ND Law students win North American region in international environmental moot court competition

Author: Denise Wager

Saravanan Simonitis

Two second-year Notre Dame Law School students, Ambris Saravanan and Mark Simonitis, won the North American regional championship round of the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition on January 8-9.

They now advance to the international finals, which will be held virtually in March. Saravanan and Simonitis will compete against winning teams from Africa, Asia, Europe, India, Latin America, and the United Kingdom.

This competition’s case problem was about protecting bat species and the impact alternative energy sources, such as wind power, have on animal welfare and wildlife. The teams competed virtually in three preliminary rounds, and then in knockout rounds until the finalists were determined.

Saravanan and Simonitis also won the best brief award, and Saravanan won the best oralist award at the competition.

They are both happy to have been able to participate in the competition despite the pandemic and are looking forward to the final round of the competition.

"I'm looking forward to competing against teams from across the globe. Notre Dame has prepared us well for this competition, and I’m looking forward to showing the world what it means to be a ‘different kind of lawyer,’” said Saravanan.

Simonitis said, “I’m extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to compete in this tournament. It was a challenging experience, especially as the entire tournament was held virtually, but we were able to persevere. I would like to thank everyone at Stetson who helped conduct the tournament, those who took the time to volunteer as judges, Professor Huber for helping us to prepare, the Moot Court Board for helping us to practice beforehand, and most importantly, my partner Ambris for being the best co-agent anyone could ask for. I can’t wait to continue to the international rounds where we will continue to make Notre Dame proud.”

The Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition devoted exclusively to global environmental challenges. Since 1996, teams from around the world have participated in the competition hosted by Stetson University College of Law.