Call for Judges: 2019 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

  • November 14, 2018

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (the “Jessup”) is the largest moot court competition in the world. It is an annual competition engaging subjects of public international law. This year’s problem addresses several international legal questions, including the appropriation of indigenous knowledge and resources for commercial purposes, state responsibility for corporate environmental degradation and human rights violations, and majestic herds of migratory yaks.

This year, teams from fifteen Canadian law schools will gather in Vancouver, British Columbia from February 21 – 23, 2019. Over the course of three days, each school will moot a minimum of six times. The top four teams will then compete in a final round Saturday afternoon that ultimately determines who will represent Canada at the international competition in Washington, DC. All rounds will take place downtown at the Sutton Place Hotel.

To successfully run the Canadian National competition, we are seeking volunteers to graciously serve as judges for the oral rounds that will take place Thursday evening, throughout the day on Friday and Saturday morning. In many jurisdictions, serving as a moot court judge counts for Continuing Legal Education / Continued Professional Development credit.

Well in advance of the moot, each judge receives background materials including a comprehensive Bench Memo that details the problem, the legal issues and provides a general overview of the public international law principles teams are expected to address. Copies of the teams’ written arguments are also available for judges to review prior to adjudication of the round.

Oral round judges sit in panels of three and score the performance of competing schools, and many judges take the opportunity to provide feedback to students following the round. Organizers attempt to balance the panel based on practice area and experience in international law; familiarity in public international law is an asset but not a requirement to judge. Rounds typically last 2.5 hours, and depending on one’s familiarity with the legal issues, can require the same amount of time for preparation.

Breakfast and lunch are provided to all volunteers, and everyone is invited to the final awards gala Saturday evening, February 23, 2019. Last year, the Honourable Malcolm Rowe, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada delivered the keynote address; we are confident this year will not disappoint.

If you are interested in serving as an Oral Round judge, please contact Leah West and please feel free to pass along this notice to friends or colleagues who may also be interested in judging. For those judges coming from out of town, discounted accommodations have been arranged at the Sutton Place hotel; details are available upon request.

On behalf of the National Administrator, David Quayat, thank you for your time and consideration. We hope to see you in Vancouver!