08 March 2019

Institute Students Qualify for Moot Court Finals

Standing behind the seated panel, starting from the middle right and moving right: Alex Wong, Panagiotis Kyriakou, Ana Sofia Coelho Correia, Antigoni Matthaiou, Ting Han and Boris Ohanyan.

A team of Graduate Institute students took second place in the First European Regional Round of the 2019 John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition. Created in 2000, the John H. Jackson (formerly ELSA) Moot Court Competition is a simulated hearing based on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement system, requiring students to prepare written and oral arguments for two sides of a fictional WTO case involving a trade dispute.

The team, which includes Alex Wong (first year, Master in International Affairs), Ana Sofia Coelho Correia, Ting Han and Boris Ohanyan (first years, Master in International Law), competed in Vienna, Austria from 11-15 February against universities from all over Europe to earn a spot in the Moot Court’s Final Oral Round.

Coached by Antigoni Matthaiou and Panagiotis Kyriakou, and supported academically by Professor of International Law, Joost Pauwelyn, and administratively by the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI), the team comes from a long line of success: for several years, students from the Graduate Institute have successfully participated in the Moot Court, winning the global championship in 2012 and 2018.  

“The importance of this moot court cannot be overestimated, be it for our students or the broader reputation of the Institute”, said Professor Pauwelyn. “Law firms, the WTO Secretariat and other potential employers in the field participate in the Moot Court and view it as a crucial element on a candidate's CV; sometimes they even require it. And for the Institute, doing well in this competition is a major marker for our expertise and excellence in WTO and international dispute settlement. I am delighted that this year’s team is moving on to the final!”  

In addition to their second place win, team members Ana Sofia Coelho Correia and Ting Han won “Best Oralist” for their performances in the preliminary and semi-final rounds, respectively.

"The Moot Court was a rewarding experience as it goes beyond our textbooks and helped us develop skills that will be indispensable for our future careers", noted the team members. “We are looking forward to having fun in the global round”.

From 4-8 June 2019, the top 20-25 qualifying teams will travel to Geneva for the Moot Court’s Final Oral Round, with the Preliminary Round to be held at the Graduate Institute and the Semi-final and Final at WTO’s headquarters. The event will coincide with a major annual conference on "WTO and Global Economic Regulation", to be held from June 7-8 and co-organised by the Graduate Institute and Georgetown Law.

Find out more about the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition.

Watch the video from last year’s competition: