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King's hosts 'Day of Crisis' Competition and wins prize

Posted on 25/04/2017

029_day_of_crisis0694Between 21-22 April The Dickson Poon School of Law hosted the 'Day of Crisis', an international academic competition sponsored by Simmons & Simmons. Student teams were presented with a series of international crises which they had to try and resolve within a 24-hour period. This is the first time the competition has been held in the UK since it began in 2012.

The competition involved 10 teams from universities in Australia, France, Russia, India, Belgium, Germany and the UK, with each team representing governments and international organisations. This 24-hour non-stop international law and diplomacy competition challenged students’ knowledge of public international law, and their skills in teamwork, drafting, negotiation and working under pressure.

Meet the teams

The Day of Crisis began on Friday morning and concluded with an emergency United Nations (UN) Security Council session the following day. A jury of legal experts were convened, chaired by Mr Steven Hill, Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at NATO.

The challenges faced by teams in this year’s competition included the use of force in the South China Sea, a coup d’état and human rights crackdown, the arrest and abuse of diplomats, and cyber warfare.  Teams had to produce 13 pieces of written advice and conduct two negotiations during the 24 hours.

Teams represented the governments of People’s Republic of China, French Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Turkey, Russian Federation, Republic of the Philippines, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the organisations of NATO, the European Union and UN.

During the culmination of the event at the UN Security Council session, teams stated their positions, took questions from each other and from the jury in order to reach a resolution.

The overall winners of the competition were King’s College London. The team – called Chimera – was made up of Andri Halter, James Cherry, Joanna Didisheim, Kiliane Huyghebart and David Lopez Morales. They were coached by PhD students Niccolo Ridi and Esme Shirlow.

Second and third place were awarded to the University of New South Wales, Australia and Paris Nanterre University, France, respectively.

Further prizes were awarded to the following:

  • Best oralist: Benjamin Nicols, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Best negotiator: Kushagra Goyal, National Law University Odisha, India
  • Outstanding written submissions: King’s College London
  • Team Spirit Award: Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Dr Philippa Webb, Associate Professor at King’s College London and co-convenor of the 2017 Day of Crisis Competition said: 'It was an honour for King’s to host this international event. It is the most challenging legal competition that I know of and all teams excelled throughout the day and night.’

Dr Kirsten Roberts Lyer, Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at Central European University and co-convenor of the 2017 Day of Crisis Competition said: ‘The quality of the written submissions was outstanding this year. The world is in good hands if these students are our future legal advisers!’

The Day of Crisis competition was founded by Professor Jean-Marc Thouvenin at Université Paris Nanterre X in 2012. International law firm Simmons & Simmons have been active sponsors since its inception. This year’s event and prizes are sponsored by Simmons & Simmons London Office.

The co-convenors of this years’ Day of Crisis event would like to thank Simmons & Simmons for their generous sponsorship of the event and prizes, with particular thanks to partners Patrick Wallace, Juliet Reingold and Etienne Kowalski, who also served on the jury and Jenny Briston; Mr Steven Hill (Chair of the jury); Professor Jean-Marc Thouvenin and Ms Michelle Valchero (jury members);  Sara Ewad and Olivier Peeters (Secretariat); and Meredith Wilson and Zoe Dunlop.

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