From February 23-25, 2019, the 17th China Regional Round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition was held on the Chenggong Campus of Yunnan University. Teams from 51 universities gathered in Kunming, ready to be tested by experts from home and abroad. After three days of battle, the UIBE team won third place, along with the awards for the Best Memorial of Applicant as well as Best Oralist. The UIBE team will advance to the international round held in Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital.
（ Oralists Zhou Xiaoyu, Wang Ziwen(Captain)，Researchers Chen Dongcai, Cai Fan, Deng Kaiqi）
The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the largest moot court competition with the longest history in the world. It is committed to promoting the study and research of public international law worldwide, and strengthening students' mastery of professional knowledge and practical skills of international law by imitating the court proceedings of the United Nations International Court of Justice. In view of its long history and wide influence, it is known as the "Olympics" in the field of international law.
The UIBE team was established in September 2018. It is headed by Wang Ziwen, an undergraduate student from the 2016 experimental class. Ziwen, along with Zhou Xiaoyu, an undergraduate student of 2016, are the two oralists. Deng Kaiqi, an undergraduate student of 2017, Chen Dongcai and Cai Fan, masters students of International Law of 2018, are the three researchers. Guided by their coaches. Wu Zongnan, an outstanding alumni and former Jessup participant, as well as Zheng Zihan, an undergraduate from the 2015 experimental class and former Jessup oralist, the UIBE team won 3rd place again after five years.
The UIBE team was established in September 2018. It is led by Wang Ziwen, an undergraduate student from the 2016 experimental class. Ziwen, along with Zhou Xiaoyu, an undergraduate student of 2016, are the two oralists. Deng Kaiqi, an undergraduate student of 2017, Chen Dongcai and Cai Fan, masters students of International Law of 2018, are the three researchers. Guided by their coaches Wu Zongnan, an outstanding alumni and former Jessup participant, as well as Zheng Zihan, an undergraduate from the 2015 experimental class and former Jessup oralist, the UIBE team won 3rd place again after five years
In the first two days, four preliminary rounds were held, where the UIBE team met strong opponents. During the first day of competition, the team completed three matches in a row against teams from Renmin University, Sichuan Normal University and Xiamen University. In the next day, they competed against the team from China Media University. The pressing schedule was full of challenges for the participants. The three researchers effectively read the opponents memos, identified legal irregularities and further developed their case on the research basis. The two oralists absorbed the research results in limited time, flexibly adjusted their response plan and accurately delivered their response during the pleading. At the end of each match, the student coach quickly summarized the match, provided feedback and put forward suggestions for improvement. Thanks to their full preparation before the competition, repeated simulation exercises and the effective guidance of the two coaches, the team familiarity with the case, skilled responses to the judges' questions won unanimous praise. Finally, the team ranked in the top eight (third out of 51 teams) with four wins, and successfully entered into the knock-out round. At this time, Zhou Xiaoyu, one of the oralists, also won the title of "Best Oralist".
(The preliminary rounds：The UIBE team and the judges )
In the quarterfinals, the team competed against the team from East China University of Political Science and Law. The UIBE team continued with a steady and hard-working style as well as an excellent performance, which led them to rank in the top four. In the subsequent semi-finals, the team encountered a strong rival from last year, Peking University. The team kept calm and continued to make accurate and fluent statements, based on solid and comprehensive research. After contemplation by the five judges, the UIBE team lost to their opponent by a weak disadvantage. During the comments, the judges gave their pertinent opinions on questions including how to answer directly and how to prepare for the international round, etc., so that the team members could benefit from this experience. Eventually, the team won third place by points and successfully advanced to the international round.
(The Semi-final：UIBE Law School v. Peking University)
Looking back on the winning experience of the team, it is valuable that the team was able to learn from former participants and also pass on its experiences. Since 2017, the Jessup team has been training a group of sophomore students. Although the UIBE team that year finished the competition with regret, it has laid the foundation for future generations. In the 2018 competition, based on its previous experience, the UIBE team returned to the top eight of China. By 2019, the former recruits have become coaches, and the current recruits have grown rapidly. They fought hard all the way through the competition with a rigorous and dedicated professional style as well as with their enthusiasm and unremitting pursuit of the study of public international law.
The growth and progress of the team cannot be separated from the attention and concern of UIBE Law School for international moot court competition. Dean Shi Jingxia and Vice Dean Gong Hongliu paid close attention to the process of each competition. In addition, the school’s administrative office ensured the training venue and logistical services in a timely manner. Professor Bian Yongmin and Assistant Professor Li Fenghua of the Department of International Law gave useful advice. Professor William Rosoff from UIBE Law School and Professor Bradley Cashio from the School of International Studies also devoted their advice on writing and debating skills.
The success of the Jessup team cannot be separated from the coordination and support of the UIBE Moot Court Club. The team benefited greatly from high intensity, high density and high quality simulation exercises during the preparation period. Also, they received selfless assistance from the members of the UIBE Moot Court Club, including: former Jessup participants, Cheng Yaosheng, Heng Shanshan, Xu Tianyi, Zhang Jinhui, Hou Meng and Feng Yi; former FDI and ELSA participant, Li Mingzhe; as well as members of this year’s VIS team, Zhao Chao, Li Ruiting, etc.
In addition, Mr. Emmanuel Jacomy and Mr. Eric Li, partners of Shearman Sterling's Beijing office, provided the team with court skills and guidance on substantive arguments.
（At the award ceremony:The UIBE team and Professor Bian Yongmin from UIBE, also a judge of the competition）
With the end of the competition, the UIBE team will soon enter a broader international platform with more serious competition. They sum up the experience from this time, and strive to achieve greater breakthroughs and improvements in the international round.