Academic Programs

Jessup Moot Court Competition

PROBLEM SOLVING IN INTERNATIONAL LAW

THE 2014-2015 PHILIP C. JESSUP INTERNATIONAL LAW

MOOT COURT COMPETITION

An Information Session will take place on Monday, April 28 at noon, Albers Courtroom (6th floor).

The Jessup Moot Court Competition is a prestigious moot court competition that attracts law students from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries. Named after Philip C. Jessup, who served on the International Court of Justice, it is held annually, culminating in the final International Tournament held in Washington, DC every spring.

Teams of five students each prepare arguments based on a hypothetical case before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Teams must present arguments for both the Applicant's and the Respondent's sides and submit a written memorial (i.e. brief) for each. The Competition Problem is famous for presenting complex and current puzzles in international law that competitors are required to resolve. Recent topics have included the International Criminal Court, international free speech law, international environmental law, the tension between respecting human rights and responding to acts of terrorism, and the factual and legal consequences of climate change. This year's problem will address "the conflict between maritime development and conservation, criminal jurisdiction and maritime salvage rights."

Information on applying to the Jessup team appears at the end of this page. Applications are due by Friday, August 22 at 5 p.m.

Reasons to become involved

  • Join a prestigious professional network of international law practitioners from all over the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
  • Become fluent in basic principles of international law, international institutions and procedures, international case law, and some of the most controversial international law aspects of contemporary foreign affairs.
  • Learn through a hands-on, collaborative project.
  • Travel to the regional competition in February 2015, and, if the team advances, to the international competition in March 2015 in Washington, DC
  • Meet eminent practitioners of international law.  Judges of the final rounds include past and present judges of the International Court of Justice. 
  • Strengthen legal writing and oral advocacy skills prized by employers.

For more information and reasons to compete, see: http://jessup.whitecase.com/competitors/ and http://www.ilsa.org/jessuphome.

Jessup and course-work

Jessup will be offered as part of the 2 credit (1 credit per semester), yearlong course, Problem Solving in International Law. The course will meet every other week for 2 hours.  Lecturer Jill Goldenziel will be teaching the course and advising the 2014-15 team.

The first part of this course includes an introduction to writing for the Jessup Program and to general principles of international law.  After the Problem is released in September 2014, students will work together to produce the written memorials, which must be submitted in early January 2015. Students will then engage in an intensive series of moot court sessions before the regional competitions held in February 2015. Should the team be one of the top finalists, it will advance to the International Tournament, held in late March/early April in Washington, DC. After competing, students will be encouraged to draft scholarly notes, related to the Problem, for possible publication in international law journals.

Preparing for the Jessup is an intensive time commitment. Each team member will be required to devote an average of six hours per week to research, writing, and oral argument. The exact time commitment will fluctuate, requiring more time some weeks, less others.  Weekly time commitments will depend on both the schedules established by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), which administers the competition, and BU team deadlines, which will be established to avoid any conflicts with the reading and finals periods.

How to apply

Eligibility:

  • Jessup is open to 2L and 3L students, and LLM students who have not yet engaged in the practice of law.
  • International Law is a pre-requisite or co-requisite course.  Those with equivalent experience may participate at the discretion of the instructor and should explain this background in your cover letter. 
  • Students must be available to participate in the regional competition in February (dates and location TBA) and the international competition in late March/early April in Washington, DC.

Applications are open, and are due on Friday, August 22 by 5 p.m. To apply, please submit a resume, legal writing sample of five pages or fewer, transcript (formal or informal), times when you are available to meet during the Fall term, and a one-page statement explaining your interest in participating in Jessup and any relevant experience that you can contribute to the team. Applications should be e-mailed to Jill Goldenziel, "jgolden1 at bu.edu" with the subject, “Jessup Application.” If you have any questions, please email.

Further information can be found at http://jessup.whitecase.com/competitors/ and http://www.ilsa.org/jessup/. Decisions on team members will be made before the end of the September add/drop period.