After an excellent performance in the preliminary round, the team reached the regional semi-finals, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby automatically qualifying them for the Global Round.
“I think the online format remains a challenge for oralists to fully demonstrate their pleading skills, and it also partially deprives the participants of networking, for which the competition is known”, said Marios Tokas, PhD candidate in International Law, former moot court participant and current supervisor of the Institute’s moot court team. “Still, the virtual pleadings offered the participants a first-rate experience in managing pressure, expectations and a high-level of competition. At this stage, our team is extremely motivated and eager to develop its full potential in the coming months leading up to the Global Round”.
In addition to their advancement to the final round, one student was awarded “best oralist” in the semi-finals, and another received the same award for their performance in the preliminary round.
“The John H. Jackson World Trade Organization Moot Court Competition is a great and intriguing task”, the students remarked. “In the course of preparation, we researched some of the topical issues of contemporary international trade law and developed our drafting and public speaking skills. More importantly, we were able to experience the real functioning of the WTO dispute settlement system through this intellectually challenging competition”.
The John H. Jackson Moot Court simulates a hearing of the WTO dispute settlement system and aims to “enhance knowledge of international trade law and dispute settlement procedures”. It also offers opportunities to begin a future career in trade law as many of its sponsors are recognised globally as the top law firms in this field.
This year’s team and coaches also acknowledge the great benefit of support from faculty at the Institute, like Professors Joost Pauwelyn and Jan Bohanes, alumnae and alumni who participated or coached previous teams, and members of the administrative staff.