Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

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The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, also known as the Jessup, is the largest and most prestigious moot competition in the world, attracting participants from almost 700 law schools in more than 90 countries in recent years.[1][2][3][4][5] The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The competition is named after Philip Jessup, who once served on the ICJ. It is organised by the International Law Students Association. The Jessup moot, under the leadership of Stephen Schwebel (who also wrote the inaugural moot problem),[6] started as a friendly advocacy competition between two teams from Harvard University in 1960.[7] The first champions were declared in 1963 and the competition opened its doors to non-American teams in 1968. The current sponsor of the international rounds of the moot is White & Case.

Moot format[edit]

The White & Case Jessup Cup
The first day briefing of the 2007 competition
International Court of Justice judges Xue Hanqin, Ronny Abraham, and Julia Sebutinde judging the 2013 international final between Singapore Management University and National Law School of India University. Sebutinde would judge again in the 2014 international final between Singapore Management University and University of Queensland.

The Jessup moot involves arguing a hypothetical case on issues of international law as if before the International Court of Justice. The hypothetical case usually involves topical issues in international law. The International Law Students Association Board is responsible for soliciting and selecting proposals for the compromis every year.

Each team comprises two to five student members. Each team must prepare to argue the sides of both the Applicant and Respondent in the case, and must produce a written memorial for each side of the case. In each round, two competitors from a team will argue one side of the case for 45 minutes in total, including any time reserved for rebuttal or surebuttal. A third team member may be seated at the bar table as of-counsel, but may not present argument. There is no fixed team organisation. Some teams dedicate two oralists to each side of the argument, with the fifth person serving a more open-ended role. In other teams, only two or three speakers will present oral argument, with at least one person arguing both Applicant and Respondent sides. In addition, most teams include at least one advisor or coach, usually drawn from the respective universities' international law faculty and/or past Jessup competitors.

Most countries hold domestic or national rounds to select the best team or teams to advance to the international phase of the competition in Washington D.C., which is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law. Generally, each country can only send one school for every ten law schools that participate in the moot. For instance, the United States, which has more than a hundred law schools taking part each year, is represented by up to 12 teams following the conclusion of its six regional rounds, while smaller countries that have only a small number of law schools can only send one team. Domestic round administrators have some degree of autonomy in setting their own rules. In Washington D.C., teams compete in four preliminary rounds, with the top 32 teams advancing to the knockout stages (Round of 32, Octo-final, Quarter-final, Semi-Final, and Final). Each oral round and memorial is usually evaluated by a panel of three judges. Judges for most of the rounds in Washington D.C. are usually practicing lawyers or academics, while notable academics and international judges are usually invited to judge the Semi-Final and Final round matches.

Other than the moot, the competition is marked by additional events such as the Announcement Party where the teams advancing to the knockout stages are declared, and the Go Nation dress ball where the participants from all across the world showcase their national dresses. The final gala and the reverse moot mark the end of the competition.

Past winners and records (international rounds)[edit]

Although the moot was founded in 1960, no winners were declared for the first three editions of the competition. The competition was only first open to countries outside of the United States in 1968, and outside of North America in 1970.[7] The first international awards were handed out in 1972.

Pre-international era (1960–1967)[edit]

Year Champion Runner-up Semi-finalists Memorial winners[8] No. of teams
1960 No Champion Declared 2
1961 No Champion Declared 4
1962 No Champion Declared 6
1963 Columbia University (USA) University of North Carolina (USA) Overall: Columbia University (USA) 8
1964 University of Texas (USA) Overall: University of Texas (USA) 15
1965 Columbia University (USA) University of Virginia (USA) Overall: Columbia University (USA) 16
1966 University of Texas (USA) University of Wisconsin (USA) Overall: University of Texas (USA) 27
1967 Vanderbilt University (USA) Harvard University (USA) Overall: Vanderbilt University (USA) 35

International era (1968–present)[edit]

