the Competition’s website (for the 2019-2020 Competition: 1 November 2019). In order for the Arbitrator to check whether the conditions of Article 7.3.-7.5. of the Rules are met, prior to this registration, the CV of every team member must be submitted (see Article 7.3.).

Article 9. Team composition.

9.1. Participating teams shall consist of not less than two students (one as applicant and one as defendant, or both students as applicant and as defendant) and no more than four students. If, at any stage, the team is reduced to one student (for whatever reason) the team is immediately disqualified.

9.2. Between the selection of the teams (pursuant to Article 8 of the Rules) and the start of the qualifying rounds, a team member may be substituted (or simply withdrawn) in case of serious and/or unexpected circumstances, to be described by the team coach in writing to the PO. The final decision is to be taken by the Arbitrator and communicated to the team by the PO.

Article 10. Role of the coach

10.1. Each team shall have one coach, affiliated to the university taking part in the Competition. The coach must guide his team both during the written phase and during the oral phase. The coach also serves as the contact person between the organization, including the PO, and the team. The coach shall provide to the PO an e-mail address to which all communications regarding the Competition can be sent. The coach shall ensure that the instructions provided by the organization and the PO timely reaches all the team members. The coach can opt to delegate this contact person function to a team member, but also in such case the coach remains accountable for the correct functioning of all communication with his team.

10.2. In order to ensure the guidance of a team throughout the Competition, the presence of the coach is required in Leuven (Belgium) during the oral phase of the Competition. In urgent/unexpected circumstances, the coach shall explain to the Arbitrator the reasons of absence. That absence may result in penalty points imposed by the Arbitrator (see Annex C).

10.3. The coach can be changed until the day before the start of the oral phase of the Competition. The team must inform the PO in writing of this change as soon as possible and in any case no later than the day before the start of the oral phase of the Competition.

Article 11. Team registration

11.1. Registration in the Competition is a five-step process comprising of: i) the submission of the general agreement form (see Article 8.1. of the Rules) at the date indicated in the Time Schedule and on the Competition’s website (for the 2019-2020 Competition: 30 September 2019); ii) the submission of the team members' CV's (see Articles 7.3. and 8.5. of the Rules) at the date indicated in the Time Schedule and on the Competition's website (for the 2019-2020 Competition: 4 October 2019); (iii) the submission of the team registration form (see Article 8.5. of the Rules) at the date indicated on the Time Schedule and on the Competition's website (for the 2019-2020 Competition: 1 November 2019); iv) the submission of the customer information sheet (see Article 13.2. of the Rules) at the date indicated in the Time Schedule and on the Competition's website (for the 2019-2020 Competition: 1 November 2019) and (v) the payment of the registration fee for the written phase upon receipt of a KU Leuven invoice (see Article13 of the Rules). All the above-mentioned documents shall be submitted by e-mail to the PO except for the team registration form which is a form that needs to be completed using an application online, a link of which is available on the Competition's website.

Article 12. Anonymity of teams

12.1. For the assessment of the written memoranda, strict anonymity of the teams is required. Upon registration each team shall be assigned an alphabet letter, which will be used by the teams in the memoranda and in their communications with the PO and the Arbitrator. In addition, it is forbidden to publicly disclose written memoranda directly or indirectly before the end of the Competition.

12.2. Once the sixteen highest ranked teams are selected to proceed to the oral rounds of the Competition (pursuant to Article 19.1 of the Rules), anonymity of the teams is no longer required.

12.3. In order for the Competition to run smoothly, the team members should use the team badges (with their alphabet letter) in all events of the Competition and in particular during the pleading sessions before the Judges.

12.4. For social events and events with sponsors, the teams will receive special badges that disclose the identity of the team and the team members. Such badges may not be used during the pleading sessions.

Article 13. Fees

13.1. Each year before the start of the Competition the Institute of Tax Law of the KU Leuven shall determine the fee per participating student in the Competition which will be published on the website of the Competition. The fee for the 2019-2020 edition of the Competition shall be split: (i) each team, with a maximum of twenty-four teams, selected to participate to the written phase must pay a fee of 200 EUR per student; (ii) the sixteen highest ranked teams after the written phases shall be admitted to the oral rounds in Leuven and must pay an additional fee of 250 EUR per student.

