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 oldest and largest international 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 has been described as the most prestigious moot court competition in the world by a large number of organisations and universities internationally.[6]

The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It is named after Philip Jessup, who once served on the ICJ, and is organised by the International Law Students Association. The moot, under the leadership of Stephen Schwebel (who also wrote the inaugural moot problem),[7] started as a friendly advocacy competition between two teams from Harvard University in 1960.[8] 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, but with a smaller complement of judges (three instead of 15). 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 sur-rebuttal. 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.

The moot is also 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 usually 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.[8] The first international awards were handed out in 1972.

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

Year Champion Runner-up Semi-finalists Memorial winners[9] No. of teams
1960 No Champion Declared 2
1961 No Champion Declared 4
1962 No Champion Declared 6
1963 Columbia University (United States) University of North Carolina (United States) Overall: Columbia University (United States) 8
1964 University of Texas (United States) Overall: University of Texas (United States) 15
1965 Columbia University (United States) University of Virginia (United States) Overall: Columbia University (United States) 16
1966 University of Texas (United States) University of Wisconsin (United States) Overall: University of Texas (United States) 27
1967 Vanderbilt University (United States) Harvard University (United States) Overall: Vanderbilt University (United States) 35

International era (1968–present)[edit]

Year Champion Runner-up Semi-finalists Memorial winners[9] No. of teams worldwide No. of teams at international rounds[10] Exhibition round winner (no. of teams)
1968 Duke University (United States) University of Miami (United States) Overall: Duke University (United States) 32 6
1969 Rutgers University (United States)
University of Michigan (United States)
Overall: California Western University (United States) 40 8
1970 University of Miami (United States) University of Kentucky (United States) Overall: University of Miami (United States) 56 9
1971 University of Texas (United States) University of California at Davis (United States) Overall: Vanderbilt University (United States) 73 9
1972 University of Miami (United States) Haile Selassie I University (Ethiopia) Overall: Haile Selassie I University (Ethiopia) 99 16
1973 West Virginia University (United States) Brunel University (UK) Evans Award: State University of Utrecht (Netherlands) 94 17
1974 University of Texas (United States) Haile Selassie I University (Ethiopia) Evans Award: University of Nigeria (Nigeria) 103 18
1975 Cambridge University (UK) Georgetown University (United States) Evans Award: University of Toronto (Canada) 119 20
1976 University of Toronto (Canada) American University (United States) Evans Award: University of Toronto (Canada) 134 22
1977 University of Kansas (United States) University of Toronto (Canada) Overall: University of Toronto (Canada) 157 29
1978 Brooklyn Law School (United States) University of Toronto (Canada) Applicant: University of Toronto (Canada)
Respondent: University of Toronto (Canada)
154 20
1979 Northwestern University (United States) University of Adelaide (Australia) Applicant: University of the Philippines (Philippines)
Respondent: University of the Philippines (Philippines)
187 34
1980 Georgetown University (United States) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: University of Washington (United States)
Respondent: University of Washington (United States)
196 35
1981 Australian National University (Australia) University of the Pacific (United States) Applicant: University of Georgia (United States)
Respondent: Washington and Lee University (United States)
181 28
1982 National University of Singapore (Singapore) University of the Pacific (United States) Applicant: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Respondent: Fordham University (United States)
197 29
1983 University of Kansas (United States) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: Fordham University (United States)
Respondent: Fordham University (United States)
206 30
1984 Dalhousie University (Canada) South Texas College of Law (United States) Applicant: Freie Universitaet (Germany)
Respondent: Freie Universitaet (Germany)
197 33
1985 National University of Singapore (Singapore) Southwestern University School of Law (United States) Applicant: Monash University (Australia)
Respondent: Monash University (Australia)
213 36
1986 Boston College (United States) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: Boston College (United States)
Respondent: Boston College (United States)
214 38
1987 Georgetown University (United States) 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 (United States)
Respondent: Southern Illinois University (United States)
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 (United States) University of Toronto (Canada) Applicant: South Texas College of Law (United States)
Respondent: University of Melbourne (Australia)
253 40
1991 University of Saskatchewan (Canada) University of Georgia (United States) Applicant: University of Georgia (United States)
Respondent: University of Georgia (United States)
243 42
1992 Universite de Paris I (France) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Applicant: University of the Pacific (United States)
Respondent: University of Washington (United States)
242 33
1993 University of Melbourne (Australia) University of Hawaii (United States) Applicant: University of Minnesota (United States)
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 (United States)
269 47
1995 University of the Philippines (Philippines) University of Western Australia (Australia) Applicant: University of Alabama (United States)
Respondent: University of Hawaii (United States)
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 (United States)
Respondent: University of Hawaii (United States)
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 (United States)
Respondent: International Islamic University (Malaysia)
287 67
2001 National University of Singapore (Singapore) Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela) Applicant: New England School of Law (United States)
Respondent: University of Vienna (Austria)
309 68
2002 University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) University of Western Australia (Australia) Harvard University (United States)
University of Otago (New Zealand)
Applicant: University of Otago (New Zealand)
Respondent: Harvard University (United States)
384 75
2003 University of Western Australia (Australia) Mari State University (Russia) Columbia University (United States)
Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela)
Applicant: Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela)
Respondent: Bond University (Australia)
481 83
2004 Ateneo Law School (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 (United States)
Applicant: Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela)
Respondent: Columbia University (United States)
543 103
2006 Columbia University (United States) 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 (United States)
101 (7)
2008 Case Western Reserve University (United States) 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 (United States) 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 (United States) 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 (United States) University of the Philippines (Philippines)
Auckland University (New Zealand)
Applicant: National Law School of India University (India)
Respondent: Columbia University (United States)
605 137 Singapore Management University (Singapore) (36)
2013 National Law School of India University (India) Singapore Management University (Singapore) Columbia University (United States)
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 (United States)
King's College London (UK)
Applicant: University of Queensland (Australia)
Respondent: Universitas Pelita Harapan (Indonesia)
675 124 Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) (10)
2015 University of Sydney (Australia) Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile) Oxford University (UK)
University of Western Australia (Australia)
Applicant: University of National and World Economy (Bulgaria)
Respondent: University of Pennsylvania (United States)
127 Ateneo Law School (The Philippines) (14)
2016 Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina) University of Pennsylvania (United States) Columbia University (United States)
King's College London (UK)
Applicant: Columbia University (United States)
Respondent: Columbia University (United States)
132 Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) (20)
2017 University of Sydney (Australia) Norman Manley Law School (Jamaica) National Law University Odisha (India)
University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Applicant: University of the Philippines (Philippines)
Respondent: University of Queensland (Australia)
650 143 Belarusian State University Faculty of International Relations (Belarus) (18)

