Main page Jessup Competition General information

General information

The Jessup Competition (the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition) is one of the world's largest and most prestigious international law moot court (advocacy) competitions. The Competition has been held every year since 1959. Over 500 teams from over 80 countries annually participate in the Jessup Competition.

The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. Teams of law students compete against one another through the presentation of oral and written pleadings to address timely issues of public international law in the context of a hypothetical legal dispute between nations.

The steppingstone for the Jessup Competition is the Compromis. Written by leading scholars of international law, the Compromis is a compilation of agreed upon facts about the dispute that is submitted for adjudication to the ICJ. After the Compromis is released in September each year, students begin researching and preparing arguments for both sides of the dispute, drafting and editing written pleadings (“memorials”), and practicing oral presentations. Each team prepares two written memorials and two 45-minute oral presentations, one for each party to the dispute (the “Applicant” and the “Respondent”). Teams argue alternately as Applicant and Respondent against competing teams before a panel of judges, simulating a proceeding before the International Court of Justice.

The International Rounds of the Jessup Competition are held in April in Washington, D.C. If more than one team from a given country is willing to participate in the Competition, national rounds are held.

In 2014 the Jessup Competition celebrated its 55th anniversary.