What is the "Philip C. Jessup Moot Court"?

The Jessup Moot Court is the largest and most prestigious international moot competition in the field of international public law. The first competition took place in 1959 between students from Harvard, Colombia and Virginia Universities, and since that time it has been organised every year by the International Law Students Association (ILSA). Today approximately 1,500 students from over 500 universities in about 80 countries throughout the world take part.

A ‘Moot Court’ is a competition in which students take on the role of lawyers in fictitious legal disputes and, although less well established in Germany, often make up part of an Anglo-American lawyer’s education. However, it is becoming increasingly pertinent for law students from other legal cultures to learn how to speak freely and argue in a courtroom setting.

With a long and prestigious history and international reputation, the ‘Philip C. Jessup Moot Court’ was named after the famous American scholar and judge of the International Court of Justice.

Participants in the competition prepare written pleadings in English for a case on international public law especially written for the competition. Teams then pit themselves against one another in a mock court setting, pleading on behalf of the interests of their respective fictitious countries. The court proceedings are conducted in accordance with the rules of procedure of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The national preliminary rounds of this year’s competition are to take place in Bochum. Further information can be found on the website of the German Moot Court Society.

The two highest ranking teams from the German preliminary rounds then take part in an international knock-out round which takes place in Washington D.C. every March/April.

Further information about the extensive history of the Philip C. Jessup Moot Court and important dates concerning the international knock-out rounds are available via the Website of the International Law Student Association (ILSA), which organizes the Jessup Moot.