Mooting Competitions


Posted on 4 March, 2009

A team of law students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) are headed to Washington DC to represent Hong Kong in the world’s largest and most prestigious mooting competition. The CUHK team won the qualifying round against The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and City University of Hong Kong (CityU), and took home four out of the five prizes available in the qualifiers.

Entering its Fiftieth year, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition attracts participation from over 500 law schools drawn from more than 80 different countries. This year’s Jessup problem concerns the right of one state to use military force unilaterally in another state to protect human rights and prevent ethnic cleansing. In working on this problem, each team is made up of five student members and one faculty team coach. Following the release of the moot problem in September 2008, each team had to write two 12,000 word memorials and make complex legal arguments before an illustrious panel of judges.

Under Competition rules, teams must first participate in fiercely competitive qualifying regional rounds to earn the right to advance to the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds in Washington, D.C to be held from 22 to 28 March. The Hong Kong Regional Round of the Jessup was held at the High Court of the SAR on 21 February. The judges were all senior members of the legal profession, including The Hon Mr Justice Michael Hartmann, JA (Court of Appeal, Hong Kong SAR), Mr Rimsky Yuen SC, Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and Mr Lester Huang, President of the Hong Kong Law Society. Three teams competed in this year’s Hong Kong Regional Round: CUHK, CityU and HKU.

The CUHK team was made up of PCLL and JD students. They were: Peter Chang, Charmine Cheung, Chester Hui, Simone Hui and Spencer Wong. The team was coached by Professor Michael Ramsden, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, CUHK.

After a closely fought contest the results announced were:

  • Best Team: CUHK
  • Best Memorial: CUHK
  • Best Oralist: Chester Hui, CUHK
  • Runner-up to the Best Oralist: Charmine Cheung, CUHK

Given that this was only the second time CUHK have competed in the Jessup, to succeed against strong and experienced regional opposition was a truly remarkable achievement.

Team coach Professor Michael Ramsden said, “Mooting provides students with the opportunity to develop skills essential to becoming a good lawyer. Our success in the most demanding mooting competition there is, the Jessup, really shows that the law faculty is home to some future stars of the Hong Kong legal profession. The team will now compete against some of the best law schools in the world in Washington DC and I have every confidence that they will go far.”