The Jessup Moot is an international competition organized by the International Law Students Association (in conjunction with the American Society of International Law) and sponsored by the international law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP. This year, 556 teams competed worldwide from 89 countries, of which 104 teams from 81 countries (including 13 teams from the United States) advanced to compete in Washington.
The Columbia Law team previously won the Atlantic regional round, at which Alka Pradhan was the second-ranked oralist and Corey Whiting was the fourth-ranked oralist. In Washington, Columbia's team prevailed over the other U.S. competitors and went into the semifinals ranked 4th out of 104. They then won the semifinal round and ultimately the suspenseful final round in a packed large courtroom at the U.S. Courthouse.
Vincent Levy and Tracy Appleton argued the final round against the Venezuela team, before a bench consisting of Judge Bruno Simma (of the International Court of Justice), Sir Michael Wood (former Legal Advisor to the U.K. Foreign Office), and Nicola Bonucci (Director of Legal Affairs at the OECD). At the conclusion of the argument, the judges commended the Columbia team both for their written briefs (known as memorials in accordance with international practice) and for their oral advocacy. Vincent Levy was honored as best oralist in the final round.
The 2006 Columbia team is the first U.S. team to win the international Jessup competition since 1990, and the first from Columbia to become world champions since 1963 and 1965. (Columbia most recently won the national championship in 2003.)
A trophy, soon to be inscribed with the names of the five team members, memorializes this accomplishment.