Law student teams from ten leading universities from Kazakhstan, Russia and, for the first time, Kyrgyzstan, participated in the Fourth Annual AIFC Court & IAC Moot 2021. M. Narikbayev KAZGUU University (Kazakhstan) narrowly defeated Ural State Law University (Russia) and won the competition.
Both Final teams were selected to compete in the Final based on their outstanding performance in the preliminary rounds of the competition, which was adjudicated by senior lawyer members of the AIFC Court and IAC Users’ Committee as preliminary round judges.
The Winners’ Cup was presented to M. Narikbayev KAZGUU University (Kazakhstan) and all of the students in the Final were awarded the opportunity to undertake a competitive internship at the AIFC Court and IAC.
The AIFC Court and IAC Moot competition provides a unique opportunity in the Eurasia region for law students to research and present oral legal arguments in the English language to senior AIFC Court judges on matters of commercial common law. This year the students presented oral arguments to the judges on a common law legal problem that involved a contract dispute about a failed purchase of a coffee business during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Final judges were Justice Sir Robin Jacob, Justice Sir Stephen Richards, and Justice Sir Jack Beatson, all from the AIFC Court. The Final Opening Address was given by The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mance, the Chief Justice of the AIFC Court.
The AIFC Court and IAC Moot competition was first held in 2018. In 2019 the second annual Moot competition was held for the first time in the AIFC Court’s world class hearing room. In 2020 the competition was held online for the first time given the COVID-19 pandemic. The same video technology that is used for real AIFC Court and IAC case hearings was used in this year’s competition.
Aidana Kudabayeva from KAZGUU University team commented:
“Participating in the AIFC Court and IAC Moot Competition is highly beneficial for future lawyers because it provides a unique opportunity to practice oral lawyer advocacy skills. The AIFC Court Judges asked many questions and gave detailed feedback to improve our skills. I wish the AIFC Court and IAC continued success and encourage all law students to participate in this uniquely invaluable competition.”
Registrar and Chief Executive of the AIFC Court and IAC Mr. Christopher Campbell-Holt commented:
“We are proud that the AIFC Court and IAC Moot competition has now entered its fourth year and has become a firm part of participating university timetables. We host the competition to provide law students with a unique opportunity to learn and practice oral advocacy skills in a real common law Court environment that are required of lawyers representing clients in real Court cases. The standard of the students has increased every year and this year in particular the standard was exceptional. We expanded the competition this year to ten teams from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. This is an important competition both for the students and also for our Court and IAC as we continue to engage productively with our users and the wider community.”
The Astana International Financial Centre was created by the initiative of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Leader of the Nation, Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev as part of the “100 steps to implement five institutional reforms” national program.
The Centre’s development strategy until 2025 was approved by the Management council of the AIFC during the council’s meeting on July 2, 2020.
In accordance with the strategy, the vision of AIFC is in becoming the leading financial centre in the region that includes Central Asia, the Caucasus, EAEU countries, western China, Mongolia, and Eastern Europe.
The mission of the AIFC is in assisting the sustainable and long term development of the region. As the head of state Tokayev noted, “AIFC, with its unique opportunities, can act as a universal platform that connects the countries in the region.”
The strategic directions for the sustainable development of the AIFC include the development of a circular economy, financial technologies, and “digital financial centre.” https://aifc.kz/
The AIFC Court is an independent legal entity. It has its own procedural rules modelled on English common law procedures and leading international practice. The AIFC Court is separate and independent from the courts of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It consists of two tiers: a Court of First Instance, which includes a specialist division known as the Small Claims Court; and a Court of Appeal. It has exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising out of the activities and operations of the AIFC and jurisdiction in the case of other disputes in which all parties agree in writing to give the AIFC Court jurisdiction. It does not have jurisdiction in relation to any disputes that are of a criminal or administrative nature. It applies the most up to date and efficient case management practices. https://court.aifc.kz/
The AIFC International Arbitration Centre (IAC) is an independent legal entity. It has its own procedural rules modelled on best international practice. It has its own panel of leading international arbitrators and mediators having many years of arbitration and mediation experience in commercial law, including oil and gas, trade, construction, energy, financial services, banking, Islamic finance, insurance and copy right. IAC arbitration awards are recognised and enforceable in Kazakhstan and internationally. https://iac.aifc.kz/