Skip to main content

17 May 2023

King's holds its own in the Jessup Moot

A team representing King’s College London and the United Kingdom reached the knock-out rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, taking place for the first time in-person in Washington D.C. since 2019.

 A group of people facing forwards smiling for the camera. They are stood in front of wooden walls.
The 2023 King's College London Jessup Moot team.

King’s furthered its record of reaching the Jessup International Rounds for an eighth consecutive year, one of the best track records in the Jessup Competition globally. The largest moot court competition in the world, the The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition takes the form of a simulated international dispute between fictional states before the International Court of Justice.

This year’s problem brought together the interests of three states in a dispute mirroring topical issues in public international law. These required participants to craft arguments on the lawfulness of a military campaign in self-defence, the law of military targeting, the legal consequences of hazardous waste disposal, and the lawfulness of unilateral sanctions.

The LLB students from The Dickson Poon School of Law completed four strong performances in the preliminary rounds against teams from England and Scotland, advancing to the knock-out rounds, and subsequently the quarter-finals earlier on in March. To reach the International Rounds in Washington, King’s achieved third place in the UK National Rounds with Megan Kwek and Armand Conde-Sequeira-Rosen placing as 10th and 2nd best oralists in the country, respectively. Over 700 law schools from over 100 countries and jurisdictions competed in the Jessup, with the best of each nation represented in the International Rounds. 

In preparation, the King’s team of Armand Conde-Sequeira-Rosen (LLB, second year), Danya Novak (LLB, final year), Lea Leonhardt (LLB, final year), Megan Kwek (LLB, second year), and Rishit Harsh (LLB, second year) developed an intimate knowledge of international jurisprudence and ICJ procedure.

This year the International Rounds took place from the 8th to 15th of April in Washington.  King’s reached the Round of 32 before narrowly losing to the eventual champions, the University of Amsterdam. 

 King’s has participated in the  Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition since 2006 , with an unparalleled record of success among UK universities. It reached the Grand Final in 2007, the international semi-finals on three occasions, and won the UK championships five years running, from 2016 to 2020. 

King’s had four alumni coaches this year: Caleb Kirton (LLB, 2017), Liam F. Holohan (LLB/JD, 2021), Jing Wen So (LLM, 2020), and Joel Sherard (Exchange alumnus, 2019). The team is particularly grateful for the great amount of time and effort made by all the coaches and supporters to train the oralists and researchers to a world-class standard.

The team would also like to thank the many guest judges that availed themselves to help the team prepare for both the National and International Rounds. They are also grateful for the continued support by those at King’s, such as Niccolò Ridi. Finally, the team would also like to express its special thanks to Professor Philippa Webb for her support and guidance in this simulation of real international law in the courtroom.

In this story

Philippa Webb

Professor of Public International Law

Niccolò Ridi

Lecturer in Public International Law