UP Law Moot Society Team Claims Victory at the National Rounds of the Philip Jessup Competition for 8 Years in a Row

Posted on February 23, 2024

                                         The team (from left): Ms. Webb, Ms. Diphofa, Mr. Jawa (Coach), Ms. Mthembu, Ms. Sargood.

The South African national rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition took place virtually on February 2 and 4, 2024. The Jessup competition is the world’s biggest and most prestigious moot competition. Through this competition, students from different law faculties worldwide can compete against one another. The University of Pretoria, moot team claimed victory at the national rounds of the Jessup competition. The team members who proudly represented the Faculty of Law (UP Law) comprised of Mr. Nyasha Jawa (coach), Ms. Mamkhabela Tamara Mthembu, Ms. Oreneile Diphofa, Ms. Shanley Webb, and Ms. Gracie Sargood. They will represent UP Law and South Africa during the Jessup International Law Moot competition taking place from the 30th of March to the 6th of April in Washington, D.C., United States of America.

The team began preparing for this competition in early October and worked consistently through the holidays. At the two-day national rounds of the competition, Ms. Mamkhabela Tamara Mthembu was awarded best speaker. When asked what contributed to their overall success, the team lauded their success as a result of their diverse and dynamic team, which has grown from strength to strength. “A significant factor contributing to our success is our team's cohesiveness. We harmoniously collaborate and are diligent in our approach. We do our work with open-mindedness, critical thinking skills, and reliability," the team added.

The team commended the coach, Mr. Jawa, for the role he played in fostering a healthy and productive working atmosphere by managing their workload and ensuring they received enough rest. His guidance has propelled the team to perform better and attain good results. His expertise has helped them to refine the teams' arguments and has spurred creative thinking. The team further added that he is always more than willing to listen to their ideas and develop strategies.

Competing at a moot competition such as Jessup goes beyond prestige. It requires dedication, good work ethic, team cohesion, and the ability to merge the various strengths of the various team members into one dynamic contribution. The overall experience is enjoyable and will carry the individual team members until they reach their work environment.

UP Law academics like Dr. Killander (Centre for Human Rights), Prof. Bradlow (Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship), and Prof. Tladi Public Law lecturer and newly elected judge for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) were acknowledged by the team for their support in preparation for the competition. The team also mentioned that they are grateful to these professors for their invaluable contributions, particularly in entertaining their inquiries and providing assistance with research. Moot advisors, namely, Mr. Jawa (coach), Ms. Singh, Ms. Moshira, and Ms. Ayelomi (2023 Jessup National Rounds Best Oralist), have also given the team useful insights that helped with their competition preparation.

UP Law is extremely proud of this team, and wishes them the best of luck in representing the University of Pretoria and South Africa at the International rounds.

- Author Tshilidzi Mahumela

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