13.2. The fees shall be paid by bank transfer to the account of the International & European Tax Moot Court indicated on the contact page of the Competition's website upon receipt of an invoice issued by KU Leuven. An invoice shall be issued by KU Leuven once it has received the completed and signed "Customer Information Sheet" made available on the Competition's website. Payment shall be made upon receipt of this invoice. The transfer shall indicate the name of the university. Failure to make the payment within due time shall lead to the exclusion of the team. In such case, the Arbitrator may decide to invite another team to replace an excluded team.

13.3. The registration fee of a team whose registration is withdrawn by e-mail (sent to the PO) received prior to the day, on which the memoranda are due, shall be refunded in full. Withdrawal after that date for whatever reason shall not give right to any refund. The Arbitrator may decide to invite another team to replace the one whose application was withdrawn and take all appropriate measures in order to secure a fair participation of the team to the Competition.

Article 14. Outside assistance

14.1. The memoranda are the exclusive work of the team members. 

14.2. Outside assistance which would interfere with the final product is prohibited and shall be penalized by the Arbitrator.

14.3. Although the students should do all the research and writing of the memoranda themselves - without assistance from anyone who is not a student member of the team - faculty members, coaches or other people affiliated with their university may discuss, in abstract and general terms, some of the topics mentioned in the cases. They can also help them to identify the issues, give suggestions as to research sources, comment on the persuasiveness of the arguments the students have come up with, and give training in legal writing and/or presentation in public.

Article 15. Violations of the Rules and use of opposing team’s memoranda

15.1. All ethical violations not related with the organization of the Competition shall be sent to the PO. If they relate to the PO, they shall be referred to the Arbitrator, personally.

15.2. Teams who have received inappropriate outside or professional assistance or who have committed plagiarism may be disqualified and/or penalized by the Arbitrator.

15.3. No team shall have access to any memorandum of another team, except for the respective applicant and defendant memoranda of the opposing team on the day before the pleading session according to Article 19.5. of the Rules.

15.4. It is nevertheless permissible for a team to incorporate the arguments and other information from memoranda and oral arguments of other teams of which they have gained knowledge as a result of participating in the Competition.

Article 16. Evaluators of the written and oral phase

16.1. For the written and the oral phase, the evaluators shall consist of effective or retired members of the judiciary, members of international organizations, staff members of the IBFD, practicing or retired lawyers, or active or retired university professors who are or have been professionally active in the fields of European and/or international taxation. All evaluators of the written and the oral phase are appointed in agreement with the Arbitrator. The evaluators of the written phase shall herein be referred to as "Readers" whereas the evaluators of the oral phase shall be referred to as "Judges". 

16.2. In the first and second qualifying round, there will be two courts in front of which the teams will be pleading (see also Article 19.17 of the Rules). For each pleading session, each court shall be composed of a bench of three Judges. In the composition of the benches during the first and second qualifying rounds, care will be taken that as much as is practically possible the bench includes only one Judge per nationality and one member of the IBFD. Faculty advisors, team coaches and other persons directly affiliated with a team cannot act as a Judge. In the composition of the bench for the final round, care will be taken that as much as is practically possible Judges will be selected who are active or retired members of the judiciary and have a different nationality.

16.3. During the oral phase, Judges shall disqualify themselves from judging a team if they have a current personal or professional relationship with the university, a team or any of its members and if that relationship might jeopardize their impartiality or create an appearance of impropriety. Judges should not disqualify themselves merely because they are an alumnus of a university or institution, because they have an acquaintance with a team member or other affiliation or relationship with the university or institution. The Arbitrator shall notify the Judges of any potential conflict of interest and may re-organize the bench during any stage of the Competition in case an issue of partiality may arise. This decision will immediately be reported to the PO.

Part II: The written phase

Article 17. Written memoranda

17.1. Each team has to prepare two written memoranda, one providing arguments for the applicant (taxpayer) and one for the defendant (tax authorities).

17.2. The memoranda are to be written in English.

17.3. The team memoranda shall be sent by the time indicated in the Time Schedule on the Competition’s website: i) by e-mail, to the PO, in doc or docx; ii) by post, in printed format (four copies of each memorandum, in a total of eight volumes).

17.4. The digital and paper copies of the memoranda shall be identical.

17.5. No team may revise, substitute, add to, delete or in any other manner alter its memoranda after the time limit for their submission. Revised or additional pages submitted after expiration of the deadline shall be ignored.

