The Jessup

Brooke Douglas and Team at ANU
Brooke Douglas and Team at ANU

By Brooke Douglas

In late 2018 I was selected to be a part of the Southern Cross University Jessup Team. A group of five of us were selected to compete on a national level in both the written memorials and oral advocacy in Canberra.

The Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 680 law schools in 100 countries and jurisdictions. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice.

Our team was given four months to prepare a 20 000 word memorial for both the respondent and the applicant, and eight hours of oral advocacy, again for both the respondent and the applicant.

The compromis (an agreement between two parties to submit a dispute to international arbitration for a binding resolution) was a complex and detailed issue relating to an international dispute. As a group of five we distributed tasks evenly to tackle the intense work load.

Two months into our written memorial one group member dropped out. The deadline was fast approaching and we worked overnight, for three days straight, to meet it.

One and a half weeks out from the oral advocacy in Canberra a second team member dropped out leaving three of us to complete the entire oral advocacy.

When we arrived in Canberra we were the only team of three against 18 universities. All of the other teams had five members. We stayed up working and practicing to make sure we gave our advocacy the best opportunity we could.

At the end of challenging week in Canberra our team was awarded the James Crawford Award, an award for best ‘newcomer’ team, based on our performance. The International Court of Justice himself congratulated us on our impressive efforts. Twelve other teams were in the running. In order for a university to be a 'newcomer' it had to be participating in the competition for less than five years in a row. This was an incredible achievement as our university had never competed before.

I cannot begin to explain the pressure and stress the Jessup Competition was, but I saw my own strength, and the strength of others. We just picked up the slack and continued on. This, by far has been my most rewarding personal achievement.

I learnt that I have the amazing ability to overcome adversity even when faced with seemingly impossible deadlines.

Samantha Wooldridge & Brooke Douglas
Samantha Wooldridge & Brooke Douglas

My achievement in the National Phillip C. Jessup Competition over the past month would have been absolutely impossible without AVCAT's support. Thank you AVCAT.


Brooke was awarded an AVCAT RSL Queensland Scholarship in 2017, she is undertaking a Bachelor of Laws at Southern Cross University.

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