Strong finish for Osgoode in national moot competition

A team of second- and third-year Osgoode Hall Law School students had a strong showing in the National Philip C. Jessup 2004 Moot Competition held Feb. 11-14 in Vancouver.

Osgoode’s team, made up of Ngai-On Young, Mark Labenski, Michael Torrance and Jessica Dowling, and their faculty advisor Professor Janine Benedet, finished third overall out of 17 teams. Dowling also picked up a best oralist award for the championship round against the University of Toronto. The teams argued “The case between the kingdom of Arkam (applicant) and the state of Randolfia (respondent) on the differences between them concerning the international criminal court”, a hypothetical case between two fictious countries.

Osgoode recorded five wins and one loss in the preliminary rounds (defeating teams from law schools at McGill University, the University of British Columbia, Ottawa University, University of New Brunswick and the University of Montreal, while losing to the University of Victoria’s team). Osgoode lost in the final round of the competition to the University of Toronto. The University of Calgary finished second and the University of Victoria finished fourth.

More about the competition

Created in 1959, The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is an internationally recognized event. Created by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), it involves students from 300 law schools located in 50 nations.

Held in two stages, this first stage of the moot competition required Osgoode to send a team to the Canadian national division qualifying tournament in Vancouver. The top two teams from that competition (University of Toronto and University of Calgary) will go on to represent Canada at the Shearman & Sterling World Jessup Finals in Washington, D.C., which will run from March 29 to April 3.

The moot problem of the Jessup competition is usually based on a hypothetical dispute between two fictitious states. The problem is argued, both orally and in writing, on the basis of public international law as if before the International Court of Justice.

Trophies are awarded to the top three teams in the overall ranking at the World Finals, the top four teams in the National ranking and the top three oralists.