Article 18. Assessment of the written memoranda

18.1. Each memorandum shall be judged individually by two Readers, acting independently and selected in agreement with the Arbitrator.

18.2. Each memorandum shall be graded on the basis of the depth of the factual and legal analysis, originality of the argument, quality of the structuring of the argument, thoroughness of research, clarity and style. The Readers shall assess and take into account whether arguments are based on facts not found in the cases or in the clarifications and that are not logical and necessary extensions of the given facts. In order to achieve the highest level of transparency and homogeneity in grading, the Readers shall be provided with a suggested grading descriptor.

18.3. Each Reader shall grade the memorandum on 75 points, according to the criteria as set out in Annex B. Hence, the maximum number of points that a team can score for the memoranda is 300 points: i) 150 points for the memorandum on behalf of the applicant, and ii) 150 points for the memorandum on behalf of the defendant.

18.4. The final score for a memorandum shall be the sum of the points awarded by the two Readers as provided in Article 18.1. of the Rules. Possible penalty points are assessed and imposed by the Arbitrator and subtracted from the total score given by the Readers.

18.5. Scores shall be kept on official scoring forms made available by the PO to the Readers.

18.6. The scores of the Readers will be kept secret and will only be accessible to the PO and the Arbitrator. The PO will send the aggregated results of the written memoranda by e-mail to the team coach upon his request after the Competition has ended. Exceptionally, the PO will send the aggregated results of the written memoranda to the team coach upon his request during the Competition if his team has not qualified for the oral rounds (pursuant to Article 19.1. of the Rules). 

Part III: The oral rounds

Article 19. Oral pleadings

19.1. The sixteen highest ranked teams after the written phase shall be admitted to the oral rounds in Leuven. If there is a tie, the team with the highest points on the first two bullet points mentioned in 1.1. of Annex B, i.e. knowledge of facts and depth of factual analysis and knowledge of law and depth of legal analysis, prevails. If there would still be a tie, the team proceeding to the oral rounds shall be determined by lot by the Arbitrator. There shall be three oral rounds: the first qualifying round, the second qualifying round and the final. The oral rounds are governed by the rules set out below.

19.2. In each pleading session one or two team members shall present the team’s oral argument for the applicant, or for the defendant. If two team members are registered for the pleading session pursuant to Article 19.4. of the Rules, both have to intervene in the presentation of the arguments (before the rebuttal or surrebuttal).

19.3. Every team member needs to plead at least once both during the first and second qualifying round. Therefore, in a team composed of four members, two have necessarily to plead on behalf of the applicant and the remaining two on behalf of the defendant.

19.4. At the latest the day before the team is due to plead in a qualifying round the team should provide the names of the students pleading as applicants and as defendants in that qualifying round, by e-mail to the PO. For the final, this has to be indicated by e-mail to the PO at the latest at 23h59 of the day before the final.

19.5. On the day before each pleading session, every team shall receive the memorandum of the opposing team.

19.6. One team member (but never the coach) may sit at the bar table as team counsel. The team member acting as counsel may be different, from one pleading session to another. The counsel is not allowed to address the court. Failure to respect this rule shall be noted by the Judges in the scoring sheet and may be penalised by the Arbitrator. Team members may consult the counsel at any time. Counselling shall count as pleading time.

19.7. There shall be no communication between the bar table and the coach or any individual attending in the audience during the pleading session.

19.8. The first and second qualifying rounds are, as a rule, not public. However, during the second qualifying rounds, the teams not qualified for such rounds (see Article 22.1. of the Rules) are authorized to attend the pleadings. In any case, during the first and second qualifying rounds, the team members and the coach may only attend the oral pleadings in which their team is participating. Exceptionally, the Arbitrator may authorize other people to attend the first and/or second qualifying rounds upon request. Any infringement of this provision may lead to penalties or exclusion of the team, to be decided by the Arbitrator.

19.9. In each oral pleading session, each team has a total of 30 minutes (time for rebuttal and surrebuttal not included).

19.10. If two team members are pleading, both of them have to intervene when presenting the oral argumentation, before the rebuttal and surrebuttal. Teams are free to allocate the time between the two team members.

