[CUA Office of Public Affairs]   



March 18, 2005


CUA Law Sponsors First Ever Iraqi Jessup Cup Team


With key financial support from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, promising young Iraqi law students will soon be coming to the United States to do friendly battle of the best kind: a contest of words, wits, practice and poise. For the first time, the embattled nation will field a team to compete in the prestigious Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, to be held March 27 to April 2, 2005, at the Wyndham Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Jessup Cup is the world’s preeminent international moot court competition that tests the legal, writing, oral and reasoning skills of law students.


The Iraqi team’s historic debut is made possible by a number of underwriters, including other academic institutions and the U.S. Department of State. However, the $5,100 grant from CUA’s Columbus School of Law remains the largest private donation. Issued in February, the check removed the remaining financial obstacles for the students to travel to the United States to compete.  Said CUA law school Dean William F. Fox Jr., “I am making this donation in honor of and in support of all of our graduates and current students who are serving or who have served in the U.S. military forces in Iraq.” Catholic University also will allow the Iraqi team to practice for the competition in its state-of-the-art moot court rooms.


Iraq’s student-lawyer team consists of three women and one man, all enrolled at the Sulaymania University College of Law. The four-team members were chosen from among the law school’s top 25 students, all of whom competed for a spot.


In addition to their historic participation in the Jessup Competition, the Iraqis will have an opportunity to observe a dynamic American law school close up. On April 4, the team will spend much of the day visiting the Columbus School of Law to learn more about legal education in the United States.  The group will sit in on a class; observe the Socratic teaching method in action; receive pointers on legal research through programs such as Westlaw and Lexis Nexis; visit CUA’s clinical programs; tour the law library and visit the U.S. Supreme Court, among other activities. 


This year's Jessup challenge will test knowledge of the laws of war and international environmental law. One hundred and eight teams representing 84 nations will grapple with a hypothetical problem: a dispute flares up between two countries over the fate of a commercial shipping vessel, its crew and cargo when the vessel runs aground after a pirate attack. It presents the question of who bears responsibility for the attack on the vessel on an atoll in terra nullius as well as the resultant spill of materials in the ocean surrounding the atoll.


The 2004 Jessup Cup was won by the Ateneo de Manila from the Philippines, who defeated the team from the National University of Singapore for the championship.


Founded at Harvard Law School in 1959, the Jessup Competition is widely recognized as the largest and most prestigious international law moot court competition in the world. The competition carries the name of H.E. Philip C. Jessup, a distinguished international academic, judge and diplomat.


MEDIA: For more information, contact Tom Haederle at the Columbus School of Law, at 202-

319-5438 or e-mail: haederle@cua.edu.




Back to top of page

Any questions or comments? Haederle@law.edu


Revised: 3/30/2005

All contents copyright © 2005.
The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.