Tackling current issues in international law before a panel of notable academics and internationally recognized jurists—that is the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court, the oldest and, according to many, most prestigious moot court in the world.
With more than 550 law schools represented and a delegation comprised of students from just under 100 countries, those wishing to distinguish themselves must give their all in this competition. This spring, a team from Bucerius rose to the challenge for a third time.
Following months of preparation and nightly sessions of footnote-checking, referencing formulations, and a battery of questioning, the six members of the 2016 Bucerius Jessup Team returned to campus with a grin after having claimed both the championship title from the German national competition and 13th place at the international finals held in Washington, D.C. during early April.
Offering up a series of rational arguments, four members of the entering class of 2013 were able to swing the jury with their delivery and impressively authentic performance. Alexander Wagner and Jannik Maas represented a respondent who had, for years, monitored a neighboring country with whom relations had been friendly; Fabian Eichberger and Christoph Saake represented the applicant, a country known widely as showing respect for human rights that had, in an act of uncertainty, arrested the respondent’s citizens residing within their national boundaries. The jury included judges from the International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights and German Constitutional Court.
Shock and happiness reached a new level when the Bucerius delegation was declared German national champion, which paved the way for the six-member team to represent the Law School at the international finals in Washington, D.C. — a first for the university.
Moving to an international level, the challenge grew significantly: more aggressive judges, more diverse arguments and the chance to compete against the world's best teams.
After 12 matches undefeated, the victory streak came to an end in an unfortunate defeat.
In addition to merits for overall rank, the team and its coaches, Julia Bartos and Magdalena Göbel (both members of the entering class of 2012), were able to take away awards for Best National Speaker and Best Speaker in the National Final. Paired with new friendships, valuable insight into the world of international law and unforgettable memories, the members of Jessup Team #133 have countless reasons to celebrate and give thanks.