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05 March 2018

Students win UK National Championship of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

For the third consecutive year, a team of students from The Dickson Poon School of Law have won the UK National Championship of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

The Dickson Poon School of Law
The Dickson Poon School of Law

The team will now represent the UK in the International Rounds of the Competition in Washington, DC – which will be held in April. 

 KCL Jessup 2018 Website Photo (1)

L-R: Caleb Kirton (alumnus and coach); Andrew Brown (LLB, second year); Sarojah Sathivelu (LLB, second year); Eyvana Bengochea (LLM); Radhika Sharma (LLB, second year); William de Catelle (LLM); Neza Hren (alumna and coach). 

Now in its 59th year, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition  is the world's largest moot-court competition, with participants from over 645 law schools in more than 95 countries. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the UN's principal judicial organ. 

The King's team, consisting of Andrew Brown (LLB, second year), Sarojah Sathivelu (LLB, second year), Radhika Sharma (LLB, second year), William de Catelle (LLM) and Eyvana Bengochea (LLM), have been working on this year’s problem for several months. The problem touches on contentious and undecided issues in public international law - including the annulment of interstate arbitral awards, autonomous underwater drones, proliferation of nuclear weapons and the use of force on the high seas. 

The team is coached by dedicated King’s alumni Neza Hren (LLB, 2013) and Caleb Kirton (LLB, 2017). In the oral phase of the National Rounds, which took place between 23-25 February 2018, the team won all four of their preliminary rounds, ranking first. All oralists for the team individually ranked in the top eight speakers. 

The team faced strong competition against a team from the University of Oxford in the semi-finals but emerged victorious - proceeding to the Grand Final, where the team faced University College London (UCL) for the second year in a row. The round was judged by a distinguished panel - including, among others, Sir Michael Wood (Barrister at 20 Essex Street and International Law Commission’s Special Rapporteur for Customary International Law), Mr Ian Forrester (the UK judge at the General Chamber of the European Court of Justice), and Dr Kate Parlett (Barrister at 20 Essex Street). 

The King’s team was victorious, becoming the UK National Champions. King’s Sarojah Sathivelu was named the Best Speaker in the Grand Final. The team also won the prize for the Best Applicant and Respondent Memorials. 

Both King's (as Champions) and UCL (as runners up) advance to Washington, D.C., to represent the United Kingdom in the International Rounds of the Competition. 

The team and coaches are very grateful for the support that they have received in preparation for the Competition – including, particularly, from Lucas Bastin (Essex Court Chambers) and Andrew Carruth (Quadrant Chambers). The team also sincerely thanks King’s academic staff for their support and advice, including Dr Emily Hudson and Dr Philippa Webb.