To this competition I do owe a lot!
It is people, stories, friendships, fear and courage. It is a long-lasting opportunity for your dreams to keep on coming true. Every single bit of nerve was worth it beyond belief for me!
The EHRMCC in its 7th edition was a remarkable eye-opening experience. It taught me to embrace risk, boost confidence and build resilience to what may come next. At first, there were small additions to what later became a pivotal moment in my personal development, namely the Grand Final and the Best Orator Prize.
I had the most dedicated coaches one could ever wish for! Together with my dear co-counsel/co-agent, Sofia Bayadsi, we received unconditional support by them at any moment during our preparation for the competition. Substantively, it lasted for a full nine months. Our work on the case for the 7th EHRMCC was preceded by intensive summer training, including a broad general overview of the ECHR Articles and the ECtHR’s respective case law. This proved to be a great contribution to our understanding of the ECHR and the fundamental rights enshrined in it once we started the real-deal work on the case itself.
Sleepless nights, jugs of coffee, multiple drafts, and countless late-hour trainings at university – it was all worth it for this one final pleading in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.
To all of you who are doubtful or dubious about taking on a law competition such as the EHRMCC, do dare do it! The amounts of stress and insecurity experienced on a regular basis become so vague and irrelevant once you realise that it is all happening for real, once you are standing there at the Palais de l'Europe and the Court bravely delivering your arguments in front of panels and panels of judges and professionals in the field. In great addition, the ELSA team with its friendly spirits is always around taking good care of the participants.
What comes after the competition then? The excitement may be soon replaced with a nudging feeling of a loss of purpose. But in the end, it is all about self-fulfilment and gratitude.
For me, the EHRMCC led to my traineeship at the Council of Europe Liaison Office with the EU in Brussels, Belgium. This is yet another example that you can achieve whatever you truly desire and fight for. The traineeship presents you with diverse activities, including preparing an analysis on human rights, democracy and the rule of law-related issues, in a professional environment at the background of a highly international and multicultural city as Brussels.
Do dare do it! It could be your reality sooner than expected!