Year Champion Runner-up Semi-finalists Memorial winners[8] No. of teams worldwide No. of teams at international rounds[9] Exhibition round winner (no. of teams)
1968 Duke University (USA) University of Miami (USA) Overall: Duke University (USA) 32 6
1969 Rutgers University (USA)
University of Michigan (USA)
Overall: California Western University (USA) 40 8
1970 University of Miami (USA) University of Kentucky (USA) Overall: University of Miami (USA) 56 9
1971 University of Texas (USA) University of California (USA) Overall: Vanderbilt University (USA) 73 9
1972 University of Miami (USA) Haile Selassie I University (Ethiopia) Overall: Haile Selassie I University (Ethiopia) 99 16
1973 West Virginia University (USA) Brunel University (UK) Evans Award: State University of Utrecht (Netherlands) 94 17
1974 University of Texas (USA) Haile Selassie I University (Ethiopia) Evans Award: University of Nigeria (Nigeria) 103 18
1975 Cambridge University (UK) Georgetown University (USA) Evans Award: University of Toronto (Canada) 119 20
1976 University of Toronto (Canada) American University (USA) Evans Award: University of Toronto (Canada) 134 22
1977 University of Kansas (USA) University of Toronto (Canada) Overall: University of Toronto (Canada) 157 29
1978 Brooklyn Law School (USA) University of Toronto (Canada) Applicant: University of Toronto (Canada)
Respondent: University of Toronto (Canada)
154 20
1979 Northwestern University (USA) University of Adelaide (Australia) Applicant: University of the Philippines (Philippines)
Respondent: University of the Philippines (Philippines)
187 34
1980 Georgetown University (USA) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: University of Washington (USA)
Respondent: University of Washington (USA)
196 35
1981 Australian National University (Australia) University of the Pacific (USA) Applicant: University of Georgia (USA)
Respondent: Washington and Lee University (USA)
181 28
1982 National University of Singapore (Singapore) University of the Pacific (USA) Applicant: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Respondent: Fordham University (USA)
197 29
1983 University of Kansas (USA) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: Fordham University (USA)
Respondent: Fordham University (USA)
206 30
1984 Dalhousie University (Canada) South Texas College of Law (USA) Applicant: Freie Universitaet (Germany)
Respondent: Freie Universitaet (Germany)
197 33
1985 National University of Singapore (Singapore) Southwestern University School of Law (USA) Applicant: Monash University (Australia)
Respondent: Monash University (Australia)
213 36
1986 Boston College (USA) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: Boston College (USA)
Respondent: Boston College (USA)
214 38
1987 Georgetown University (USA) Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) Applicant: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Respondent: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
268 40
1988 University of Melbourne (Australia) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: Southern Illinois University (USA)
Respondent: Southern Illinois University (USA)
265 39
1989 University of British Columbia (Canada) University of Melbourne (Australia) Applicant: University of British Columbia (Canada)
Respondent: University of British Columbia (Canada)
259 39
1990 University of Georgia (USA) University of Toronto (Canada) Applicant: South Texas College of Law (USA)
Respondent: University of Melbourne (Australia)
253 40
1991 University of Saskatchewan (Canada) University of Georgia (USA) Applicant: University of Georgia (USA)
Respondent: University of Georgia (USA)
243 42
1992 Universite de Paris I (France) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: University of the Pacific (USA)
Respondent: University of Washington (USA)
242 33
1993 University of Melbourne (Australia) University of Hawaii (USA) Applicant: University of Minnesota (USA)
Respondent: Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai (India)
261 43
1994 National University of Singapore (Singapore) University of Melbourne (Australia) Applicant: International Islamic University (Malaysia)
Respondent: University of Alabama (USA)
269 47
1995 University of the Philippines (Philippines) University of Western Australia (Australia) Applicant: University of Alabama (USA)
Respondent: University of Hawaii (USA)
259 49
1996 University of Sydney (Australia) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Respondent: University of Vienna (Austria)
300 54
