Laser and Yung Are Space Law Champions

GW Law Team Wins Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

October 1, 2010 | Prague, Czech Republic—Third-year students Christa Laser and Liana Yung were victorious over the National University of Singapore on Thursday, winning the 2010 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition.  This marks the fourth time in the competition's 19-year-long history that a GW Law team has brought the Lachs trophy home to Foggy Bottom.

Laser and Yung argued before three judges from the International Court of Justice—Judge Peter Tomka (Slovakia), Judge Abdul Koroma (Sierra Leone), and Judge Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation)—who later named them the best team of the competition.

On Tuesday, the GW Law team had triumphed over Cologne University in the semi-final round of the prestigious competition, held this year in Prague in conjunction with the 61st International Astronautical Congress and the International Institute of Space Law Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space.  This past spring, Laser and Yung won the North American Championship of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C.  Laser and Yung also placed first in the competition for Best Brief.

The team is a joint effort between GW Law and the Space Policy Institute at the GW Elliott School of International Affairs. Traveling with the team is their coach, Henry Hertzfeld (J.D. ‘75), research professor at the Space Policy Institute and Center for International Science and Technology Policy at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.  Funding for the trip to Prague was provided by the Secure World Foundation.

GW Law teams have previously done very well at this competition, including bringing home the Manfred Lachs Trophy three times: 

  • 2007  |  Most recently in Hyderabad, India, David “D.J.” Western (LL.M. ’07) and Magin Puig Monse (J.D. ’06, LL.M. ’07) won the 2007 competition after sweeping every award at the North America Space Law Competition: best team, best brief, and best oralist.
  • 2005  |  Two years earlier, Kristie Blase (J.D. ’06) and Olivia Hussey (J.D. ’05) placed first in a field of 50 teams in Fukuoka, Japan.
  • 1992  |  In the competition's inaugural year, GW Law boasted both the first-and second-place teams. Stanimir A. Alexandrov (LL.M. ’93, SJ.D. ’95) and Tod H. Cohen (J.D. ’92) won the competition, and classmates Steven R. Hawk (J.D. ’93) and Peter Borys (J.D. ’93) were the runners up.
  • 1993  |  A year later, GW Law also placed second in Graz, Austria, with a team made up of Guy Christiansen (J.D. ’93), Eric Edmondson (J.D. ’93), and Charles Hildebrandt (J.D. ’93).

Spotlight Item: Liana Yung and Christa Laser after their win (with their coach, Professor Henry Hertzfeld, and ICJ Judges Peter Tomka, Abdul Koroma, and Leonid Skotnikov).

Liana Yung and Christa Laser after their win (with their coach, Professor Henry Hertzfeld, and ICJ Judges Peter Tomka, Abdul Koroma, and Leonid Skotnikov).

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