Students & Campus
30 March 2021

New Challenges as Students Advance to Global Round of John H. Jackson Moot Court

Graduate Institute students are no strangers to the final round of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition, which is a simulated hearing based on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement system.

Although this year’s virtual setting presented an additional and unforeseen hurdle to their already demanding workload, the students have not let the altered situation around COVID shake their ambition nor work ethic.  

“We are completely dedicated and motivated to make our case with improved arguments and pleading styles for the Final Oral Round, which will take place in June", expressed the Institute’s team members*. 

From 3 to 7 March, the Graduate Institute team, composed of current or recent graduates of the Master in International Law and the Master in International Affairs, competed against teams from all over Europe for a limited number of places in the Global Oral Round, which will take place in June, either online or in Geneva at the World Trade Organization’s headquarters. In addition to their advancement to the final round, two students won the award for “best oralist” in the preliminary and semi-final rounds for this regional round.
“I think that the online format has made it challenging to convey teamwork-related skills to the panellists and reduced the efficiency of body language”, said Panagiotis Kyriakou, alumnus of the PhD in International Law programme, former moot court participant and current supervisor of the Institute’s moot court team. “But it has also given students a taste of the future of international litigation and negotiations, providing a good ‘training ground’ in that sense”.

“The John H. Jackson WTO Moot Court competition is a huge and exciting challenge”, added the students. “We work on one fictitious case for about a year, through written submissions and oral rounds. Naturally, the whole experience rests on teamwork, which is essential. The contribution of our coaches is a key element, as they can share their experience with previous moot courts and their precious knowledge of trade law". 


*The participants’ identities are protected under an anonymity rule established this year by the John H. Jackson Moot Court.