1997 Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela) University of Calgary (Canada) Evans Award: University of Vienna (Austria) 280 55
1998 Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico (Mexico) Australian National University (Australia) Applicant: University of Hawaii (USA)
Respondent: University of Hawaii (USA)
275 57
1999 National Law School of India University (India) University of Pretoria (South Africa) Applicant: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Respondent: University of Saskatchewan (Canada)
275 62
2000 University of Melbourne (Australia) Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela) Applicant: University of Alabama (USA)
Respondent: International Islamic University (Malaysia)
287 67
2001 National University of Singapore (Singapore) Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela) Applicant: New England School of Law (USA)
Respondent: University of Vienna (Austria)
309 68
2002 University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) University of Western Australia (Australia) Harvard University (USA)
University of Otago (New Zealand)
Applicant: University of Otago (New Zealand)
Respondent: Harvard University (USA)
384 75
2003 University of Western Australia (Australia) Mari State University (Russia) Columbia University (USA)
Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela)
Applicant: Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela)
Respondent: Bond University (Australia)
481 83
2004 Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico)
University of Vienna (Austria)
Applicant: Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela)
Respondent: University of Queensland (Australia)
524 94
2005 University of Queensland (Australia) International Islamic University (Malaysia) Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
American University (USA)
Applicant: Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela)
Respondent: Columbia University (USA)
543 103
2006 Columbia University (USA) Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela) NALSAR University of Law (India)
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Applicant: Hong Kong University (Hong Kong)
Respondent: University of Kiel (Germany)
565 101
2007 University of Sydney (Australia) King's College London (UK) National University of Singapore (Singapore)
University of Queensland (Australia)
Applicant: Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Respondent: Washington University in Saint Louis (USA)
101 (7)
2008 Case Western Reserve University (USA) University of New South Wales (Australia) University College London (UK)
National Law School of India University (India)
Applicant: Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines)
Respondent: University of Ottawa (Canada)
110
2009 Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) University College London (UK) Aristotle University (Greece)
Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Applicant: King's College London (UK)
Respondent: University of Sydney (Australia)
2010 Australian National University (Australia) Columbia University (USA) NALSAR University of Law (India)
University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Applicant: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Respondent: Australian National University (Australia)
127 (14)
2011 University of Sydney (Australia) Columbia University (USA) National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Norman Manley Law School (Jamaica)
Applicant: Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)
Respondent: Xiamen University (China)
Singapore Management University (Singapore) (24)
2012 Moscow State University (Russia) Columbia University (USA) University of the Philippines (Philippines)
Auckland University (New Zealand)
Applicant: National Law School of India University (India)
Respondent: Columbia University (USA)
605 137 Singapore Management University (Singapore) (36)
2013 National Law School of India University (India) Singapore Management University (Singapore) Columbia University (USA)
Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Applicant: Universite de Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
Respondent: National Law University, Delhi (India)
632 Universidad del Rosario (Colombia)
2014 University of Queensland (Australia) Singapore Management University (Singapore) Columbia University (USA)
King's College London (UK)
Applicant: University of Queensland (Australia)
Respondent: Universitas Pelita Harapan (Indonesia)
675 124 Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia) (10)

