The Mars Prize
The Mars Prize is a prize competition to award the winners of “best court case submissions” (pleadings in the form of written memorials) in a moot (imagined) court of arbitration, concerning a dispute between:



The competition is based on the ‘actual’ Mars Land Claim submitted by Mars Register to the UN and UK/US Governments. It is open to law students or post-graduates (with an interest in general international law and int’l space law). We at Mars Register are not professional lawyers (we’re medically trained), so we have benefitted from expert legal counsel in composing The Mars Land Claim and have agreed a world class judging panel of two senior academic scholars of international space law: Prof. Fabio Tronchetti and Prof. Philip De Man.

Prize for best memorial (claimant) = $3000 *
Prize for best memorial (respondent)=$2000 *

First 500 valid applications will be awarded with a “Standard Mars Land Claim” certificate, claiming 9-35 sq km of land on planet Mars.

The Mars Prize Certificate (small size sample).

  • Connector.

    The Mars Prize: Best Memorial (Claimant): $3000 *

    This prize goes to the best pleading document (memorial) submitted as claimant (or applicant), Mars Register.

  • Connector.

    The Mars Prize: Best Memorial (Respondent): $2000 *

    This prize goes to the best pleading document (memorial) submitted as respondent, UN COPUOS

  • Connector.

    Award of Mars Land Claim Certificate for 9-35 Sq Km

    The first 500 acceptable submissions (not trivial or “ridiculously poor” in quality / content) will be awarded this.

* The Mars Prize will be quite heavily promoted via international and national media including social media.

Why the disparity in prize money? … Well, we think the claimant here (MarsRegister) has a rather more difficult job than the respondent – Articles II and VI OST and the expanded interpretations within customary international law make things tricky, even for a pan-multinational communal claim! Don’t get me wrong, we think we could still smash this thing when it comes to the REAL “due process” – which is hopefully just a few years away … but it will need a pleading of ultra high quality.  We are likely to get some inspiration from the memorials submitted. We are also most interested to imagine the various ways the respondent (COPUOS) may approach this case.


Legal background info: legal info

For latest news on media coverage and external legal and scientific input: News

The Mars Land Claim Dispute : MARS REGISTER (claimant) v. UN COPUOS (respondent). Court: Permanent Court of Arbitration, PCA

******* The Competition was to GO LIVE from 2019, with final date for submissions being March/April 2020. BUT …

We have temporarily placed the competition on hold. This is not because of a pandemic … but we are currently having the demands of our claim appraised in various courts … first via UK High Court and then the UK Court of Appeal … now we await the outcome of admissibility to the ECtHR. Our legal advice is that it would be imprudent to proceed with the Mars Prize competition until our current legal challenges are complete (probably Spring 2022). See the ‘NEWS’ section of the website for up to date information on our claim progression through national/international courts.

In the meantime, if you are interested in the competition (maybe to prepare for competition re-launch?), read our ‘legal section’ and the ‘legal self assessment document’ which describes the REAL “Mars Land Claim” – which also forms the basis of the moot court competition. Find it all here: