Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court

This Year’s Competition


Argyliam v. Koligian

Case Concerning the use of lasers and other anti-satellite weapons in outer space

The case illustrates how the positioning of laser systems (The Palver) in orbit around the Earth by a State (Argyliam), combined with the provision of inaccurate data on their use, can potentially complicate international relations.

While attempting to disrupt the spying capability of a third party’s satellite, Argyliam’s Palver-3 laser system accidentally destroyed a Koligian satellite. Separately, Palver-2 suffered an unexplained loss of control and its erratic movement brought it towards an area traversed by a plethora of orbiting satellites, including five registered to Koligian. Palver-2’s laser system was still in an active state, which prompted Koligan to preemptively use an anti-satellite weapon to destroy Palver-2.

As it was not possible for Argyliam and Koligian to resolve their dispute through amicable means, the case is brought before the International Court of Justice. The claims of the Parties refer to the lawfulness of their respective activities in outer space, under space law and international law, as well as to liability issues for damages each sustained.



The IISL Young Scholars Fund was created in 2011 to support the achievements of students participating in each of the five Regional Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. The Fund grants monetary awards in the following categories: Winning Team: 200 Euros Team with the Best Memorials: 125 Euros Best Oralist of the Regional Round: 100 Euros The Young Scholars Fund has been formed and is largely maintained by donations from IISL members, to honor the very significant achievement of these students.

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Please note that some Lachs Moot regions have their own rules.

Since its inception by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) in 1992, the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition has grown to cover five world regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. More than 60 teams participate yearly in this competition. Registered teams get exclusive on-line access to papers of the IISL’s Colloquium Proceedings from 2005. Also many useful and interesting documents are freely accessible through the resources page of this website.

Regional winners receive financial support to attend the World Finals. The IISL’s Lachs competition is particularly distinguished by the tradition of judges of the International Court of Justice presiding over and judging the World Final. The World Finals competition takes place within the framework of the IISL’s annual Colloquium, which is a contained event in the International Astronautical Congress held on a different continent each year. The Lachs competition offers an unparalleled learning experience to all teams at all levels in a fair and cordial environment.

2022 Competition

In September 2022, the participants met in Paris for the Final Round of the Competition.

The World Finals were held between George Washington University, on behalf of the Applicant, and the University of Leiden, on behalf of the Respondent on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.  The Finals were judged by three jurists on the International Court of Justice, Judge Xue Hanquin, Judge Peter Tomka (President) and Judge Georg Nolte. At the conclusion of the pleading and final deliberations, the judging panel decided the winning team was the University of Leiden and the best oralist was Evan Matsuda, from George Washington University.

In 2022, the University of Leiden, represented by Michael Gould and Gabriella Mifsud, coached by Dimitra Stefoudi and Miraslava Kazlouskaya have been designated winner of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition.

George Washington University, represented by Evan Matsuda and Jonathan Clark (who also won best oralist) and their coach, Henry Hertzfeld have been the runner up of the North American Region.