Now in its 64th year, the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot is the world’s largest and most prestigious mooting competition. It attracts participants from over 700 law schools in 100 countries and jurisdictions.
The UK National Rounds took place between 17 – 19 February 2023. 17 teams gathered at Lincoln’s Inn, having prepared two 50-page memorials. This year’s problem (or Compromis) focused on four issues concerning a leased territory:
- the exercise of self-defence;
- the treatment of detainees;
- the use of unilateral sanctions;
- and the transport of hazardous waste.
The successful team of Bar Course students consisted of researcher Nazmin Begum, and oralists, Catherine Arnold, Annabel Hale, David Ion, and Maria Munir.
All four oralists competed in the four preliminary rounds. The team ranked third overall, progressing to the final eight.
During the advanced rounds, Maria Munir and Catherine Arnold represented Gray’s Inn as the Respondent, having won both their preliminary moots. They repeated their success, triumphing in the quarter-final and semi-final against strong teams from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Liverpool.
In the Championship final, Annabel Hale and David Ion represented Gray’s Inn as the Applicant before a panel presided over by Professor Malcolm Forster (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and UCL). After a close contest, the team finished as runners-up to the reigning Champions, the University of Oxford – the only team to defeat Gray’s that weekend.
Nevertheless, the team remains proud of its performance. Maria Munir was ranked the seventh best oralist of the preliminary rounds, and the team’s written memorials were ranked third best overall, receiving zero penalties.
The Gray’s Inn team will now represent the UK in April at the International Rounds, taking place in person in Washington DC for the first time since 2019. The team is gratefully supported by experienced coaches, all former participants, including Isabelle Agerbak, Kate Johnston, Nicholas Leah, Gabriel Moberg and Samuel Moss.
This year’s result reaffirmed Gray’s Inn as a team to beat, cementing a rich Jessup tradition.
Article contributed by the moot team.