2009 Jessup International Moot Court Competition

Permalink 29 March 09    Inside Justice™   Renee Dopplick    Tags: United Nations, Professional, Students     Last updated: 03 April 09
Inside Justice ( full article)

International Championship Rounds

Date: 22-28 March 2009
Location: Fairmont Hotel, Washington, D.C., USA
Sponsored by: International Law Students Association (ILSA) and Shearman & Sterling
Competitors: 104 teams from more than 80 countries (additional 9 exhibition teams and 4 observing groups)
Compromis: The Republic of Alicanto v. The Commonwealth of Ravisia - the case concerning "Operation Provide Shelter"
Championship Trophy: 50th Annual Jessup/Shearman & Sterling World Champion Trophy

2009 Jessup Champion: Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
with the team from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Cambodia
See more photos of Universidad de los Andes team.
This year's special celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition concluded with a special Gala and International Rounds in Washington, D.C. The competition simulates a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ and also referred to as the "World Court") in The Hague, the Netherlands. This year, 2000+ students at 560+ law schools spent the academic year researching and preparing memorials and oral arguments for the applicant Alicanto and respondent Ravisia in the case concerning "Operation Provide Shelter." The Compromis dealt with humanitarian intervention, R2P, use of force, accountability of peacekeepers/troops, human rights, due process, and the death penalty.

I served as a judge of memorials and oral arguments in the International Rounds in Washington, D.C.

And the 2009 Jessup results . . .

The Universidad de los Andes from Colombia, representing Alicanto, won the 2009 Jessup World Champion Trophy.

The University College London from the United Kingdom, representing Ravisia, won World Championship Runner-up.

Brief Overview on the Compromis

This year's Compromis on "Operation Provide Shelter," written by Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (former President of the ICJ), raised challenging political, legal, and moral issues reflective of real-world controversies and on the forefront of contemporary legal discourse. Judge Schwebel intentionally divided the issues such that both the Applicant and the Respondent had strong and weak legal positions. As a result, agents confronted sub-arguments supported by international law but not specific facts, by facts but not necessarily the law, and by controverted emergent legal doctrines. This distribution forced all agents to prioritize which legal arguments would be strongest for their positions, to be creative on legally weak points, and to determine which red herrings and inconsequential points should be largely ignored.

The four legal issues included: (1) the lawfulness of Ravisian military action in Alicanto under international law, (2) whether the Court should call upon Ravisia to produce intelligence related to evidence of ethnic cleansing or, alternately, declare the UN Secretary General should hand over the information to Alicanto, (3) whether radio broadcasts and alleged sexual conduct by off-duty Ravisian troops violated international law and warranted reparations for harm to the "social fabric" of Alicanto, and (4) whether Ravisia must hand over fugitive Piccardo Dontai, who was tried in absentia by Alicanto and sentenced to death.

Spotlight on 2009 Jessup Teams

Cambodia, Royal University of Law and Economics - 5 members. Nearirath Sreng, Sonita Khun, Kimsan Soy, Panha Piseth, and Thirith Vireak. It was the first time for Cambodia to send a team. Their last match was against Columbia University from the United States. Their motto simply stated on their business cards: "We believe in Miracles!" Irath said that Jessup taught her how to lead a team. The rest of the team expressed how much they appreciated the opportunity to come to the United States to compete in the Jessup. They received support and training from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and several past Jessup competitors. Then, when it seemed as if they would not be able to afford the trip, they received last-minute funding from their Prime Minister Hun Sen. Once again proving that hard work can transform dreams into reality.

Hong Kong, China, Chinese University of Hong Kong - 5 members. Peter Chang, Charmine Cheung, Chester Hui, Simone Hui and Spencer Wong. All CUHK team were all PCLL and J.D. students. The team was coached by Professor Michael Ramsden, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, CUHK. The CUHK team narrowly defeated University of Hong Kong (HKU) at the national rounds with a nerve-wrecking tie-breaker based on raw scores. Chester Hui took Best Oralist at nationals. When I asked if they had any reflections on their experience, one of the oralists replied, "I am speechless!", to much laughter.

Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University - 5 members. Timothy John R. Batan (team captain), Jill Julie V. Genio, Maria Tara A. Mercado, Jose Victorniño ("JV) L. Salud, and Ramon Miguel C. Samson. They are assisted by attorneys Silvia Jo G. Sabio, Aris L. Gulapa, Cecille L. Mejia, and Domnina T. Rances and by team administrators Claudine Esther F. Lim and Marck Joseph A. Macaraeg. Their advisor, Nina, came with them to Washington, D.C. This marks the 5th year that Team Ateneo has advanced to the International Rounds.

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