UQ mooters crowned Jessup world champions

1 May 2014

The University of Queensland is celebrating the addition of a world championship title to its growing list of mooting accolades after winning the 2014 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC, USA.

The TC Beirne School of Law team – Emily Chalk, Camille Boileau, Hugo Clark-Ryan, Abbey Mawby and Lisa Lee – defeated the Singapore Management University School of Law in the White and Case Jessup World Championship Round of the competition on 13 April.  

UQ Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington said she was thrilled by the team’s “phenomenal” achievement in winning both the prestigious world title and awards for the Best Overall Applicant, and Best Speaker in the Final, presented to Emily Chalk.

“I offer the team my warmest congratulations on behalf of everyone at the Law School, and also wish to thank the team’s coaches, Associate Professor Anthony Cassimatis and law alumna Catherine Drummond, for their indefatigable support throughout the competition,” said Professor Derrington.

Professor Derrington praised Ms Chalk’s feat in winning a second Best Speaker award at an international level, repeating her successful performance at the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot in 2013. 

It was the second Jessup world title for Associate Professor Cassimatis, who also coached the UQ team that won the competition in 2005. 

“I’m so proud of the team – to win any one of the Jessup finals awards is a tremendous achievement but to win all three is unprecedented,” Associate Professor Cassimatis said.     

“I want to thank all our supporters for their help in preparing the team for Washington, including Catherine Drummond, UQ Chancellor John Story, The Hon Justice Margaret White, The Hon Justice Glen Williams, and law firms Minter Ellison and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.” 

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj also praised the students for their significant achievement.

“To successfully argue a complex legal case on the world stage is no mean feat and reflects the enormous talents of the TC Beirne School of Law team,” Professor Høj said.

“I offer Emily, Camille, Hugo, Abbey and Lisa my warm congratulations on their achievement.”

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition was founded in 1959 and has become the world’s largest mooting contest. 

More than 600 teams from 85 countries take part in the competition’s regional rounds for a chance to compete in the White and Case championship rounds held in Washington every April.

The UQ team secured its spot in Washington by winning the Australian rounds of the competition at the High Court of Australia in Canberra on 8 February.

The annual event requires mooting teams to solve an international controversy based on a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations.

In 2014 the problem concerned a conflict arising from maritime development and conservation, and involved criminal jurisdiction and maritime salvage rights.                        

About mooting                                                                                         

Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal and, sometimes, factual issue or problem against an opposing counsel before a judge, tribunal member or arbitrator. It resembles the experience that a student can expect to have in a court, tribunal or arbitral proceedings after qualifying as a lawyer. In external mooting competitions, there may be several months during which the problems are researched and written submissions areprepared.