Track record (international rounds)[edit]

National University of Singapore holds the highest number of top-two finishes in the competition (four times champions; seven times runner-up), has the most Baxter Awards (five), Evans Awards (four), and Best Finals Oralist titles (six).[7] It has the most number of championships, and is tied with University of Sydney and University of Toronto for most number of Best Oralist titles (three).[7] If the pre-international (pre-1968) era is taken into account, University of Texas ties with National University of Singapore with four championships (post-1968, Texas has two). Five law schools have made the final on their international debuts: Australian National University (1981); Dalhousie University (1984); University of Saskatchewan (1991); University of Western Australia (1995); and Singapore Management University (2013). Of these schools, ANU, Dalhousie, and Sasketchewan won their finals. SMU is the fastest ever law school to reach the international final relative to its debut in the competition (2011), and is also the youngest ever law school to reach the international final (the first batch graduated in 2011) and back-to-back international finals (2013 and 2014).

University (1963 to 2014)[edit]

University Champion Runner-up Baxter Award[10] or Best Memorial Dillard Award[11] Evans Award[12] Best oralist Best finals oralist Last championship Last finals appearance Debut/Debut in international rounds
National University of Singapore (Singapore) 4 7 5 (1982; 1987; 1987; 1996; 2010) 4 (1982; 1983; 1985; 1987) 3 (1976; 1988; 1989) 6 (1980; 1982; 1985; 1996; 2001; 2004) 2001 2004 1973/1973
University of Melbourne (Australia) 3 2 1 (1990) 1 (2000) 2 (1988; 1993) 1 (2012) 4 (1988; 1993; 1994; 2000) 2000 2000 1977/1980
University of Sydney (Australia) 3 0 1 (2011) 1 (2007) 3 (1996; 1998; 2000) 1 (2007) 2011 2011 1977/1991
Australian National University (Australia) 2 1 1 (2010) 2 (1981; 1998) 1 (1981) 2 (1981; 1998) 2010 2010 1977/1981
University of Miami (USA) 2 1 1 (1970) 1 (1970) 1972 1972
Georgetown University (USA) 2 1 0 1 (1987) 1987 1987
University of Texas (USA) 2 (excludes 2 before 1968) 0 0 (excludes 2 before 1968) 2 (1971; 1972) 2 (1971; 1974) 1974 1974 1964/
University of Kansas (USA) 2 0 0 2 (1977; 1983) 1983 1983
University of Queensland (Australia) 2 0 2 (2004; 2014) 1 (2014) 2014 2014 1977/2002
National Law School of India University (India) 2 0 1 (2012) 1 (2013) 2013 2013
Columbia University (USA) 1 (excludes 2 before 1968) 3 2 (2005; 2012) (excludes 2 before 1968) 1 (2012) 4 (1988; 2001; 2010; 2012) 2 (2010; 2011) (excludes 1 before 1968) 4 (2006; 2010; 2011; 2012) 2006 2012 1961/
University of Toronto (Canada) 1 3 3 (1977; 1978; 1978) 4 (1975; 1976; 1977; 1978) 3 (1977; 1983; 1990) 2 (1976; 1990) 1976 1990 /1970
Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela) 1 3 3 (2003; 2004; 2005) 1 (2004) 1 (2004) 1 (1997) 1997 2006
University of Western Australia (Australia) 1 2 0 1 (1999) 2 (1997; 2003) 3 (1995; 2002; 2003) 2003 2003 1977/1995
University of Georgia (USA) 1 1 3 (1981; 1991; 1991) 2 (2001; 2004) 1 (1991) 1990 1991
University of the Philippines (Philippines) 1 0 2 (1979; 1979) 1 (1979) 2 (1975; 1979) 1995 1995
Boston College (USA) 1 0 2 (1986; 1986) 1 (1990) 1 (1986) 1986 1986
University of British Columbia (Canada) 1 0 2 (1989; 1989) 1 (1995) 1 (1989) 1989 1989 /1980
Vanderbilt University (USA) 0 (excludes 1 before 1968) 0 1 (1971) (excludes 1 before 1968) 1 (1967) 1967 1967
Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines) 1 0 1 (2008) 2 (2008; 2011) 2004 2004
Dalhousie University (Canada) 1 0 1 (1984) 1 (1984) 1984 1984 /1984
Duke University (USA) 0 (excludes 1 before 1968) 0 1 (1968) 1 (1968) 1968 1968 1962/1968
Case Western Reserve University (USA) 1 0 1 (2011) 1 (2008) 2008 2008
University of Saskatchewan (Canada) 1 0 1 (1999) 1991 1991 1991
Moscow State University (Russia) 1 0 2012 2012
Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) 1 0 1 (2009) 1 (2009) 2009 2009
Cambridge University (UK) 1 0 1 (1975) 1 (1975) 1975 1975
Université de Paris I (France) 1 0 1 (1991) 1 (1999) 1 (1992) 1992 1992
Brooklyn Law School (USA) 1 0 1 (1978) 1978 1978
University of Michigan (USA) 1 0 0 1 (2006) 1 (1969) 1969 1969
Haile Selassie I University (Ethiopia) 0 2 1 (1972) 1 (1974) 1 (1972) NA 1974
University of the Pacific (USA) 0 2 0 NA 1982
Singapore Management University (Singapore) 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 NA 2014 2011/2013
University of Hawaii (USA) 0 1 3 (1995; 1998; 1998) 1 (1993) 1 (1995) 1 (1993) NA 1993
University of New South Wales (Australia) 0 1 1 (2013) NA 2008 1977/1983
University College, London (UK) 0 1 1 (2008) NA 2009
King's College, London (UK) 0 1 1 (2009) 1 (2009) NA 2007
International Islamic University (Malaysia) 0 1 2 (1994; 2000) 1 (2000) 1 (2005) NA 2005
University of Calgary (Canada) 0 1 1 (1998) 1 (2005) NA 1997 /1988
South Texas College of Law (USA) 0 1 1 NA 1984
University of Adelaide (Australia) 0 1 1 (1978) 1 (1979) NA 1979 1977/1977
Harvard University (USA) 0 0 (excludes 1 before 1968) 1 (2002) 1 (2002) 1 (2002) 1 (1967) NA 1967 1960/
Southern Illinois University (USA) 0 0 3 (1988; 1988; 1992) 2 (1989; 1992) 1 (1992) 1 (2006) NA NA
University of Alabama (USA) 0 0 3 (1994; 1995; 2000) 1 (1994) NA NA
Fordham University (USA) 0 0 3 (1982; 1983; 1983) NA NA
University of Vienna (Austria) 0 0 2 (1996; 2001) 3 (1997; 1999; 2003) NA NA
University of Washington (USA) 0 0 2 (1980; 1980) 1 (1989) 1 (1989) NA NA
Monash University (Australia) 0 0 2 (1985; 1985) 1 (1985) 1 (1985) NA NA 1977/1985
Washington University, St Louis (USA) 0 0 1 (2007) 1 (2005) 2 (2007; 2014) NA NA

