On 22 February 2009, the University of Oxford won the White & Case United Kingdom Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, ahead of nineteen other teams from universities and Inns of Court from across the country. The team, comprising Daniel Baker (Harris Manchester), Ailene Chou (University), Richard Hoyle (Brasenose), Katie Johnston (Corpus Christi) and Lynn Yu (Exeter), defeated University College London in a Grand Final judged by a panel of seven leading international lawyers, chaired by Lord Bingham. The team won all six of their competition moots, and Richard Hoyle was declared the best oralist in the UK Championship Round, held at Gray’s Inn in London.

Jessup is the largest mooting competition in the world and involves an enormous amount of work for the students – their written work alone requires preparation of two 12,000-word memorials. In 2009, the fiftieth year of the contest, there are nearly 600 teams from almost 90 countries vying for the world title. This year’s fictional problem set before the International Court of Justice, ‘The Case Concerning Operation Provide Shelter’, raises a variety of topical issues of public international law, including the use of force by way of humanitarian intervention, the production of classified intelligence reports, state responsibility for the conduct of troops of occupying powers and of national contingents in multilateral peacekeeping forces, the grant of asylum and the power and authority of the Court itself.

This is the second consecutive year that an Oxford team has, as UK Champions, won the Rebecca M M Wallace Trophy, and the third consecutive year that Oxford will represent the United Kingdom in Washington, DC in the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds of the competition. In 2007 and 2008, Oxford made the final run-off stage of the international rounds, placing them in the top sixteen teams worldwide. Under the coaching of postgraduate students Andrew Lodder (Magdalen) and Ryan Goss (Lincoln), our goal this year is to win the World Championship. Daniel, Ailene, Richard, Katie and Lynn will be joined in Washington by the second- and third-placed teams in the UK competition, from University College London and the London School of Economics.

photograph of participants (l to r) Ryan Goss (Lincoln, coach), Richard Hoyle (Brasenose), Daniel Baker (Harris Manchester), Katie Johnston (Corpus Christi), Ailene Chou (University), Lynn Yu (Exeter), Andrew Lodder (Magdalen, coach), Paschalis Paschalidis (Harris Manchester, Faculty Mooting Coordinator) with the Rebecca M M Wallace Trophy for the United Kingdom National Champions.