Call For Jessup 2024 Problem Proposals

The International Law Students Association (ILSA), the organization responsible for administering the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, invites all interested persons to submit proposals for issues to be addressed in the Jessup 2024 Problem (a.k.a. the Jessup Compromis). Proposals must be submitted to ILSA’s Executive Director, Michael Peil, at [email protected], by 1 March 2023.

Each year, the Jessup Problem presents a dispute between two fictional countries, to be argued before a simulated International Court of Justice. Proposals should take the form of high-level outlines of legal issues. They may include a short summary of facts and should consist of no more than 2,000 words. ILSA accepts proposals from solo candidates or from groups of candidates. Proposals should identify four interesting, important, and timely issues of international law, along with any critical sub-issues or secondary issues, to be addressed in the Problem. The issues should be balanced, legally and morally, permitting both sides to present strong arguments on each. Along with the proposals, candidates should provide: (1) a resumé or CV for each member of the group; (2) one or more writing sample(s) on an international law topic; and (3) a list of legal experts who might be consulted on the topics being proposed.

A committee of international legal experts will consider the submissions received. During its deliberations, the committee may request candidates to submit additional materials or to answer questions about their proposals. The committee’s selection criteria will include: (1) whether the proposal clearly identifies legal issues and sub- issues or secondary issues that will need to be considered in order for questions to be addressed properly; (2) the overall balance of the questions presented, permitting argument on both sides; and (3) whether the issues can be built into a fact pattern that is realistic, engaging and provocative, from both legal and narrative perspectives. Candidates whose proposals are selected for further consideration in a subsequent evaluation phase will be notified and may be asked to submit more robust outlines and/or first drafts prior to a final decision.

The successful proposal will be notified in April.  The successful candidate(s) will be invited to serve on the Jessup Problem Committee, which annually spends the summer months turning the successful proposal into an outstanding Jessup Problem.  Although ILSA does not provide an honorarium or other compensation, the successful candidate receives recognition at the World Championship Round in Washington, DC and in the annual volume of the Jessup Compendium published by William S. Hein & Co., Inc. They may also be invited to judge late-stage rounds or to speak on a panel at the White & Case International Rounds.

Following selection, you will be expected: (1) to create, with the guidance of the ILSA Executive Office, an initial draft of the Problem, with full factual development, in the weeks following the 2023 International Rounds; (2) to serve on the Jessup Problem Committee to refine and rework the Problem until its release to the public, typically in early September; (3) to create an initial draft of the Bench Memorandum, a guide to assist judges of Memorials and oral arguments, during the fall of 2023; (4) to participate in the Corrections and Clarifications process; and (5) to assist in creating two lists of basic research materials to be provided to student competitors.

ILSA retains editorial control over and ownership of all Jessup Competition materials, including the Problem, and expressly reserves all rights to revise, edit, add or delete all or parts of what the you submit.

Problems from recent years are available for reference in Jessup History, available on ILSA’s website.