40 law students improved their anti-corruption skills at VAM 2.0

The AC Team from the Poltava Law Institute at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University won the All-Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Moot Court 2.0 (VAM), which took place in Kyiv on Dec. 1-3, 2022. This is the second time the National Bureau has organized the event for Ukrainian students and with the support of international partners.

“These three days of the moot court were as intense as possible. We got a unique experience because we not only gained a lot of new knowledge but also met interesting teams, made new acquaintances, and talked with experts. Those impressions will definitely be enough for us until the summer when our internship at the National Bureau starts,” Kateryna Yukhymenko, captain of the AC Team, shared her impressions of the event.

This year, VAM 2.0 was organized by the National Bureau jointly with the National Agency on Corruption Prevention with the assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine and the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine.

“Every year, we support projects for the youth, in particular those related to displaced universities, to develop the potential of students in the field of anti-corruption. This year, on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, we decided to support the Anti-Corruption Moot Court, and we are very grateful to the participants who showed their desire and effort to join in,” said Viktoriia Yegorova, a UNDP Ukraine anti-corruption specialist.

Registration for participation in the project started on Nov. 2, 2022, and within a week, 107 applications came in from teams of 52 higher education institutions from all over Ukraine, including those forcibly displaced, except for the temporarily occupied Crimea. 10 of the 82 teams that solved the case earned the right to compete in the offline stage: conduct a search, participate in a court hearing to challenge the dismissal of a whistleblower as well as a court debate.

“EUACI is very proud to support the Anti-Corruption Moot Court for the second time. The event is not just about a student competition but mainly about the rule of law, justice and building a better society after the victory of Ukraine. Ukrainian youth are the main force of the future Ukraine and responsible for the future development of the society. We appreciate our partners, NABU and NACP, working with the youth and their best experts sharing their knowledge and experience with the students”, said Allan Pagh Kristensen, head of the EUACI.

Only experts assessed students' knowledge and skills during the competition. NABU detectives, SAPO prosecutors, and assistant judges of the HACC were the jury at the search stage. The representatives of the NACP, the Supreme Court, and the NGOs such as the Anti-Corruption Action Center, AvtoMaidan, Transparency International Ukraine, and the Institute of Legislative Ideas evaluated the participants’ positions on the appeal against the firing of the whistleblower.

“Each search is a unique combination of actions, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for all investigators. The searches we simulated for the participants do not happen often, but it is precisely such atypical situations that harden character, endurance, and the ability to react properly in stressful situations. Considering pretty difficult conditions that we created, you coped perfectly" Andrii Denysiuk, NABU’s senior detective, told the participants.

Following the judge's decision, the Exaltatus team from the Yaroslav Mudryi NLU won the 3rd place. The Karnyi Rozshuk team from the Yaroslav Mudryi NLU and the AC Team from the Poltava Law Institute at the Yaroslav Mudryi NLU met in the VAM finals. The court debate, which took place on the third day of the competition, determined the winner — the team from Poltava!

Photo: Anna Orlova / UNDP in Ukraine

In 2021, the All-Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Moot Court became the first project organized by graduates of the Anti-Corruption School in partnership with NABU and the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative with the support of the Jaroslav Mudryi NLU. 65 teams representing 17 higher education institutions from 14 regions of Ukraine applied to take part in the contest.

This year, VAM was organized by NABU and NACP with the assistance of UNDP in Ukraine within the framework of the UN Reconstruction and Peacebuilding Program, with the financial support of the EU, and with the support of EUACI, the leading anti-corruption program in Ukraine, financed by the EU, co-financed and implemented by the MFA of Denmark.