19.11. The maximum amount of time for the rebuttal (applicant) and the surrebuttal (defendant) is 5 minutes per team.

19.12. The scope of the oral arguments is not limited to the scope of the team’s submitted memorandum. The scope of the applicant’s rebuttal shall be limited to the scope of the defendant’s pleadings (i.e. surrebuttal not included) but the scope of the defendant’s surrebuttal shall be on the scope of the applicant’s oral arguments (i.e. both pleadings and rebuttal). The Judges will take this into consideration when marking the pleadings.

19.13. After the oral pleading session (including rebuttal and surrebuttal), the Judges may ask questions to the oralists. There is no time limit for this Q&A period.

19.14. During the pleadings the use of any materials or exhibits other than the memoranda and supporting documents (i.e. the sources included in the memoranda as meant in Annex A, point 1 of the Rules) is not permitted. However, a team may nevertheless, in order to rebut arguments brought forward by the other team, rely on legislation, case law, doctrine or administrative documents and/or decisions not already invoked in its memorandum. In addition, no electronic devices (such as tablets, mobile phones, computers) are allowed during the pleadings (i.e. only hard copies of the memoranda, the supporting documents and the materials that could be used to rebut arguments brought forward by the other team). 

19.15. Taping and/or broadcasting of the oral arguments is not allowed. Filming during the pleading sessions is not allowed, except if authorized by the organization and under the supervision of the Arbitrator. Photographing during the pleading sessions is allowed insofar it does not hinder the oralists in their pleadings. The Judges or the Arbitrator may instruct anyone to stop to take pictures at any time.

19.16. The Arbitrator is responsible for keeping track of time and for collecting the score sheets.

19.17. Teams shall plead in front of both courts in each of the qualifying rounds.

Article 20. Scoring of the oral arguments

20.1. Each pleading team member shall be judged individually by the three Judges, members of the bench. A grade of maximum fifty (50) points per pleading team member shall be awarded by each Judge, according to the criteria as set out in Annex B. The Judges have access to the written memoranda before each pleading.

20.2. If, in a pleading session, a team is composed of one oralist, the total score of that oralist on that pleading session is multiplied by two for the purpose of determining the total score of the pleading of the team as referred to in Articles 22.1 and 23.2. of the Rules. 

20.3 After the second qualifying round and prior to the final, the Arbitrator will have a briefing with all teams, except for those qualifying for the final, and the PO will make all rankings public. Scores of individual team members will be sent by the PO by e-mail to the team coach at the end of the Competition upon his request. The score of the final will not be made public. There will only be an announcement of the winning team.

Article 21. The first qualifying round

21.1. For the first qualifying round, the teams shall be paired by lot. The draw shall take place in a public session which all teams are required to attend and that will be held in Leuven (Belgium) on the day preceding the start of the oral phase of the Competition.

21.2. Every team admitted to the first qualifying round shall plead twice, once as applicant and once as defendant. In principle, each team shall only plead once per day. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. due to the number of participants in the Competition), the pleading of one team twice on the same day will be decided by the Arbitrator.

21.3. The PO will publish the pleading schedule, i.e. the day and hour a team shall present its arguments, on the Competition’s website the day before the first qualifying rounds.

Article 22. The second qualifying round

22.1. The six teams with the highest “second round admission ranking score” shall proceed to the second qualifying round. The “second round admission ranking score” of a team is the total score of the pleading of the team in the first qualifying round, multiplied by factor 3, and the total score on the written memoranda.

22.2. If two or more teams have an equal “second round admission ranking score”, the team with the highest score in the first qualifying round shall be ranked higher. If this operation still results in a draw, the rank shall be determined by lot.

22.3. If for any reason one of the selected teams cannot participate to the second qualifying round, or if a team should be disqualified, it shall be replaced by the initially non-qualifying team with the highest “second round admission ranking score”.

22.4. Every team admitted to the second qualifying round shall plead twice, once as applicant and once as defendant. The teams shall be paired by lot. If it appears that two teams paired by lot have pleaded against each other in the first qualifying round in the same capacity (e.g. team A as applicant and team B as defendant), a redraw will take place.

22.5. The PO will publish the pleading schedule, i.e. the day and hour a team shall present its arguments, on the Competition's website the day before the second qualifying round.

Article 23. The final

23.1. The final is open for the public.

23.2. The two teams with the highest “final admission ranking score” proceed to the final. The “final admission ranking score” of a team consists of the total score of the pleading of the team in the second qualifying round.

