Global law firm White & Case LLP and the International Law Students Association (ILSA) announced today that a team of law students from National Law School of India University (NLSIU) won the 2013 White & Case World Championship at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Winning team members were Raag Yadava, Geetha Hariharan, Shreya Jain and Akshaya Ramadurai. The last time NLSIU won the Jessup World Cup was in 1999.
"Both teams expertly argued narrow issues of detail as well as broad principles, making it yet another very close contest with an extremely high level of sophistication," said Ian Forrester, White & Case partner and head of the Firm's Global Pro Bono Practice. "The final round held 700 people in attentive silence for nearly two hours of debate. Public international law has reason to be optimistic about the quality of its future practitioners."
With nearly 130 teams representing 83 countries, the 2013 White & Case International Rounds were the most diverse in the 54-year history of the Jessup. Countries represented for the first time include Bahrain, Iran, Macao and Trinidad and Tobago.
"ILSA is particularly proud of the tremendous diversity reflected in the top advancing teams," said Dagmar Butte, Chairperson of ILSA's Board of Directors. "To see one of the schools in the final in its first competing year at the International Rounds speaks both to the quality of the competitors and the bright future of international law."
The NLSIU faced Singapore Management University School of Law in the Championship Round, which was held April 6 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. Raag Yadava received the Best Oralist Award in the final round. Three sitting judges on the International Court of Justice made up the final round bench, Judges Ronny Abraham, Julia Sebutinde and Hanqin Xue.
The Jessup Semi-Final Rounds, which took place on April 5, saw Jessup teams from Argentina, India, Singapore and the United States argue before Dame Rosalyn Higgins, former President of the International Court of Justice; Professor James Crawford, practitioner in public international law and a nominee for election to the International Court of Justice in 2014; Professor Harold Koh, former legal advisor to the US State Department; Ian Forrester; Paul Friedland, White & Case Partner in New York and head of the Firm's international arbitration practice; and the two authors of the Jessup Compromis.
At the conclusion of the week, the team from Birzeit University in Palestine received the Spirit of the Jessup Award, which recognizes the team that best exemplifies the Jessup spirit of camaraderie, academic excellence, competitiveness, and appreciation of fellow competitors.
In addition to sponsoring the International Rounds, White & Case was involved with competitions in Brazil, Canada, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The Firm also supported or advised individual teams from Iran, Romania and The United Arab Emirates.
The Jessup is the largest moot court competition in the world. Administered by the International Law Students Association, more than 2,000 law students from 86 countries participated in qualifying competitions around the world this year. Jessup teams are required to present oral and written arguments on a hypothetical international law case to a simulated International Court of Justice. This year's Jessup problem addressed the consequences of global climate change on statehood, migration and sovereign debt. The fact pattern follows a debt-ridden island nation that is swallowed by the ocean, forcing its people to relocate and causing its remaining funds to be seized.
The International Law Students Association is a nonprofit association of students and lawyers who are dedicated to the promotion of international law. ILSA provides students with opportunities to study, research and network in the international legal arena. The organization's activities include academic conferences, publications, the global coordination of student organizations, and the administration of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
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