20 February 2020
Law students from the universities across Myanmar participated in the national round of Jessup International Competition, which is the world’s largest moot court. The winning team was announced on 18th February at the national round competition held at American Center in Yangon.
The Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition is an advocacy competition, where the contestants act as the actual agents at International Court of Justice. The teams have to take role as applicant and respondent to argue the case of ICJ as in reality by writing memorials and conducting oral presentation.
The national round of Jessup International Moot Court Competition was organized for the second time in 2020 by Asian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) Myanmar with the support of U.S. Embassy in Yangon.
“The U.S Embassy is supporting this competition in two ways. The first way is supporting the national round which is taking place today. Our Public Affairs Section is supporting Asian Law Students Association that organizes the national round competition at the American Center as well as all the hard trainings for the preparation for the competition. The second way is supporting the journey of the winning team to Washington DC to compete in the international round.”, said Mr. Robert R. Strang, Resident Legal Advisor of U.S. Embassy in Yangon.
Ko Zay Yar Naing, President of ALSA explained, “The purpose of bringing this competition is that the students are to get familiar with the International Court of Justice's procedures and also with the public international law, and also to improve their legal skills of both writing and oral skills.”
At this year competition, 7 teams competed for the national round.
“Last year, we had only four teams, which were University of Yangon, University of Mandalay, Dagon University and East Yangon University. This year, we have three more teams in addition to the previous ones, which are Pathein University, Magway University and Yadanabon University. We recruited the potential participants, who would like to compete. We divided them into groups and registered to International Law Firm Association.”
For the final round of the national competition, the students from University of Yangon and University of Mandalay competed against each other. And, the winner award went to the team from University of Mandalay, which acted as the respondent.
“Actually we tried very hard, and we did not sleep for days and nights. Especially, at the night before, we had only four hours of sleep. We had been preparing gradually for six months. Since we tried to read the case, it was like a whole adventure, because this is the first time for us to experience something extreme. But I would say that we will make ourselves much more prepared before going to Washington D.C to be the good representative of Myanmar.”, said one of the members of the winning team, Ma Ingyin Khaing, Fourth Year Law Student from University of Mandalay.
“The key factor here is preparation so you have to prepare early. You have to orient yourself in the topics under the international law, which are easy for you to prepare because the resources and volumes are already available. It is great just by going here, participating and being confident. I believe the students of Myanmar are well-presented, they are bright and they have a lot of potential to present and showcase their balance not just here but also in Washington D.C.”, said, Mr. Leo Arman P. Galang, Foreign Consulting Attorney, who participated as a judge.
The international round of Jessup Moot Court Competition will take place in Washington D.C. from 12 to 18 April 2020.
“I think this is the great opportunity for the law students to develop the analytical skills as well as the real advocacy skill that will really help Myanmar in the future. The people who are participating in this program are all 17. I am expecting that 10 or 20 years later, they will be the leaders in Myanmar. And they have this opportunity to develop their skills.”, said Mr. Robert R. Strang.
Thaw Tar Swe Zin