2021 Jessup Global Rounds Press Release

The 2021 Global Rounds of the Jessup Competition was a historic and record-setting virtual gathering of thousands of international law students and lawyers. Read ILSA’s Press Release below or view the official document here.

20 April 2021


The International Law Students Association (ILSA) has just concluded the 2021 Global Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the world’s largest and oldest international moot court competition for law students.

A team from the University of Sydney, Australia won the White & Case Jessup Cup, the top prize, named in honor of ILSA’s global partner and major sponsor of the Jessup Competition worldwide, the international law firm White & Case. The Sydney team faced the National University of Singapore in the World Championship Round on April 17. The teams argued before three sitting judges on the International Court of Justice: Peter Tomka of Slovakia, Xue Hanqin of China, and Yuji Iwasawa of Japan.

The Global Rounds were held virtually this year, on a platform designed by Yaatly, with online courtrooms created specifically for the Jessup. All teams were invited to participate in the Global Rounds, rather than only the national and regional winners as is traditionally done. Over six weeks of virtual competition, 574 teams from 90 countries competed in 2,036 matches accounting for more than 3,000 hours of argument. More than 1,100 lawyers, judges, and law professors served on Jessup benches as volunteer judges.

The Global Rounds included historic firsts. A team from Bhutan’s first-ever law school won the Best New Team Award, and law students from Myanmar and Spain were presented with Spirit of the Jessup Awards. In addition to the virtual rounds of competition, Jessup teams also met one another in social halls and attended international law panels and events.

“The 2021 Jessup competition is an inflection point in the study and practice of international law, whose impact will be felt for a generation of new lawyers,” said Mark Luz, ILSA’s Chairperson.  “The challenges faced by this year’s class of Jessup competitors go beyond anything that their predecessors in the 62-year history of the Competition had to endure, preparing and competing online in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic. ILSA is proud to have overseen this incredible event, bringing together well over 5,000 people from more than 100 countries in the largest-ever gathering of international law students and lawyers.”

Jessup teams present oral and written arguments on a hypothetical international law case to a simulated International Court of Justice. This year’s Jessup problem concerned a global pandemic, and the obligations and responses of States with respect to the outbreak. It also involved questions of the jurisdiction of the Court, a claim for asylum, and State responsibility for a suspicious aircraft explosion.

For more information about the 2021 Global Rounds, or to read the 2021 Jessup problem, go to ILSA’s website (www.ilsa.org).

The International Law Students Association is non-profit association of students and lawyers who are dedicated to the promotion of international law. ILSA provides students with opportunities to study, research, and network in the international legal arena, and its flagship program is the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

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