The Australian competition, hosted by the Australian National University, saw international law students from 17 of Australia’s law schools battling it out to earn the right to represent the country in the Jessup World Cup, to be held in Washington DC in April.
The University of Sydney team took on the University of Queensland in the grand final, which was held on 9 February at the High Court of Australia.
While the University of Sydney team was victorious, both finalist teams will now travel to the United States for the chance to take out the international title.
Nearly 3,000 students from more than 100 countries are taking part in this year’s competition, with the 60th anniversary of the event hosting teams from Myanmar, Oman, Sierra Leona and South Sudan for the first time.
Administered by the International Law Students Association, the Jessup Moot requires students to present oral and written arguments on a hypothetical international law case before a simulated International Court of Justice.
This year’s problem involved an International Court of Justice case between the fictional states of Aurok and the Republic of Rakkab and their hunting of the Kayleff Yak, ANU School of Law said, noting that the problem raised a number of different issues in international law that included the protection of endangered animals and the rights of indigenous peoples.
For the moot’s national administrator, Professor Anthony Cassimatis, “the Jessup is much more than a competition”.
The University of Queensland legal scholar called it “a unique experience, allowing law students from across Australia and the world to become completely immersed in the theory and practice of public international law”.
“It also offers an opportunity to meet some of Australia’s most prominent international lawyers from government, from private practice, and from our universities, who generously volunteer their time to judge the oral rounds of the competition,” Mr Cassimatis continued.
Global partner of the competition, White & Case LLP, said this year’s competition involves 688 teams participating in various regional rounds, with Myanmar, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, and Zimbabwe all hosting their first-ever qualifying rounds.
The firm’s chairman High Verrier said “the Jessup competition is a great way for law students to build advocacy skills that will serve them well in their legal career”.
“As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Jessup, I am inspired by the energy and engagement of the next generation of international lawyers,” he commented.