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UCC School of Law students take part in first virtual Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

22 Mar 2021
The UCC Jessup Moot team from l-r: Ava Somers, Ross Cudmore, Benjamin Williamson, Rachel Deasy

A team of four students represented UCC in the UK and Ireland National Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from roughly 700 law schools in 100 countries and jurisdictions. The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. This year the dispute involved issues regarding the application of entry regulations to combat the international spread of a fictional disease known as J-VID-18, the harbouring of a fugitive in a consulate while considering the possibility of her qualification for diplomatic asylum, the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the impact of self-judging reservations on this jurisdiction, and finally the shooting down of a civilian aircraft in anticipatory self-defence against a third party.

UCC’s team was composed of Ross Cudmore (BCLC4), Rachel Deasy (BCLI3), Ava Somers (BCL2), and Benjamin Williamson (BCLI2), who secured their places on the team after a competitive selection was held last autumn. They were coached by Dr Luigi Lonardo, lecturer at the School of Law, and by Eve O'Shaughnessy, Moot Convenor of the UCC Law Society.

For the first time in its history, this year Jessup was conducted entirely online. This allowed UCC’s team to compete in the first ever joint UK and Ireland national rounds. The team had an opportunity not only to compete against, but network with students from all over Ireland and the United Kingdom. They also had the opportunity to engage with members of the international legal community who acted as judges for the National Rounds. Global rounds, in which the UCC team will take part, are scheduled to take place online throughout March.

Rachel Deasy summed up the experience:

This was my first experience of mooting and I learned so much from my fellow teammates, our coaches, my competitors, and the judges. The research section of the competition involved our team working together to write two memorials, one for either party. This allowed me to greatly expand my knowledge of international law, including to areas I had not covered in college such as issues of diplomatic asylum and entry regulations. This year’s problem involved many contemporary issues, specifically the J-VID-18 pandemic is directly analogous to the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore, it has allowed me to educate myself on the international laws which govern our response to this pandemic which is currently dominating our lives.

The coach, Dr Luigi Lonardo, also commented:

I am very proud of our excellent team. The competition allowed them to go in great depth in issues of public international law, and it was beneficial in terms of public speaking and teamwork. I wish them all the best for the continuation of the competition!

Congrats to the team from all at UCC School of Law!


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