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Record-setting Number of Teams Registered to Compete in 2020 Jessup Competition

Students will address issues surrounding treaty succession, fully autonomous weapons systems, war crimes and more in the world's largest moot court competition

Global law firm White & Case LLP announced that 745 teams are registered to participate in the 2020 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition—the largest number in the Jessup's 61-year history. 

The 2020 Jessup marks a number of firsts, including the largest national rounds expected in 11 countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, and Uganda, as well as China, where the competition will be based solely on memorials this year. National rounds will be taking place for the first time in Moldova and Zambia. 

"The Jessup continues to attract record participation and for good reason: It opens the door to oral advocacy for students across the globe," said White & Case partner Jacquelyn MacLennan, who leads the Firm's Global Pro Bono Practice. "I am continually impressed by the students' energy and engagement, and believe the competition helps the next generation of international lawyers make an impactful contribution to the rule of law." 

The competition, administered by the International Law Students Association, requires students to present oral and written arguments on a hypothetical international law case before a simulated International Court of Justice (ICJ).

This year's hypothetical case addresses legal issues surrounding treaty succession, fully autonomous weapons systems, government ministries accused of war crimes and the potentially conflicting jurisdiction of the ICJ and the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

Teams will compete in more than 60 national and regional competitions to earn the right to represent their countries in April 2020 at the White & Case International Rounds in Washington, DC, where they will vie for the top prize—the Jessup World Cup. 

White & Case has been a Global Partner of the Jessup since 2007 and sponsor of the White & Case International Rounds since 2010. This year, the Firm is also supporting 13 qualifying rounds. In an effort to strengthen the Jessup program and increase the number of participating teams in South Africa, the Firm, joined by other legal organizations, renewed and expanded its involvement.

Below are the dates for the White & Case–supported rounds: 

  • Brazil: Feb. 13 – 15
  • Canada: Feb. 27 – 29
  • Egypt: Feb. 7 – 8
  • European Friendly, Czech Republic: March 5 – 7
  • France: Feb. 20 – 22
  • Georgia: Feb. 8 – 9
  • Mexico: March 2 – 6
  • Moldova: Feb. 12 – 14
  • Myanmar: Feb. 18
  • Russia: Jan. 29 – Feb. 2    
  • South Africa: Feb. 28 – 29        
  • United Kingdom: Feb. 14 – 16
  • Washington, DC, US Mid-Atlantic Regional: Feb. 20 – 23    
  • White & Case International Rounds: April12 – 18

The importance and scope of the Jessup are portrayed in an award-winning, feature-length documentary film, ALL RISE: Journeys to a Just World. The film follows seven law students on their journey through the Jessup season. ALL RISE, which premiered at the United Nations, was selected for film festivals in the United States and the United Kingdom, and has been screened at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Library of Congress and a number of international law conferences. In 2019, the film was made available for screenings by all participating Jessup teams and administrators worldwide; more than 100 screenings have been held in 44 countries to date. For more details on the film, and to view the trailer, please visit www.allrisemovie.com.

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