By the 20th time Wade Coriell ’01 argued for this year’s Philip C. Jessup International Moot Law Court Competition, he was certain he could respond to just about anything. Coriell and his teammates, Woo Lee ’01, William Burke-White ’02, and Natalie Reid ’03, joined the 300 other teams from 60 countries that participated this year in what is regarded as the largest moot court competition in the world. Coriell won a best oralist, and he and Woo shared a second place brief award in the south central regional competition. The HLS team advanced to the international rounds in Washington, D.C., where they competed against 70 teams representing 12 U.S. regions and countries from around the world.
“We were peppered with questions about international law from treatises on the subject, from past cases before any international tribunal, and from any evidence on the existence of particular norms of customary law,” said Coriell. This year the hypothetical case involved a river boundary as well as a mining facility dispute on the seabed of the high seas between the fictional countries of Erebus and Merapi. Past cases have involved human rights, space law, international antitrust law, and terrorism issues.
Established in 1959, the Jessup competition is organized by the International Law Students Association and cosponsored by the American Society of International Law. In February HLS hosted the northeast regional competition, one of the 12 regionals held in the United States. Professor Richard Baxter, who taught at the School from 1956 to 1980, was one of the com-petition’s founders.