Law students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have won first place for their written arguments at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition held recently in Washington, D.C., the most prestigious mooting competition in the world.
Delighted with the results, Prof. Mike McConville, CUHK Dean of Law stated, ‘The CUHK Jessup team’s success represents a fantastic achievement for the team and highlights the success of legal education at The Chinese University of Hong Kong—a world-class learning environment available locally, and the promise that our students hold for the future of the legal profession in Hong Kong. The incredible achievement of our students is also a tribute to the inspirational coaching of Prof. Michael Ramsden.
The Faculty of Law also wishes to acknowledge benefactions from Mr. Warren Chan, S.C., in support of the development of our mooting activities, which have included the Warren Chan Moot Court in our Graduate Law Centre and the Warren Chan Advocacy Fund.’
The Hardy C. Dillard Award for Best Memorial is awarded to the best written arguments submitted by the winning team out of 580 competing law schools drawn from 86 countries in the Jessup Moot.
For what is known as ‘mooting’, law students present written and oral arguments on a hypothetical law case in a courtroom simulation.
The Jessup Moot is the oldest, largest and most prestigious mooting competition in the world, much akin to the World Cup for football in international law advocacy. Thousands of law students worked all year round on this year’s moot problem – the right of a people to self-determination and sovereignty over their mineral resources, in reference to the ongoing dispute between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Following the release of the moot problem in October 2009, each team had to write two 12,000-word ‘memorials’ (written arguments on each side of the dispute) and make oral arguments before an illustrious panel of judges.
Such is the prestige of the competition that judges, lawyers and scholars from across the world willingly give up their time to judge this competition. This year’s judges included two former Presidents of the International Court of Justice, Stephen M. Schwebel and Dame Rosalyn Higgins.
The Chinese University team consisted of students from across three degree programmes: Roger Phang (LLB), Vinca Yau (LLB), Patrick Siu (PCLL), Peter Hsiao-pen Chang (PCLL) and Cora Ang (JD). The team was coached by Prof. Michael Ramsden, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Law, and was supported by Prof. Stephen Hall, Professor of the Faculty of Law, Ms. Helen Yu , Instructor of the Faculty of Law and Ms. Carol Lee.
Hong Kong has participated in the Jessup since 1985. Since only one team from Hong Kong is eligible to progress to the world finals in Washington, D.C., the three local law schools have to first compete in a regional championship. For the past two years, the Chinese University has won the Hong Kong regional championship and advanced to the world finals in Washington, D.C.
Altogether, 127 teams (the regional winners from all corners of the globe) met in Washington, D.C. for an intensive week of competitive mooting. The judges score teams on both their oral and written arguments.
In the oral mooting, the Chinese University team reached the final stage of the competition and was ranked 19th in the world following victory over teams from Russia, Kenya and Turkey. The Australia National University won the Jessup Cup with Columbia University as the runner-up. In the written arguments, CUHK came first and won the Hardy C. Dillard Award.
Media coverage is as follows: