News

Sydney Law School Team 2011 National Jessup Champions



7 February 2011

From left to right: Dr Tim Stephens, Patrick Bateman, Chris Beshara, Natalie Zerial, Chelsea Tabart, Chief Justice Robert French, Patrick Wall and Glenn Kembrey

Congratulations to Sydney Law School's Jessup Team on winning the National competition of the 2011 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition in Canberra recently.

The Team, comprising Pat Bateman (final year Economic & Social Sciences/Law), Chris Beshara (final year Arts/Law), Glenn Kembrey (final year Arts/Law), Chelsea Tabart (final year Graduate Law) and Patrick Wall (final year Arts/Law), together with their coach Natalie Zerial (BA '05, LLB '07), captured the title for the first time since 2008.

"This is an outstanding achievement and the Team and its coaches are to be congratulated for their hard work and dedication," said the Dean, Professor Gillian Triggs.

"The result highlights our commitment to excellence in teaching and research in the field of international law and reflects the globalisation of our curriculum.

"Our aim is to make Sydney Law School a truly global law school and to equip our students for the competitive legal environment of the 21st century so that they can move with confidence across national and international boundaries."

The team defeated the University of Western Australia team in the grand final held in the High Court, with Chief Justice Robert French presiding on the bench.

"It was a terrific performance, and the culmination of a grueling four days of competition in Canberra," said Sydney Law School's Dr Tim Stephens.

"To make the finals the team had to better very determined and assured opponents in the Quarter Final (University of Melbourne) and the Semi Final (University of Queensland)."

The teams debated the legality of using unmanned predator drones, the banning of traditional religious clothing worn by women and girls, and a government response to an alleged breach of an anti-bribery treaty.

At the awards dinner in the High Court the team were not only announced as the National Champions, but were also recognised for ranking third overall in their written submissions.

Patrick Bateman received an award for being the best oralist in the preliminary rounds of the competition, and Chris Beshara won best oralist for the grand final.
"The team are to be congratulated for the tremendous quality of their written submissions and their oral advocacy," Dr Stephens said.

"The team, Natalie and I are most grateful for the support provided by so many in the Law School and in the profession, particularly in putting the team through their paces in practice moots."

The team will soon prepare for the International Rounds, to be held in Washington D.C. in late March.

Chief Justice French told The Sunday Canberra Times the competition was very prestigious.
"My observation of the national final this year and in previous years (is that there) has always been a very high quality of debate," he said.
"The students are very well prepared and are very good on their feet, as they have to be to get to that stage."

He added, "Usually the students who get to the top rounds here are very good law students and it's not unusual that we'll find former Jessup moot finalists actually sitting as judges."

Chief Justice French said it was good to see Australia punching above its weight in the international competition.
"It's just a very strong tradition of Australian teams doing very well."

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition 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 pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.
Sydney Law School has been named World Champion of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition twice, in 1996 and 2007.


Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 2f070c5078031f4a1d5016520d1804371f56210951155a5751181f4a38