In the early hours of Sunday 18 April 2021, our team of law students were crowned world champions of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, in a close match with National University of Singapore.
The Sydney Law School team comprises:
It has been an extremely rewarding experience to be a part of Jessup. This has been a highlight of my University experience. To be able to appear before real practitioners of international law, and cap it off with a win, is a truly unique opportunity.
Their coach, John-Patrick Asimakis, was a member of the national champion Jessup team in 2018.
For the University of Sydney once again to be the World Champion in what is undoubtedly the most demanding and prestigious mooting competition in the world is an extraordinary achievement.
The Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the "world's largest and oldest international moot court competition for law students", and attract attracts thousands of students every year.
In fact, the statistics are staggering:
This year’s Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition was unprecedented. Because of the pandemic, it was held entirely online and was open to all law schools, rather than being limited to the winners of a national qualifying round.
Due to its size, the competition was spread over nearly six weeks, with The University of Sydney team winning all of its 13 moots.
In the Grand Final, before three judges of the International Court of Justice (Judges Tomka, Xue and Iwasawa), The University of Sydney team prevailed over arch-rival National University of Singapore in a close match.
It is an honour to be part of the prestigious Jessup tradition and I will always be proud of our achievement.
This sets a new world record of 6 Jessup Cup wins (1996, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017 and now 2021), overtaking our own world record of five, set in 2017. This is a truly extraordinary feat.
In addition to becoming world champions, the team also won a range of awards:
This is a wonderful reward for all the hard work and long hours put in by the team and their coach. Most of them have done little else since November, and it only got harder as they progressed, ending with moots at midnight four nights in a row. The Law School is immensely proud of their achievements.
It has been such a wonderful honour to moot in the Jessup and be crowned world champions. In particular, pleading in front of their excellencies Judge Tomka, Iwasawa, and Xue was a highlight. I was also honoured to be ranked 6th as an oralist in the preliminary rounds. These achievements were only possible with the hard work of the entire team, the guidance of our fantastic coach John-Patrick Asimakis, and the support of our coordinator Alison Pert and the entire law faculty.
Competing in Jessup this year has been an absolute whirlwind experience, from spending months glued to zoom writing 50 page memorials, and the crushing feeling of loosing nationals to the exhilaration of winning worlds and being undefeated in the global rounds! Every second of hard work our team put into Jessup has been completely worth it and being able to compete against teams from all over the world, including Myanmar and Mexico was an experience like no other.
It has been an extremely rewarding experience to be a part of Jessup. Whilst the weeks of 9-hour zoom calls arguing over commas and nightly moots may not seem appealing, this has been a highlight of my University experience. To be able to appear before real practitioners of international law, and cap it off with a win, is a truly unique opportunity.
The turning point in Jessup was the intensive two-week period leading up to the international rounds. Dr Alison Pert’s exceptional dedication and support, John-Patrick Asimakis’ excellent coaching and guidance, and the whole team’s hard work during this time became the catalyst for our undefeated performance and victory as World Champions. It is an honour to be part of the prestigious Jessup tradition and I will always be proud of our achievement.
It was an incredibly surreal experience to present arguments before the ICJ, especially on topics that are highly controversial and have massive real world implications. Being able to moot against NUS was also such a fitting end to the competition - and emerging as world champions is an experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
For the University of Sydney once again to be the World Champion in what is undoubtedly the most demanding and prestigious mooting competition in the world is an extraordinary achievement, and all the more satisfying because of the additional difficulties presented by the entirely virtual nature of the competition this year.
The team has worked incredibly hard over many months and I am absolutely delighted that such an impressive effort has been so richly rewarded.
From my own perspective, participating in the Jessup Competition as a student was a definite highlight of my time at the University of Sydney, and it has been a real joy to be able to give back to the Law School as the coach of this year’s Jessup team.
Find out more about Sydney Law School's Adviser to the team, Dr Alison Pert.