The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the oldest, biggest and most prestigious moot competition out there. Over 600 universities from over 90 countries take part in the current 54th edition in 2013. “The Jessup”, as the competition is most widely known, is organised by the International Law Students Association and is sponsored by White & Case.
The Jessup Moot Court deals with problems in the field of Public International Law and simulates proceedings before the International Court of Justice. Each year, the facts of a fictitious case are presented in a special agreement, or compromis, submitted to the ICJ for adjudication. The participating teams, consisting of 2-5 members, write memorials for both the Applicant and the Respondent and then present their arguments before a panel of judges in the oral rounds.
The oral rounds are divided into two stages: in the national rounds, participating teams from one country compete for the title of National Champion and the right to progress to the international rounds. Only the best team (or teams, if there are many participants) advance(s) to the international rounds, held each year in Washington D.C. There, the top teams from the world’s best universities compete against each other for the Jessup Cup, judged by the most renowned international law scholars and practitioners.
For a taste of what it means to participate in the Jessup Moot Court, take a look at this video:
Adrian Andrychowski on his Jessup experience:
“The Jessup is an amazing experience, which provided me with a useful set of skills and experience. I like the way the Compromis is drafted, as it doesn’t provide us with a clear and conclusive answer to the questions presented, which allowed me to boost my creativity by having to develop legal arguments for both sides. Solving the questions presented, required a lot of effective research using the distributed databases, and the hierarchy of sources of International Law forced me to develop different research techniques. The word count limit for the memorials and the time limit during oral pleadings has taught me how to improve the conciseness of my submissions. It also taught me how to balance arguments and organise my thoughts in a persuasive manner. One other interesting thing The Jessup has taught me is respect for the Court and opposing agents.
I would recommend The Jessup for all those seeking a career in litigation. As it is a huge time commitment, it taught me how to balance personal and professional matters”