Student Champions Head to International Finals in Washington, D.C. for Second Consecutive Year American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) today announced that a team of AUIS students won first place at the Iraq national rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court competition for the second year in a row. Students Gulan Mohammed, Noor Kamaran Omer, Paraw Ibrahim Bayiz, Hedi Rasheed Hamadameen, and Kozhan Wahid Yaseen traveled to Erbil on February 12 to take the Iraqi title. Each of the AUIS students is majoring in International Studies, with a minor in Law. AUIS will accept students in a new major in Law this year. Named after American international lawyer and diplomat Philip C. Jessup and organized by the International Law Students Association, the Jessup Moot Court is a simulation of law practice before the International Court of Justice. Each year, university students compete at national qualifying rounds to represent their country at the international competition in Washington, D.C., where teams argue hypothetical legal cases on behalf of fictitious countries. This year’s case, “‘Differences Concerning the Kayleff Yak,” addresses appropriation of traditional knowledge for commercial purposes, state responsibility for corporate environmental degradation and human rights violations, and herds of migratory wildlife. This year marks the second time an AUIS team has competed in and won the Jessup national round. AUIS first participated in the Jessup Competition in 2018 and qualified to participate in the international rounds in Washington, attended by more than one hundred teams from around the world.
A reception was held on April 5, 2018 to recognize the AUIS moot court team that traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the 59th annual Jessup International Moot Court Competition. Some 25 guests attended the evening reception, including AUIS alumni, staff, and supporters, in addition to members of the board of trustees for the University and American University of Iraq Foundation (AUIF), and Iraqi Ambassador the U.S., H.E. Dr. Fareed Yasseen, and KRG Representative to the U.S., Ms. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman. Mr. Thor Halvorson, who is a member of both the University and Foundation boards, hosted and sponsored the reception. Mr. Halvorson expressed the pride everyone in the room and at the University felt for this amazing moot court team, which overcame great odds to win the Iraqi national title and represent the country on the international stage. AUIS professor Dr. Barin Kayaoglu joined the team in Washington as faculty advisor after temporarily taking over for Prof. Ali Ahmed who led the team though the national qualifying rounds in Erbil. Dr. Kayaoglu expressed thanks to Professors Jeffrey Konczol and Ali Ahmed for their work preparing the Jessup team for the national and international competition. He also thanked the Stanford University Law School and Erik Jensen, Director of Stanford’s Rule of Law program, for their ongoing partnership with AUIS in legal education and help in establishing AUIS’s law minor. AUIS Senior and moot team member Mohammed Nasih Mohammed shared with guests the importance of AUIS to himself and his classmates. Mr. Mohammed credited critical thinking, instruction in English, and AUIS’s liberal arts education for the tremendously positive and powerful education experience that AUIS students enjoy. Liza O’Connor-Stroud, AUIS VP Advancement thanked the international law firm, Amereller, for its corporate sponsorship of this event. Ms. O’Connor-Stroud shared with event attendees that this is a particularly exciting time at AUIS as the University is seeking a number of new undergraduate majors: Law, Architectural Engineering, Software Engineering, and Translation Science, in addition to a Masters degree program in Information Technology. Eleanor Moulakis, widow of the late AUIS President Athanasios Moulakis, closed out the formal part of the program by expressing how proud her husband would be of the moot court team’s success and how delighted he would be about the progress AUIS is making in establishing a law program.
SULAIMANI, February 19, 2018 - Students from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) will represent Iraq at the 59th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC this April after receiving the first place prize during the national qualifying rounds on February 12. The Jessup Competition is the largest moot court competition in the world with participants from 645 law schools in 95 countries. Teams will represent fictional nation states in disputes before a panel of judges in a model of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ principal judicial organ. Led by faculty advisor Prof. Ali Ahmed, AUIS students Linda A. Alkarim, Mohammed Fatih, Mohammed Nasih, Rawezh Othman, and Shatoo Diyar Bakir competed against three other teams before a panel of ten judges in the Iraqi qualifying rounds at Erbil’s Salahaddin University. “I’m so impressed with the way our students performed,” Prof. Ahmed said. “The team has overcome so many challenges and came out on top against some of the best law students in the country.” This year marks the first time AUIS students have participated in the Jessup Competition, while the University previously hosted qualifying rounds in 2016. ### AUIS is the first non-government, not-for-profit, American-style institution of higher education in Iraq. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, it is also the first non-governmental university in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to be accredited by both the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The University welcomes students, 35% of whom are women, from Iraq’s diverse communities, including Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Yazidis and Christians as well as Syrian refugees. Follow AUIS on Twitter or Facebook, or visit www.auis.edu.krd for the latest news and details about the University. If you would like to help support the University and its students, please visit the American University of Iraq Foundation's giving site or contact Liza O’Connor-Stroud, Vice President Advancement, at [email protected] For media requests, please contact Delawit Mesfin, Director of Communications, at [email protected]