Law School Team Finishes Strong in Jessup International Moot Court Competition


Public Affairs, 212-854-2650
Washington, D.C., April 7, 2010—Columbia Law School competed in the World Championship Round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition held March 21-27 in Washington.
The Law School team finished second in the White & Case International Rounds out of 105 teams from 76 countries that competed. The Law School retained its title as U.S. National Champion, and also won the Alona E. Evans Prize for best written memorial in the international rounds.
The Law School team of Jacob Johnston ’12, Akshaya Kumar ’12, Kevin Lin '11, Erik Lindemann '11 and Elisabeth Page '11 advanced to the Championship Round through 14 undefeated oral rounds against teams from the U.S., Poland, Taiwan, India, and Slovenia.
Kumar and Lin argued in the Championship Round, with Johnston serving as counsel. The round was judged by former International Court of Justice presidents Stephen M. Schwebel and Dame Rosalyn Higgins, along with Harold Koh, the top lawyer at the State Department.
“We really pushed each other to perform at our best,” Page said. “It was wonderful, going into the elimination rounds, to know that we had no weak links, and that every member of the team could give an amazing performance.”
Although Australia National University took home the Jessup Cup, Lin won the Stephen M. Schwebel Prize for best oralist in the Championship round, which he received from Schwebel himself.
“Competing in the Jessup tournament was one of the most amazing experiences in my life,” Lin said. “It was an honor to meet and compete against teams from countries all over the world.”
This year’s team was led by Lindemann and Page, who defeated teams from India and Slovenia in three elimination rounds to enable Columbia to reach the final. Lindeman received the third-place individual oralist award, and Page received the 14th-place oralist award.
The team received coaching from Suyash Paliwal ’10, last year’s first-place overall oralist. Jessup alumni and law students also helped prepare the team for the final rounds. The team’s faculty advisor was Lori Damrosch, the Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization.
The Philip C. Jessup Moot Court at Columbia Law School is sponsored by an endowment from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
The Jessup Competition is the world’s largest moot court competition and the oldest dedicated to international law. It is named after Philip C. Jessup ’24, who taught international law and diplomacy at Columbia from 1925 until 1961. He published on maritime law, neutrality, collective security, and his most influential book, The Modern Law of Nations (1947). Jessup helped draft the statutes for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Law Commission and served the U.S. government in a variety of advisory and representative posts. In 1961 he left Columbia for a nine-year term as United States representative to the International Court of Justice.

Previously, Columbia has claimed three world championships–in 1963, 1965, and 2006.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins its traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, national security, and environmental law.