Global law firm White & Case LLP announced today that a team of law students from Moscow State University won the 2012 White & Case Jessup Cup as part of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The winning team members were Grigory Vaypan, Elena Manasyan, Nataliya Sekretareva, Aleksandra Ivlieva and Olga Nasonova.
Moscow State University faced Columbia University (US) in the championship round, which was held on March 31 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. Jennifer Lim, a Columbia University team member, received the Best Oralist Award in the final round for the second consecutive year. In addition to Lim, the Columbia team members also included Evan Ezray, Benjamin Schrier, Jan Messerschmidt and Aidan Grano.
The win by Moscow State University is only the seventh time in the 53-year history of Jessup that a non-native English speaking team has won the competition. With the pleadings in English, it is extremely unusual for non-English speaking law students to win the competition as oralists are arguing complex legal scenarios in their non-native language.
Judges Joan Donoghue, Kenneth Keith and Hisashi Owada judged the final round representing the first time in Jessup history that three judges from the International Court of Justice served on the Final Bench.
White & Case's involvement with the Jessup goes back many years and includes the founding of the first-ever competition in Russia in 2002, now the world's largest national competition with nearly 50 participating universities. In 2012, six Jessup teams advanced to represent Russia in the White & Case International Rounds.
"The quality of the advocacy we heard was excellent," said Ian Forrester, head of White & Case's Global Pro Bono Practice. "The winning team had so mastered the subject that they spoke without notes, showing a fluent command of both the details and the big principles. The competition was intense in the final rounds and every team showed great talent as creative thinkers and as confident advocates. Each participant will take home valuable experience and new friendships even if only one takes the trophy."
Administered by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), Jessup is the largest moot court competition in the world. With more than 130 teams representing 78 countries, the 2012 White & Case International Rounds were the largest in the history of the Jessup.
In the Jessup competition, Jessup teams present oral and written arguments on a hypothetical international law case to a simulated International Court of Justice. This year's case involved several timely legal issues, including the international standing of a state immediately following a coup d'état, international responsibility for the use of force by a state while taking part in a regional military operation and the destruction of a cultural site.
In addition to sponsoring the International Rounds, White & Case sponsored 12 Jessup competitions held in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Poland, Hong Kong, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the Washington, DC, Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition.
For complete results and photos of the 2012 White & Case Jessup International Rounds, please visit jessup.whitecase.com and ilsa.org. Or visit the Jessup Facebook group at facebook.com/jessup.whitecase.
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