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Gray’s Inn team declared National Champions in the Jessup International Law Moot 2021Jessup Competition logo

Now in its 62nd 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 around the world.

The UK & Ireland National Championship took place online between 26-28 February. The competition was strengthened this year by team additions from the Republic of Ireland for the first time in the history of the UK Jessup Cup.

Having prepared two 50-page written memorials, teams from around the UK and Ireland gathered virtually on Yaatly, a speech and debate platform. This year’s mooting problem (or compromis) concerned four issues: the use of the International Health Regulations during the fictional “J-VID-18” pandemic; the granting of diplomatic asylum to someone being prosecuted; jurisdiction over a counterclaim; and the use of force concerning the shooting down of an aircraft.

After 3 long days of mooting, the Gray’s Inn team emerged as the winners in the National Championship. The successful team consisted of Bar Course students Nicholas Leah and Felix Gibson, and GDL students Dheemanth Vangimalla, Miranda Lickert, and Samuel Moss.

Every member of the team took part in the qualifying rounds, winning all 4 of their moots and advancing to the semi-final on Sunday morning. Felix Gibson and Samuel Moss represented Gray’s as the Respondent against a strong team from University College London. After victory in the semi-final, Gray’s was drawn as the Applicant in the grand final.

The judging panel comprised Sir Michael Wood (Twenty Essex Chambers and member of the United Nations International Law Commission), Qudsi Rasheed OBE (Diplomat in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office), and Eileen Crowley (Associate in the Dispute Resolution practice at White & Case LLP). 

Nicholas Leah and Dheemanth Vangimalla triumphed in the final over the reigning champions from King’s College London, the team that has won the UK Jessup Cup for the last five years. In usual circumstances, Gray’s Inn would proceed to represent the UK at the global rounds in Washington, DC, but these will now take place online.

The team is extremely grateful for support and advice from Fatima Ismail and Sebastian Bates, both Gray’s Inn Bar Course members and former participants in the Jessup competition.


Article contributed by the moot team.


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