The Oxford team performed superbly at the International Round of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. With more than 650 teams competing worldwide, this was both the largest Jessup competition and the largest competitive moot court in history. Despite intense competition, Oxford was placed 6th overall, winning praise and accolades from judges along the way. This was an outstanding result that clearly marked out Oxford as one of the world’s premiere Jessup teams.
The team passed through the preliminary stage of the competition undefeated. In the elimination stage, Oxford prevailed over the University of Virginia in the ‘round of 32’, earning itself a place in the Octafinal round, as well as a re-match against the London School of Economics, which had defeated Oxford in the grand final of the UK Jessup competition. Oxford won the day, thereby advancing to the Quarterfinal round. At this stage, however, Oxford was edged out by Moscow State University, who went on to win the competition.
Prior to reaching the international round, Oxford had garnered numerous awards at the UK national rounds. In addition to reaching the grand final and coming second overall, Oxford was awarded prizes for Best Overall Memorials, Best Respondent’s Memorial, Best Speaker in the Grand Final (Scott Tan, Queen’s), and Third Best Speaker Overall (Scott Tan, Queen’s).
This year's team was composed of five second-year undergraduate law students: Leonie Amarasekara (Exeter), Oliver Capehorn (Jesus), Jamie Pang (Lincoln), Elton Tan (Exeter) and Scott Tan (Queen's).
(L-R) Leonie Amarasekara (Exeter), Jamie Pang (Lincoln), Oliver Capehorn (Jesus), Scott Tan (Queen's), Elton Tan (Exeter)
The team's coach, Erik Labelle Eastaugh (Keble), paid tribute to the students' hard work and tremendous dedication, noting that the team's success is a testament both to their oral advocacy skills and their ability to prepare sophisticated and thoroughly-researched written briefs dealing with highly complex legal questions. That the Oxford team performed at such an elite level is especially impressive when one considers that none of them had any exposure to public international law prior to joining the team, and were often competing against teams comprised of graduate students.
Special thanks must go to everyone who helped to prepare the team, including Vaughan Lowe, Dan Sarooshi, James Goudkamp, Ben Spagnolo, Nick Friedman, Natasha Simonsen, Ryan Goss, Eli Ball, Caitlin Goss, Sherif Foda, and Natasha Hausdorff.
This year’s international round took place between March 25th and April 1st. The Jessup competition was established 51 years ago and is run by the International Law Students' Association. The competition centres on a problem (known as a ‘compromis’) that is in excess of thirty pages in length that raises complex issues in public international law
. This year's problem raised questions relating to the recognition of governments, the legality of the use of force, the doctrine of state immunity, and the protection of cultural property in times of armed conflict.
-Erik Labelle Eastaugh