USC law reaches semi-finals in 'World Cup of Mooting'

·4 min read

THE University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City has proven that it continues to train world-class future lawyers after its moot court team finished among the top four in the 2021 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

The moot team from USC’s School of Law and Governance excelled in simulated arbitration proceedings against 570 teams from nearly 100 countries that competed from across different time zones, with team member Rhomeljustein Redoble listed as one of the top 34 best oralists during the online awarding on April 18, 2021.

Chrisha Romano-Weigel and Edward Dominic Emilio teamed up with Redoble, who were coached by lawyer Daryl Bretch M. Largo and assisted by lawyer Rashid V. Pandi, in competing in what is dubbed as the “World Cup of Mooting.”

Lawyer Joan S. Largo, USC assistant vice president for academic affairs, praised the team for its “hard work, brilliance, endurance, and perseverance.”

She took pride in seeing USC “law students from this humble place in Cebu stand toe-to-toe with their peers from all over the world.”

Pandemic

USC first joined the global competition based in Washington, D.C., USA in 2015 when its delegation earned the distinction as “The Best New Team.”

Pandi led the 2015 team with Vincent Joseph Cesista, Kay Beverly Go and Rheland Servacio, who also reached the Octofinals and achieved the 7th place in memorials, besting 128 combined memorials in the international rounds.

In 2018, USC won the coveted Richard R. Baxter Award for Best Applicant memorial. It is given after the team’s memorial was compared against the top memorials in the international rounds.

Panels of prominent judges determined that USC’s memorial was “the very best of all applicant memorials.” Its combined memorials also ranked fifth and received the Hardy C. Dillard Award for Best Combined Memorials.

The International Law Students Association started the competition in 1960 and named it after Philip C. Jessup, an American jurist notable for his accomplishments in the field of international law who served as judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the United Nations in 1960 to 1969.

The Jessup competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the ICJ. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.

Conducted in a completely virtual format for the first time since the competition’s 60 years of history, the 2021 Global Rounds focused on the obligations and responses of States concerning the global pandemic, according to USC Law Dean Jose Glenn C. Capanas.

It also tackled questions regarding the jurisdiction of the court, political asylum of an alleged rogue scientist, and responsibility of a State for a suspicious aircraft explosion, he added.

The USC Law team yielded to the National University of Singapore in the semi-final round that bowed to eventual world champion, University of Sydney.

Track record

In 2018, USC emerged victorious and earned the championship in the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition held at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Mark Lawrence Badayos, who placed third in the 2018 Bar Examinations, led the team with Tess Marie Tan and Stephanie Marie Abigail Olea in the final match against Singapore Management University.

USC first joined the UK competition a year earlier and finished a strong third after it yielded to the host University of Oxford by a narrow margin.

Pandi, who coached the 2018 champion team, was also part of the 2017 team with Tan and Olea, which included Vincent Joseph Cesista and Jonah Mark Avila.

Also in 2016, USC Law emerged champion in the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition in Florida, USA.

It was a historic win for the Philippines and Southeast Asia as it was the first time that a Southeast Asian country won the championship in 20 years of the competition.

The USC Team then also swept the awards in the final round of the event, winning best memorial, best oralist, and overall best oralist.

The University also finished fifth in the 2018 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Geneva, Switzerland during which Redoble also earned the fourth best oralist.

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