International Law
18 June 2019

World-renowned John H. Jackson Moot Court Comes to the Institute

Students from all over the world, including a team from the Graduate Institute, convened at the Graduate Institute from 5-7 June for the John H. Jackson Moot Court, a simulated hearing of the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system, organised with the support of the Graduate Institute and the WTO.

“Participating in moot court competitions provides students with a unique experience to learn law outside a formal classroom setting”, said Anne Saab, Assistant Professor of International Law and the faculty member responsible for moot courts. “Competitions are fierce and demand a great deal of dedication on the part of participants and their coaches. The International Law Department is proud of the hard work and excellent achievements of our students who represent us in moot court competitions each year”. 

The relationship between the Graduate Institute and the John H. Jackson Moot Court was developed out of a desire to implicate an institution with world-renowned academics that was also based in Geneva, an idea supported by WTO Director-General and patron of the competition, Roberto Azevêdo.  

“The Graduate Institute was the best fit and it has one of the best programmes in trade law”, said George Manikas, Vice President in charge of ELSA Moot Court Competitions. “In the world of trade, you say ‘Graduate Institute’ and everyone knows it”.

Mr Manikas pointed out that, in some cases, students who made it to the final rounds in Geneva were then recruited by major law firms, or even the WTO. “This is a unique opportunity but also, after their studies, students can potentially gain a career out of it”. 

Students from the Graduate Institute have previously participated not only in the John H. Jackson Moot Court – which they won in 2012 and 2018 – but also the Telders and Charles Rousseau Moot Courts. 

The winners of this year’s competition were Mishael Wambua, Kandalla Maleehah and Catherine Penda from Strathmore University in Kenya, who defeated a team from Harvard Law School in the final round. They were the first African team to win the John H. Jackson Moot Court.   

The John H. Jackson Moot Court, formerly known as ELSA or EMC2, is the largest moot court on WTO and trade law. In its 17th year, it was renamed to pay tribute to John H. Jackson, one of the chief architects and founding fathers of WTO trade law. 

Pictured from left to right, this year's participating team from the Graduate Institute: Alex Wong (MIA, 1st year), Boris Ohanyan (MIL, 1st year), Ting Han (MIL, 1st year), Ana Sofia Coelho Correia (MIL, 1st year). 

Read about the moot court experience from the perspective of the Graduate Institute team’s coach, Panagiotis Kyriakou

Discover: Institute Students Qualify for Moot Court Finals