AUIS Hosts Iraq National Round of Jessup Law Competition | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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AUIS Hosts Iraq National Round of Jessup Law Competition

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 16:00

University of Sulaimani wins the Iraq national round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition against Duhok University at AUIS. 

February 5, 2016 - The American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted the Iraq National Round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition between law teams from University of Sulaimani and the University of Duhok. This event was a collaborative effort organized by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), Right Development Foundation (RDF), and the Women’s Legal Assistance (WOLA).

In the opening ceremony, Salah Siddiq, the organizer of the competition, spoke a few words about the Jessup Law Competition and lamented the fact that this year due to the financial crisis in the region many universities could not participate. He then introduced Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, a former chief judge of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal or formally known as Iraqi Special Tribunal, and the former chief judge at the trial of the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein. Mr. Amin explained competitions such as Jessup are important for law students, as they prepare them to take on challenges and forces them to leave their comfort zone. He believes the new generation of law students in Kurdistan, if presented with the right materials and guidance, can win the White & Case International Rounds, which is a culminating event of the Jessup Season.

The event started in the morning and lasted until late in the afternoon. Amongst the judges who participated voluntarily were Sherizaan Minwalla, fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) and human rights lawyer, and Thomas Donovan, founder and managing partner of Iraq Law Alliance. The competition ended with great success, with Sulaimani University being the winners. Participants and Judges were awarded with certificates of participation.

The Philip C. Jessup Law Competition is an international and the world’s largest law moot competition, with participants from law school 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. One team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case. Thousands of law students from around the world will work all year long on the season's Jessup Problem that will focus on the the legality of cyber-surveillance and cyber-attacks under international law. Most students must first compete in qualifying competitions (mostly held in January-March) to earn the right to advance to the White & Case International Rounds held every spring in Washington, D.C.