DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MUN AND COURT SIMULATION CONFERENCES

First, we need to consider the reason behind this differentiation. As widely known and explained below, MUN is about simulating United Nations components in a limited time frame and within designated boundaries; therefore, it has produced itself a certain kind of procedure that fits into the limits of time and subject. It should not be hard to esteem the impossibility in resolving a dispute with all due respect to the real procedures within a three day long conference as it is prescribed. Hence, court simulations and moot court competitions have their unique series of procedure that are developed with significant amount of experience and over a long period of time. In this section, we will talk about the differences regarding the procedures however, before all, we would like to mention a few points on mission and function.

Model United Nations is an international platform in which high school and college students come together to discuss global matters within the boundaries of procedure and try to come up with resolutions to those problems. Individuals represent the designated countries, corporations or personas in specific committees and make comments on predetermined subjects. The important point here is that the participant makes a research on his/her assigned country, corporation or persona and makes sure his/her comments, actions comply with the view of the represented. This situation contributes to the bettering of self esteem, public speech and multilateral, sophisticated way of thinking in individual.

Court Simulations provide an environment for law faculty students to practice what they have theoretically been learning throughout their education by simulating international courts. Besides, it develops the student’s interest in the law terminology in English language and helps improve the ability to analyze, comment and judge on various subjects. The students pursuing law education have a chance to communicate with their colleagues. It is aimed to sustain a quality experience for participants in courts simulating international disputes. The participants who have not yet been professionals have an opportunity to carry out their professions on an international platform.

Other than the differences in mission, function and inference as explained above, the differences in procedure and subjects also matter in a great sense. For instance, one may participate in MUN as a delegate or committee director. The committee directors usually aim to administer the committee without being involved in the debate.  Finally, at the end of the sessions, documents about the debated subjects are produced by the participants. One may participate in Court Simulations as President Judge (Head Arbitrator/ Head Panelist etc.), Judge (Arbitrator/ Panelist etc.) or Advocate (Counsel etc.). Judges assess the various defenses made by the advocates during deliberation processes, ask to the advocates under certain circumstances and write down the judgment at the end of the session. The function of advocates, as pre-known and explained in the section about the court procedure down below, will not be further elaborated here. (The expression of “judge” will be used in places for arbitrator or panelist because in a conference, all these people undergo the same function.)

As known, in MUN, sessions are directed by the committee directors as moderated& unmoderated caucuses and a variety of documents are formed. In Court Simulations, president judge is more active than a committee director and may participate in debates or inducements in person while directing. On the other hand, a committee director may not act like a delegate. For this reason, president judges are given broader authority. These people may either be a part of the Academic Team of the conference or sometimes be accepted through an admission process.

In court procedure, the deliberation processes in which the advocates are not involved (escorted out of the court room) are directed as unmoderated caucuses but despite the ones in MUN, these caucuses seem to portray a more respectful, neat and critical environment in which everyone listens to one another. Having that said, we must draw attention to a certain point that in Court Simulations, courtesy assumes a major role. The situation laid above does not absolutely mean that moderated caucuses are not welcome but they are rather rare in practice. The Rules of Procedure (ROP) is similar on a vast scale but from court to court it may bear some differences.  The prevalent process of the courts is listed below and minor alterations may occur in different courts.

(*Prepared and presented by the advocates)
(**Process that involves Advocate, President Judge and Judges’ presence)
(Non-indicated items require President Judge and Judges’ presence)

Opening Statements*
Deliberation
Evidence Presentations*
Deliberation
Cross Examination (Questioning of the Witnesses)**
Deliberation
Rebuttal*
Deliberation
Questioning of the Parties by the Judges**
Deliberation
Closing Statements*
Deliberation
Writing of the Verdict/Award

There are different awarding policies regarding advocates and judges. The number of awards given in the committee may differ in accordance with the number of participants in the court. The definite awards are as follows:

-Best Advocate/Counsel
-Best Arbitrator
-Outstanding Arbitrator
-Honorary Mention*

Note: The roles and awards may alter according to the structure of the court and its content.

When the “International Court of Arbitration” and “International Court of Justice” simulations are compared, the alterations are as follows:

Roles:
-President Arbitrator          >President Judge
-Rapporteur                          >Rapporteur
-Arbitrator                             >Judge
-Advocate                               >Advocate

Awards:
-Best Advocate                                      > Best Advocate
-Best Arbitrator                                    > Best Judge
-Outstanding Arbitrator                     >Outstanding Judge
-Honorary Mention                             >Honorary Mention

Generally, the awards are decided by the President Judge, however in different occasions Case Director (Under Secretary General, the Academic Team Member responsible of the court) is also involved in the decision making process.
Even though presentation of the Honorary Mention is favored, sometimes it may not be given. Also, this award is not accompanied by a certificate. Lastly, Honorary Mention could be given to the advocate or the judge, if seen fit.

In the context of Themis Court Simulations, you may find the previously organized courts, mechanisms within the courts and the dispute settlement bodies through Previous Conferences > TCS’17 > COURTS section.