A letter to USA Ambassador

Dear Ms. Ambassador of United Sates of America.

We are the Cambodian Jessup Team of Royal University Law and Economics. The five of us were selected to represent our university through a competition, judged by people with the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and a Canadian lawyer.

We wish to be the first Cambodian team to join the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition. Thus, this will be the first time a Cambodian team has entered the competition which will be held in Washington D.C. in mid-March.

Before we provide more detailed about us, please allow us to introduce about the competition. Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition is the world's largest and most prestigious Moot Court tournament with participants from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries. The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice. Representing both sides of the argument, each Jessup team is required to prepare oral and written pleadings.

Under the assistance from our two coaches, we have sent the brief (pleading) which we have spent two months and a half to complete to International Law Student Association based in Chicago. Hence, WE ARE QUALIFIED NOW. However, the major problem that we are facing now is that we do not have any fund for the trip and all expenses. We have tried so hard till we can reach this stage. Three of our team members have postponed their study at another university in which they are pursuing. We spent most of our time of the day just to do the research and read books. We get less contact with friends and family just to spend more time focus on and reading the materials. Sometimes we worked till late at night in school that the school gate was always closed. We are not complaining about this hardship; instead, we are willing to do it and happy with our result and work. However, most of the team members can not afford the airfare and expenses by their own. If we miss even a person in the group, we can not join the competition since there are two main issues in the case and four members are responsible for each issue. The fifth person is the researcher.

One of the main reasons we join the Jessup because it is the caliber of the law students that compete at the international level. By the time of oral arguments, teams have become fluent in basic principles of international law, international institutions and procedures, international case law, and some of the most controversial international law aspects of contemporary foreign affairs. The team structure invites a collaborative and flexible learning experience in which to develop this expertise. Thus, through the procedure of preparation, we will learn a lot about international law and its basic principles. We believe that international law is the basic principle of every national law. Thus, in order to improve every legal system, we need to learn about its basic principles and know the main purpose of the law. It will broader our vision to the world. However, international law is not very popular among the young law students nor is to the new generation in Cambodia. We do not want this young generation looks into the law as small as the frog can see it from a well but makes them jump up from the well and look into the broaden sky! Another reason is that we want to show the world that Cambodia is no longer a war-country in their eyes anymore; show them that we do have our team to compete in international standard; show them that we are living in peace as any other nations. Though since the 1970s, we have endured much suffering under the Khmer Rouge and our struggles to develop as a country in the years following. Nonetheless, we have never given up our try. As the former US Ambassador to Cambodia Joseph Mussomeli had given in his farewell speech, “People see tragedies into Cambodian history, but I see opportunities.” Therefore, we think that this is a great opportunity for us stand up and announce the world that WE ARE HERE. Thus, this is the purpose that we wrote this letter to you. We would like USAID to sponsor us the trip or at least the airfare, so that we can assure everyone can go. Please help make our dream comes true as we do not want the two-month-and-a-half effort blows off like air. What we can do in return is to open a small conference for each university (if they permit us to do so) about the competition and experiences we earned from it. Explaining to them to learn in the manner of not what is written in the law but why it is written in that way.

We hope to hear from you soon or please inform us if you want to arrange a meeting with us, so that we can provide you more detailed information.

Best regards,

The Cambodian Jessup team


Vannara Ouk said...

What is the time frame for this competition? Do you have a lot of time time or not? If you have a lot of time here are a few suggestions: for one why not try using your blog as a vehicle to solicit donations for your funding. You would have to post an outline of your plan though, how much funding you need, and where all the money will be going to. Second, why contact the various newspapers in Cambodia and explain to them your situation. I'm sure the editors would be very interested in your particular situation. The point is to get your point out as much as possible, the more exposure the better. You never know who might pick up a newspaper. Third why not try to find an NGO related to the law field, at the very least if they can't help you they might point you in the right direction. Last but not least try to find a sponsor for a trip, maybe a business or a company or something. I know fund raising in Cambodia may not be that easy but its worth a try. Trying something is better then doing nothing. Don't give up! Wish you the best of luck, V.

Settak said...

hi, Cambodia jessup team!i am so proud about all of you that all of you have a good chance to be representative of cambodia law student in order to make a competition with international law students.

I wish to all of you going to get the fund needed to join the compettion and i wish to all of you getting good result from the competition.

This is my E-mail addrss if you don't mind, please keep me as your freind since i am also a cambodia law student as well. thank!


Samnang said...

Great work so far, interesting letter too. Next time try to be more persuasive with funding request. Also, if I were the ambassador, I wouldn't give you the fund based on the fact that you skip your classes, did not go out party or meet friends or family because of this competition. Be more concret with what you are asking for, not "sponsor us something, AT LEAST airfare". Discuss more on impact of your participation in this competition on law student community in Cambodia.

If you have not sent the letter, feel free to let me edit.

Denith said...

Great effort, way of representing our country. Show them our pride. and Good luck