Country (1963 to 2014)[edit]

Country Cap on teams at international rounds Number of championships Number of runners-up Number of finals appearances Last championship Last finals appearance Debut
USA 12 17 (excludes 5 before 1968) 13 (excludes 4 before 1968) 30 (excludes 9 before 1968) 2008 2012 1963
Australia 2 11 7 18 2014 2014 1977
Singapore 1 4 9 13 2001 2014 1973
Canada 3 4 4 8 1991 1997
India 4 2 0 2 2013 2013
Philippines 1 2 0 2 2004 2004
UK 2 1 3 4 1975 2009
Venezuela 1 1 3 4 1997 2006
Russia 5 1 1 2 2012 2012
South Africa 1 1 1 2 2002 2002
Colombia 1 1 0 1 2009 2009
France 1 1 0 1 1992 1992
Mexico 1 1 0 1 1998 1998
Ethiopia 1 0 2 2 NA 1974
Belgium 2 0 1 1 NA 1987
Malaysia 1 0 1 1 NA 2005

Notable former participants[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ ILSA Jessup
  2. ^ Santa Clara University
  3. ^ Tilburg University
  4. ^ University of Ottawa
  5. ^ University of Western Australia
  6. ^ http://www.ilsa.org/jessup/50.php
  7. ^ a b c d http://www.ilsa.org/jessup/archives/1960.php
  8. ^ a b In most cases this would refer to the Baxter Award for Best Applicant/Respondent Memorial
  9. ^ Includes Exhibition Teams
  10. ^ Best Applicant or Respondent Memorial
  11. ^ Best Memorial for World Regional Rounds or Best Memorial from the National Rounds; Best Memorials from National Rounds and Top Memorials from International Rounds combined
  12. ^ Best Memorial for International Rounds (from 1973 to 1976, the Evans Award was for Best Memorial)
  13. ^ a b c https://law.nus.edu.sg/about_us/history_milestones.html
  14. ^ http://news.asiaone.com/print/News/Latest%2BNews/Edvantage/Story/A1Story20130409-414682.html
  15. ^ http://justified.nuslawclub.com/jessup-drew-napier-practice-round/
  16. ^ http://law.nus.edu.sg/alumni/pdfs/LawLinkJul-Dec08.pdf

External links[edit]