23.3. If two or more teams have an equal “final admission ranking score”, the teams with the best scores in the memoranda will be ranked higher. If these two teams still have the same overall score in the memoranda, the team proceeding to the final shall be chosen by lot under the supervision of the Arbitrator.

23.4. A toss coin shall decide which team shall argue the side of the applicant (taxpayer) and which team the side of the defendant (tax authorities) after the announcement of the results of the second qualfying round which will take place at the date and time mentioned in the Time Schedule. The PO will send the case for the final to the teams qualified for the final as soon as possible after the toss coin. The teams will have time to provide the PO (by e-mail) with requests for clarifications to the case until three (3) hours after reception of the case. 

23.5. Each team shall prepare its written memoranda which shall duly reflect the arguments put forward during the final. The memoranda shall be delivered to the PO by e-mail at the time mentioned in the Time Schedule. Failure to do so may lead to penalty points in accordance with the Annexes.

23.6. The team with the highest “final score” wins the Competition. The final score is the total score of the team for its oral pleading session in the final. In case of a draw, the team with the highest "final admission ranking score" wins the Competition.

Article 24. Complaints procedure

24.1. If a team wishes to make a complaint during the written or oral phase of the Competition, the coach of the team shall inform the PO by e-mail, at earliest convenience. The PO, also at earliest convenience, shall forward the complaint to the Arbitrator, who will take a decision in his discretion. The Arbitrator informs the PO about his decision. The PO shall inform the coach of the team who raised the issue by e-mail. If the Arbitrator considers it necessary, other teams may be informed of the content of the reply.

Part IV: Awards

Article 25. Awards

The following awards are given at the end of the Competition:

  1. The award for the winning team, granted to the team that wins the final.
  2. The award for the second best team, granted to the other finalist.
  3. The award for the best pleading team, granted to the team with the highest score in the first and second qualifying round.
  4. The award for the best individual applicant granted to the student with the highest individual score in the first and second qualifying rounds for his pleadings on behalf of the applicant.
  5. The award for the best individual defendant granted to the student with the highest individual average score in the first and second qualifying rounds for his pleadings on behalf of the defendant.
  6. The award for the best memorandum on behalf of the applicant, granted to the team with the highest score on the memoranda presented on behalf of the applicant.
  7. The award for the best memorandum on behalf of the defendant, granted to the team with the highest score on the memoranda presented on behalf of the defendant.
  8. The award for the best oral team on behalf of the applicant is won by the team which has the highest average score in the first and second qualifying rounds for his pleadings on behalf of the applicant.
  9. The award for the best oral team on behalf of the defendant is won by the team which has the highest average score in the first and second qualifying rounds for his pleadings on behalf of the defendant.

The awards for the best oral team on behalf of the applicant or the defendant can only be granted to teams who had more than one person pleading as applicant or defendant.

The Arbitrator may choose to grant a Special Achievement Award for the team that has excelled in fair play.

Part V: Final provisions

Article 26. Revision of rules

The Rules may only be revised after the end of an annual Competition.

ANNEX A

1. Every team shall submit two memoranda, one on behalf of the applicant (the taxpayer) and one on behalf of the defendant (the tax authorities). The memoranda shall be submitted: i) by e-mail (digital version in doc or docx) to the PO; ii) by normal post (four hard copies of each of the memoranda, in total eight hard copies) to the address referred to on the contact page of the Competition's website.

2. Hard copies of memoranda shall be bound or stapled securely so that the binding or stapling shall hold throughout the Competition.

3. Each Memorandum is to contain the following parts in the following order:

  • External cover
  • Internal cover
  • Table of contents
  • List of sources (treaties, case law, doctrine, etc.);
  • Statement of facts
  • Issues
  • Arguments
  • Annexes (optional)
  • Table of abbreviations

4. The colour of the external cover shall be red for the applicant (taxpayer) and blue for the defendant (tax administration). The participating teams shall not disclose their identity, directly or indirectly, in the memoranda. The sole element for identification of the team in the cover shall be the alphabetic letter received upon registration, to clearly in the middle at the bottom on the cover. On the central middle of the cover the team shall also indicate whether the memorandum is submitted on behalf of the applicant or the defendant. In the upper centre corner of the cover shall also appear the name and year of the Competition.

