TuksLaw champs again!

Posted on February 02, 2014

The TuksLaw team - Alexia Katsiginis (BCom III) and Gift Keketso Kgomosotho (LLB IV).

The TuksLaw's team victory included winning all the categories of the National Round, including Best Memorials, and Best Oralist in the final, Gift Keketso Kgomosotho.  TuksLaw teams representing the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria have walked away with the laurels from the National Rounds over many years - progressing to the Final Rounds of the National Rounds of this Competition over the past five years (2010 to 2014) and were victorious in four out of the five final rounds, eliminating their South African counterparts to represent their country at the international rounds.  Universities that participated in the 2014 National Rounds were the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of South Africa (Unisa) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

"The one thing I've always loved about mooting is that by the end of it one can really measure the growth and the Jessup experience is also the same in this regard.  I am a much better researcher, oralist and team player and can't wait to see the growth after the international rounds" says Best Oralist Gift Kgomosotho. Gift was one of the first learners to participate in the National Schools Moot Court Competition a few years ago.

"Jessup has allowed me the opportunity to experience international law in a way that would not have been possible by merely studying the module. With the support of our coaches and the willingness of various guests, who have sacrificed numerous hours to help our team test our arguments, I have become a better mooter and undoubtedly a better student" says Alexia Katsiginis of her experience as a team member of the current South African Jessup champs.

The team was coached by Martie Bradley, an LLD student and academic associate in the Department of Public Law, and assistant coach Adu Gumede, a fourth year LLB student from the Faculty of Law.

Coach Martie Bradley says that "competing in moot courts and international moot courts teaches students intricate research and writing skills as their arguments are tested by an international panel of judges, confidence, court etiquette and exposure to verbal presentation on an international level.  There is truth to the saying that moot courts are won in the library as every legal aspect and authority has to be consulted to give a correct nuanced version of your case.  The fact that both applicant and respondent sides have to be argued gives students a very balanced view of research and the art of presenting the same case for opposing sides.  A winning team has to be able to write academically, to research very accurately and to present orally, resulting in the development of legal skills at a rapid rate during such competition."  

According to Adu, "assisting the team was driven by the importance of mentorship and the development of student culture at UP. Especially having been a past Jessup Mooter I wanted to plow back the skills that I had learnt.  The Jessup Cup is an important opening for law students interested in public international law and addresses some of the most critical global issues today. It teaches and allows students to become connected and retain a critical mindset in geo politics, security, state practice, human rights and international relations all within the backdrop of international law.  As a student with a passion for this field it was really meaningful and academically enriching, but also awesome!"

2014 will be the 55th year of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 550 law schools in more than 80 countries. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. One team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.  Most students first compete in qualifying competitions (mostly held in January to March) in their countries or regions to earn the right to advance to the White & Case International Rounds held every spring in Washington, D.C.

The 2014 Jessup Problem is based on conflict between maritime development and conservation, criminal jurisdiction and maritime salvage rights.

The Faculty of Law, on behalf of the participants, expresses its sincere appreciation to White & Case for sponsoring the National Rounds of this competition over many years.

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