Law School moots world - and wins

29 March 2011

(L-R) Patrick Bateman, Patrick Wall, Chris Beshara, Chelsea Tabart, Natalie Zerial, Glenn Kembrey and Dr Tim Stephens.
(L-R) Patrick Bateman, Patrick Wall, Chris Beshara, Chelsea Tabart, Natalie Zerial, Glenn Kembrey and Dr Tim Stephens.

A team of Sydney Law School students have prevailed over 130 other competing teams to be named 2011 World Champions in the highly prestigious Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

The students travelled to Washington to take out the title. The final saw them matched against a team from one of only five Ivy League universities to house a law school - Columbia University.

To reach the finals they had already been successful in the national and regional round of the competition.

The contest is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries.

The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Teams prepare oral and written arguments for both sides of the case.

Thousands of law students from around the world work for a year on the nominated 'Jessup Problem'. This year it addressed international anti-corruption law and the legality of the use of unmanned drones.

The winning team of five were all final year students. The team consisted of:

  • Patrick Bateman (Economic and Social Sciences/Law)
  • Chris Beshara (Arts/Law)
  • Glenn Kembrey (Arts/Law)
  • Chelsea Tabart (Graduate Law)
  • Patrick Wall (Arts/Law)

Congratulating the team the Dean of the Sydney Law School, Professor Gillian Triggs said, "This is an outstanding achievement demonstrating how talented and dedicated to excellence our students are."

"I would also like to recognise the moot judges from the legal profession and among our faculty who have given many hours to the practice moots over the last few weeks and to mastering the complex law and facts raised by the problem.

"We will celebrate in fitting style when the team return!"

The international administrators joked that perhaps they should place a handicap on Australian teams. Australian law schools have now won the Jessup on 10 occasions since 1977, when Emeritus Professor Ivan Shearer first brought the competition to Australia.

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