SMU makes history at the 2013 Singapore National Round of the Jessup Moot Court Competition

27 Feb 2013

Singapore Management University’s (SMU) team of law students made history last weekend.  The team comprising Kenneth Tan, Shaun Pereira, Aleksandar Georgiev, Liu Zhao Xiang, and Chong Hui Ying, won the 2013 Singapore National Round of the Jessup Moot Court Competition after defeating its rival team for the first time since the Singapore National Rounds began in 2011.

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, now in its 54th year, is the largest and most prestigious public international law moot competition in the world, with participants from over 500 law schools in over 80 countries.  Singapore has been participating for 30 years but for the first time this year, Singapore will be represented by the SMU team at the International Rounds of the Jessup Competition, which will take place from 31 March to 6 April 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Administered by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Singapore National Round took place on Saturday, 23 February 2013 at the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court.

This year’s hypothetical case relates to a dispute between two fictitious countries concerning the legal consequences of climate change resulting in the complete submergence of an island state’s territory due to rising sea levels.  The legal issues thrown up included: whether an island state’s statehood is extinguished by the submergence of its territory, the status of its citizens who are forced to emigrate as a result, and the protection of the state’s assets and the treatment of its sovereign debts.

The highly intense competition saw the teams from SMU and NUS presenting their arguments while skillfully handling numerous questions from the judging panel which was chaired by Attorney-General (AG), Mr Steven Chong, S.C., and included Judge of Appeal, Justice Chao Hick Tin and Partner of Allen and Gledhill LLP, Mr Ang Cheng Hock, S.C.. Following two rounds of strenuous arguments that spanned three hours, SMU was declared victorious.  Additionally, the SMU team won the prize for Best Memorials for the 2013 Jessup Singapore National Round, and SMU final year student Chong Hui Ying was also named the Best Oralist.

Recollecting the highly-competitive competition, Chong Hui Ying said, “The competition was too close to call because both teams were well prepared.  I think our advantage was in doing our best to engage the judges. It’s a huge honour for all of us to represent Singapore and we hope to do Singapore proud.”

Singapore currently has the best track record at the International Rounds, having been World Champion four times and Runner-Up eight times.  There is no doubt the SMU team will be training hard and aiming for the stars at the International Round which will take place next month.

 

[Featured photo: Assisting Coach and SMU alumnus Charles Li (left) with the SMU team: (left to right) Shaun Pereira, Aleksandar Georgiev, Chong Hui Ying, Kenneth Tan and Daniel Liu Zhaoxiang]

Last updated on 4 Mar 2013.