5. The internal cover shall present the same information as the external cover.

6. The memoranda shall be typed on standard international A4 paper (21 x 29 ¾ centimetres) and be printed two-sided. The font and size of the text of all parts of the memorandum shall be in Times New Roman, 12-point (except for the footnotes that should be 10-point). The text of all parts of the memorandum shall be 1,5 spaced, except for the footnotes that may be single-spaced. Margins should be 2 cm on both sides and 3 cm at the top and the bottom.

7. Each page shall be numbered in Arabic numbers in the middle at the top. The different parts of the memorandum have to be numbered consecutively in capital Roman numbers. Also, paragraphs shall be numbered in Arabic numbers. Finally, also the footnotes have to be numbered consecutively throughout the whole document.

8. The table of contents shall refer to the page numbers.

9. The list of sources shall contain all legal authorities cited in any section of the memorandum. This list shall include a description adequate to allow a reasonable reader to identify and locate the authority in publications of general circulation. The rendition of sources in footnotes has to be the same as the rendition of these sources in the list of sources. Account should be taken that the style of citation of judicial decisions or articles in legal journals that is common in one country may not be intelligible to participants in the Competition from other countries.

11. The statement of the facts shall be limited to the stipulated facts and necessary inferences from the case and respective clarifications.

12. In the “issues” section, all relevant juridical questions and topics of the case shall be enumerated and summarized.

13. The argument section (see Annex A.4.g) shall be limited to 12,000 words, footnotes included. Substantive, affirmative legal arguments or legal interpretation of the facts of the case may only be presented in this section.

14. Memoranda can include annexes up to a maximum of five pages.

ANNEX B

1. Assessment of the written memoranda:

1.1. Each Reader in charge of marking the memoranda shall assess it on a maximum of 75 points, to be attributed based on the following criteria:

  • Knowledge of facts and depth of factual analysis: up to 15 points;
  • Knowledge of law and depth of legal analysis: up to 15 points;
  • Originality of the argument: up to 15 points;
  • Clarity and well-organized structure of the organization: up to 15 points;
  • Extent and use of research: up to 7,5 points;
  • Grammar and style: up to 7,5 points;

1.2. If the memorandum contains arguments based on facts that are neither found in, nor are logical and necessary extensions of, the facts given in the case or in the clarifications, the Readers shall inform the PO who shall pass on this information to the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator, after consultation of the respective Reader, can sanction this infraction. Those extra facts and the reasoning based on them should not be taken into account in grading by the Readers.

2. Assessment of the oral pleadings (first and second qualifying round and final)

Each Judge shall assess the oral pleadings of the individual team members of the applicant and the defendant on a maximum of 50 points per pleading team member, to be granted according to the following criteria:

  • Knowledge of law: up to 10 points;
  • Application of law to facts: up to 10 points;
  • Ingenuity and ability to answer questions: up to 10 points;
  • Clarity and structure of the argument: up to 10 points;
  • Skills of pleading and speaking: up to 10 points;

ANNEX C

Penalty points

The following infractions shall be sanctioned by the following penalty points or by disqualification, subject to the appreciation of the Arbitrator:

1. Delayed submission of the memoranda in the written phase, by e-mail (see Article 17.3. of the Rules)

  • one working day delay: up to 5 penalty points;
  • two working days delay: up to 20 penalty points;
  • three working days late: up to 50 penalty points;
  • four working days delay: up to 50 penalty points or disqualification, to be decided by the Arbitrator on the basis of the explanations provided writing by the coach of the team.

2. Delayed submission of the memoranda for the final: up to 50 penalty points depending on the delay and on the reasons argued by the team for the delay

3. Disclosure of the identity of the team in a memorandum (see Article 12.1. of the Rules): up to 50 penalty points, to be decided by the Arbitrator, based on the type of the disclosure.

4. Formal infractions to Articles 2-10 and 12 of Annex A: up to 15 penalty points per infraction.

5. Exceeding the maximum number of words of the argument section or the annexes (see section 13 of Annex A):

a) 5 penalty points per set of 250 words started for the first two sets of 250 words;

b) 10 penalty points per set of 250 words started for the next two sets of 250 words;

c) 20 penalty points for each following set of 250 words started after that.

6. Any other infringement of the Rules may be penalized by the Arbitrator up to 50 penalty points per infringement (and not per rule infringed; therefore, if a rule is infringed more than once, the team may be penalized more than once).