Content of a Memorandum

Memoranda prepared in the course of the Vis Moot should contain

  • cover page
  • index
  • list of authorities
  • list of cases and awards
  • statement of facts (2-5 pages)
  • summary of arguments (1 page)
  • argument (31-28 pages)
  • request for relief (1 page)
  • certificate (optional).

Note that only the parts in bold count towards the 35-page limit set out by the Vis rules. Only those pages should consequently be numbered with Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3) whereas the rest of the memorandum should be numbered with Roman numbers (I, II, III).

The cover page must contain the name of your law school and indicate whether the memorandum is prepared on behalf of claimant or respondent. Since the cover page is the first page the reader sees it is worth making it look good to make a good first impression. You can include the logo or signet of your law school and use graphical elements like lines as separators.

The index should allow the reader to grasp your line of argument on first glance. To achieve this, all relevant questions should appear in the headings themselves and not just in the text of the argument.

The lists of authorities and cases and awards must contain all relevant information to find the respective work. With regard to scholarly writings this includes first and last name of the author or authors, the title of the work and the source including (if applicable) editors, name of the journal or collective work, starting page. With regard to cases and awards, the court or tribunal, the date, the source and (particularly if no proper source can be cited) the docket number should be included.

Example index of authorites.jpg

University of Basel, Memorandum for Claimant, 10th Vis East Moot, 1st place

The statement of facts gives the reader an overview over the relevant facts of the case. Take great care to really stick to the facts and resist the temptation to include legal conclusions here. It is important that the statement of facts remains purely objective. Failing to remain objective at this stage may cause the reader to question your credibility in the following. Yet, there still is room for presenting the facts in a way that favors your party. You can do this by putting emphasis on the facts you are going to rely on in the course of your argument and only briefly mentioning the facts the opposing party is mainly relying on.

The summary of argument has the potential to convince the reader of the quality of the memorandum right from the outset. It is meant to present your line of argument in a very concise and persuasive way. So make sure you use some snappy sentences that are memorable and stick to your strongest arguments.

Example Summary of arguments.jpg

University of Basel, Memorandum for Claimant, 10th Vis East Moot, 1st place

The request for relief lists the relief sought by your party. In most cases this part can more or less be copied from the statement of your party included in the problem.

Finally, many teams include the certificate required by the Vis rules stating that no person other than a student team member has participated in the writing of the memorandum in their memorandum. It can, however, also be send directly via email.

Last modified: Sunday, 12 April 2015, 2:49 PM