IU McKinney Students Participate in Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition


Jessup Moot Court Team 2014The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law competed in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Chicago February 20-23. The team successfully competed against schools with strong reputations in international law, and won two of four moots. They defeated the school that knocked them out of the quarterfinals last year and finished the highest-ranked of all Indiana law schools that participated.

Team members were Paul Babcock, Sukrat Baber, Devin Hillsdon-Smith, and Jennifer Redmond.

“All team members demonstrated strong advocacy skills and a command of complex public international law issues as they argued,” said Professor George Edwards, who traveled to Chicago to support the team. The team was coached by IU McKinney alumni Mark Shope, ’12, and James Zender, ’12, who worked for many months to help prepare and support the team. Support team members included IU McKinney students Jenn Broadfield and Jon Bailey, who handled many administrative tasks, which helped keep the team focused on their written and oral pleadings.

The Jessup competition simulates a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings that argue both the applicant’s and respondent’s positions of the case. The 2014 Jessup problem concerned conflicts involving maritime development and conservation, international criminal jurisdiction, and maritime salvage rights.

The Jessup competition was established by the International Law Students Association (ILSA) in 1959, and is the largest moot court competition in the world, with thousands of law student competitors from over 550 law schools in over 80 countries. It is the oldest competition devoted to international law, with 2014 being its 55th year of operation. The competition is named for Philip C. Jessup (1897-1986), who served as the U.S. representative to and judge on the International Court of Justice, which is the judicial organ of the United Nations.

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