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ILSA is delighted to announce that 2009 is the 50th Anniversary Year of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The 2009 competition season officially began on 30 September 2008 with the release of the Jessup Problem, the “Compromis”, which addressed, inter alia, the responsibility of the international community to protect populations from humanitarian disasters, the status of the death penalty under international law, and the power and authority of the International Court of Justice. The Anniversary year culminated with the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds in Washington, D.C., 22-28 March, 2009.

To mark the Anniversary, ILSA planned an array of events and presentations to reflect upon the past fifty years of the Jessup and to reenergize for the next fifty years to come. The programme for the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds was specially designed to highlight the competition’s influence on the field of international law, to feature the generations of international lawyers it has produced, and to honor the many volunteers who have contributed to the Competition’s success.

ILSA formed a 50th Anniversary Honorary Committee, chaired by Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, former ICJ Judge and author of the inaugural Jessup Problem. The members of the Honorary Committee are some of the most accomplished scholars, jurists, and practitioners of international law. Together with Judge Schwebel and the Committee, ILSA was able to publicize the commemoration of the Anniversary and engage the entire international community. ILSA also partnered with sister organizations such as the American Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, and the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, as well as international organizations, international tribunals, educational institutions, and embassies.

Jessup 50th Anniversary Celebration

On Friday, March 27, 2009, the International Law Students Association and American Society of International Law co-hosted a formal dinner celebration at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. to honor 50 years of the Jessup Competition. Former ICJ Presidents, Rosalyn Higgins and Stephen M. Schwebel, were featured speakers. More than 800 people attended the gala dinner, bringing together students and lawyers from all over the world. For pictures and more information on this event, please go to the Jessup 50th Anniversary Celebration Page.

Other Hightlighted Events

Friends of the Jessup Reception
On the evening of Monday, 23 March 2009, Shearman & Sterling hosted a reception to welcome and honor Friends of the Jessup, the devoted Competition supporters who generously volunteer as judges, administrators, and sponsors.

Historical Presentations
ILSA’s Anniversary Historical Committee will unveil a media collection commemorating the past fifty years of the Jessup, to include the 50th Anniversary edition of the Jessup Reporter, a computer model showing the Jessup’s expansion worldwide through the years, a gallery presentation featuring each of the five decades of the Jessup, and a curio display of nostalgic Jessup memorabilia.

Announcement Party
On Wednesday evening, 25 March 2009, all competition participants celebrated the end of the International Preliminary Rounds with music and dancing at the Lotus Lounge in Washington, D.C. At this event, ILSa announced which Teams advanced on to compete in the Advanced Rounds.

Go-National Dress Ball
On Thursday, 26 March 2009, competitors and judges came to the Go-National Dress Ball, attired in their national costume or in other creative attire representing their country or region. The event is the favorite social dance of the season and a very special opportunity for cultural exchange.

The “Reverse Moot”
A highly-anticipated event years in the making, on Saturday, 28 March 2009, judges and competitors switched sides to moot the 2009 Competition Problem. Students became judges and judges became students.

Jessup Trivia Night
On Tuesday, 24 March 2009, judges competed for the title of Jessup Trivia Champion, answering questions in the categories of Historic Developments in International Law, ICJ Cases, Current Events, Geography, and the History of the Jessup.

Final Jessup Party
On Saturday, 28 March 2009, everyone gathered for a late night of dancing and celebration at the Fairmont Hotel to honor the award-winning teams and competitors of the International Rounds, enjoying a final revelry with old colleagues and new friends, and bidding farewell until 2010.