The Uniandino team is led by Andrés Felipe Esteban Tovar and composed by law students Natalia Serrano Rey, Antonio Perry Sáenz, Daniela Carvajal Galeano, and Vanessa Daza Castillo. It defeated universities from Colombia, Canada, and Guatemala to become regional Latin American champion and earn the privilege to represent Latin America –along with the Universidad Javeriana– in the global round, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 6th - 11th June 2017. The competition will come in the form of universities such as Harvard and Georgetown.
The fifteenth version of the ELSA Moot Court on WTO Law´s regional qualifying rounds were held this year in Bogotá at the Universidad de los Andes between the 1st and 5th March. The Uniandino team faced the Universidad Externado de Colombia as the complainant and Queen´s University as the respondent in the first qualifying rounds.
In the semi-final round, the Uniandinos eliminated the Universidad Francisco Marroquín from Guatemala and the then the Universidad Javeriana from Colombia in the final. Natalia Serrano Rey and Vanessa Daza Castillo were named as the best speakers in the semi-final and final rounds, respectively.
The team presented before a panel of experts comprised of, among others, Jennifer Hillman, ex member of the WTO Appellate Body; Pablo Bentes, the managing director of International Trade and Investment at the firm Steptoe & Johnson, who has also worked at the secretariat of the WTO Appellate Body; and Philippe de Baere, a partner at the firm Van Bael & Bellis and representative for States involved in the WTO dispute settlement system.
It is important to mention that the Uniandino team was chosen based on students' knowledge and argumentation skills as well as their excellent ability to work in a team. The team coach, Andrés Esteban, works in the Office of Legal International Affairs at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, and he was part of Colombia´s defence team in the WTO “Colombia – Textiles” case.
Note: The Universidad de los Andes became world champion in 2008 - the first year that it took part in the competition. It was also the first year in which a Hispanic country won.