Track record (international rounds)[edit]

The University of Sydney has won the most number of championships, winning the Jessup Cup five times. National University of Singapore has the second best record (four times champions; seven times runner-up) and also the most Baxter Awards (five), Evans Awards (four), Best Oralist titles (four), and Best Finals Oralist titles (six).[8] 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 Saskatchewan 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 (1968 to 2016)[edit]

University Champion Runner-up Baxter Award[11] or Best Memorial Dillard Award[12] Evans Award[13] Best oralist Best finals oralist Last championship Last finals appearance Debut/Debut in international rounds
University of Sydney (Australia) 5 0 1 (2011) 1 (2007) 4 (1996; 1998; 2000; 2015) 3 (2007; 2015; 2017) 2017 2017 1977/1991
National University of Singapore (Singapore) 4 7 5 (1982; 1987; 1987; 1996; 2010) 4 (1982; 1983; 1985; 1987) 4 (1976; 1988; 1989; 2016) 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
Australian National University (Australia) 2 1 1 (2010) 2 (1981; 1998) 1 (1981) 2 (1981; 1998) 2010 2010 1977/1981
University of Miami (United States) 2 1 1 (1970) 1 (1970) 1972 1972
Georgetown University (United States) 2 1 0 1 (1987) 1987 1987
University of Texas (United States) 2 (excludes 2 before 1968) 0 0 (excludes 2 before 1968) 2 (1971; 1972) 2 (1971; 1974) 1974 1974 1964/
University of Kansas (United States) 2 0 0 2 (1977; 1983) 1983 1983
University of Queensland (Australia) 2 0 3 (2004; 2014; 2017) 1 (2014) 2014 2014 1977/2002
National Law School of India University (India) 2 0 1 (2012) 1 (2013) 2013 2013
Columbia University (United States) 1 (excludes 2 before 1968) 3 4 (2005; 2012; 2016 (2)) (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 (United States) 1 1 3 (1981; 1991; 1991) 2 (2001; 2004) 1 (1991) 1990 1991
University of the Philippines (Philippines) 1 0 3 (1979 (2); 2017) 1 (1979) 2 (1975; 1979) 1995 1995
Boston College (United States) 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
University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) 1 0 1 (2007) 1 (2016) 2016 2016
Vanderbilt University (United States) 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 (United States) 0 (excludes 1 before 1968) 0 1 (1968) 1 (1968) 1968 1968 1962/1968
Case Western Reserve University (United States) 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 (United States) 1 0 1 (1978) 1978 1978
University of Michigan (United States) 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 (United States) 0 2 0 NA 1982
Singapore Management University (Singapore) 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 NA 2014 2011/2013
University of Hawaii (United States) 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 (United States) 0 1 1 NA 1984
University of Adelaide (Australia) 0 1 1 (1978) 1 (1979) NA 1979 1977/1977
Harvard University (United States) 0 0 (excludes 1 before 1968) 1 (2002) 1 (2002) 1 (2002) 1 (1967) NA 1967 1960/
Southern Illinois University (United States) 0 0 3 (1988 (2); 1992) 2 (1989; 1992) 1 (1992) 1 (2006) NA NA
University of Alabama (United States) 0 0 3 (1994; 1995; 2000) 1 (1994) NA NA
Fordham University (United States) 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 (United States) 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 (United States) 0 0 1 (2007) 1 (2005) 2 (2007; 2014) NA NA

Country (1968 to 2017)[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
United States 12 17 (excludes 5 before 1968) 13 (excludes 4 before 1968) 31 (excludes 9 before 1968) 2008 2016 1963
Australia 2 13 7 20 2017 2017 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
Chile 1 0 1 1 NA 2015
Argentina 1 1 0 1 2016 2016
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. ^
  7. ^ http://www.ilsa.org/jessup/50.php
  8. ^ a b c "1960 Jessup Competition". ilsa.org. International Law Students Association. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  9. ^ a b In most cases this would refer to the Baxter Award for Best Applicant/Respondent Memorial
  10. ^ Includes Exhibition Teams
  11. ^ Best Applicant or Respondent Memorial
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ Best Memorial for International Rounds (from 1973 to 1976, the Evans Award was for Best Memorial)
  14. ^ a b c https://law.nus.edu.sg/about_us/history_milestones.html
  15. ^ http://news.asiaone.com/print/News/Latest%2BNews/Edvantage/Story/A1Story20130409-414682.html
  16. ^ http://justified.nuslawclub.com/jessup-drew-napier-practice-round/
  17. ^ http://law.nus.edu.sg/alumni/pdfs/LawLinkJul-Dec08.pdf

External links[edit]