PRACTICING JUSTICE

From the moot courtroom to the International Court of Justice—The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is training the world’s next generation of international lawyers as White & Case marks the 10th anniversary of introducing the Russian National Rounds.

As Sergey Usoskin stepped into the Peace Palace in The Hague in September of 2010, he could not help but think of the Jessup Competition. But on this day, Sergey was not arguing a fictional dispute before a simulated International Court of Justice as he had in the 2006 Jessup: He was on the legal team representing Russia in Georgia v. Russian Federation before the actual International Court of Justice.

Sergey reflected on how the Jessup had helped prepare him for this moment by building his understanding of and respect for international law. He was struck by the Jessup’s reach as he looked around the courtroom and saw three lawyers he had competed against and a former Jessup competitor who had judged his team, as well as an international scholar and several judges of the International Court of Justice who had judged the final round at the world championships. Sergey’s experience suggests that the Jessup—with more than 2,000 law students from 80 countries competing annually—has started to reach a critical mass of lawyers with the talent and training to become influential voices in the rule of law globally.

Sergey Usoskin is one of nearly 1,500 law students who have competed in the Russian Jessup Competition over the last ten years. In 2002, White & Case organized the first Jessup Competition in Moscow, which saw 14 teams compete. Today, the Russian Jessup is the largest national competition in the world, with nearly 50 teams competing each year. Vladislav Ivanov, a White & Case associate who was on the winning team of the first Russian Jessup Competition, believes that the competition builds skills and understanding: “Through the Jessup experience, law students learn the research, writing and advocacy skills to become better lawyers. It also humanizes the law, helping students understand that there are two sides to every case. One of the most valuable aspects of the Jessup is the knowledge and respect students develop for international law, and this is particularly important in Russia.”

EACH YEAR MORE THAN...       2,000 law students       550 law schools       80 countries

Hermann Schmitt, executive partner of our Moscow office, notes that, “Over the past ten years, the Jessup has had a positive impact on the many participating students, their universities and the legal profession in Russia. Our involvement in the competition has also been beneficial to the office, as many of our lawyers are Jessup alumni, and it has become an important source of pride and morale. We recognize the importance of the Jessup as a valuable legal training ground for students in Russia, and the world, and are proud to sponsor the White & Case Russian Jessup Competition.”

Like many other past competitors, Sergey remains involved with the Jessup—he is a judge and a coach. Throughout his involvement, he has been impressed with the knowledge and skills students gain from the experience. But he walked out of the courtroom at the Peace Palace with an even greater appreciation for the Jessup and its growing impact on the legal profession in Russia and the international community.

WHITE & CASE AND
THE 2011 JESSUP


The 2011 Jessup Problem involved two fictional countries arguing about the legality of using unmanned drones, a ban on women’s clothing that has religious significance, and bribery and corruption.


A RECORD 58 NATIONAL AND REGIONAL COMPETITIONS WERE HELD WORLDWIDE.

IRAQ'S FIRST NATIONAL COMPETITION HOSTED 16 TEAMS.

A RECORD 5 TEAMS PARTICIPATED FROM AFGHANISTAN.

A TEAM FROM THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY COMPETED FOR THE FIRST TIME.

150+ WHITE & CASE LAWYERS AND STAFF VOLUNTEERED AROUND THE WORLD.

66 WHITE & CASE LAWYERS JUDGED ORAL ROUNDS.

WHITE & CASE CREATED THE FIRST ONLINE JUDGE TRAINING GUIDE.


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PICTURED ABOVE LEFT
The Constitutional Court building in St. Petersburg, Russia.