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Moot Court Olympiad

CATRC takes LL.M. students to compete at Tax Mootcourt competition in Belgium

Central Asian Tax Research Center at KIMEP University organizes an annual Mootcourt competition for KIMEP students who study tax specialization in some of the KIMEP programs. This year however, it was the first time that CATRC took the students outside of Kazakhstan to compete on international competition, which took place at the University of Leuven – one of the oldest Universities in Europe dating its history back to 1425.

The KIMEP team under leadership and guidance of Tomas Balco, Director of CATRC, has started to prepare for the competition in the Fall 2013, when the Case was distributed by the organizers. The students had to prepare two professional court pleadings – one on behalf of each side to the dispute. The final round of competition took place in Belgium during the mid-term break. So while most students were resting or preparing to the exams, the LL.M. students have packed their bags, courage and arguments and set of for an adventure of their LL.M. studies.

Renat Mussakhanov, student in LL.M. program and practicing lawyer working at Legal department of KIMEP University shared his impressions:

“Literally there was one of the brightest trips of my life! Along with enormous experience and acquisition of writing, oratory and research skills, I established a new standard for myself. It is a kind of level which you have to correspond participating in such a competitions. Faculty of Law in Leuven University by the way, represented with one of the best law schools in Europe and this is already the reason to visit it. Among others I felt unforgettable competitiveness, which doesn't break the friendly atmosphere between participants.”

Next to the fighting in the court room, the students also had a chance to explore the historical city of Leaven as well as other cities in Belgium. All students were invited to meet with the law and tax consulting firms on a special dinner and excursion was also organized to make it possible for students to attend the real court proceedings of the European Court of Justice. The students were taken for a 24-hours trip to Luxemburg, where they could also meet with local tax lawyers and tax consultants and established useful contacts and professional relations.



Bakytzhan Alimbayev, student in LL.M. program and financial expert in Almaty Branch of Ahsel Holding shared what lessons he has learned during the moot court.

“The European tax moot court was a great experience for us. Competing with 

students from best European universities was really challenging and inspiring. Visiting European Court of Justice, lectures by outstanding tax scholars and finance ministers, discovering cultural diversity and making friends and contacts from all over Europe was exciting. The only negative experience about this competition is that first time in my life I couldn't win, but the lessons I've learnt were worth it. If you want to succeed in this kind of competitions, you have to do extensive research, your memorandum must be a masterpiece, you've got to possess Obama's rhetoric, and you need complete focus, and always remember that your rivals are really strong.”

Tomas Balco, the Director of CATRC and once also a student concluded with his observation:

“I am glad that these two brave young men found the courage, took up the challenge and went to learn their lessons. It is the things we learn outside of the class room that counts most for success in our career. That is why the extra work that students put into their study outside of the class is so important for them to multiply the study effect and put the theoretical lectures into practical application. University study is like a bus ride with many stops. To get the most of the ride, one has to take advantage of those stops on the way. Get out of the bus as much as you can, breath the fresh air of practical application to the theoretical knowledge, work hard to practice it, then come back to your seat for some more bus ride. Study becomes one exciting ride towards a successful and exciting professional career rather than a boring excursion.”