Philip C. Jessup Moot Court

logo Jessup Moot CourtIntroduction

The Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition – one of the most prestigious moot courts globally and the proverbial World Cup of moot courts - is an advocacy competition for law students. Teams of law students compete against one another through the presentation of oral and written pleadings to address timely issues of public international law in the context of a hypothetical legal dispute between nations.

The Compromis (the case) is the springboard for the Jessup Competition. Written by leading scholars of international law, the Compromis is a compilation of agreed upon facts about the dispute that is submitted for adjudication to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the primary judicial organ of the United Nations.


After the Compromis is released (mid-September), students begin researching and preparing arguments for both sides of the dispute, drafting and editing written pleadings, called “memorials,” and practicing oral presentations. Each team prepares two written memorials and two 45-minute oral presentations, one for each party to the dispute (the “Applicant” and the “Respondent”). Teams argue alternately as Applicant and Respondent against competing teams before a panel of judges, simulating a proceeding before the International Court of Justice. The team furthermore consists of two students which make up the Applicant, two students which make up the Respondent as well as one student who acts as legal counsel. This entails that there will be 4 pleaders and one legal counsel who will provide research support to the pleaders. Finally, the competition itself is comprised of a national round, which takes place in Belgium and – if selected as team – the international rounds during which you plead before highly esteemed legal scholars and judges!

Ghent University has previously successfully represented Belgium at the international rounds in Washington, DC on a number of occasions! The 2013 delegation broke national records at the time, placing 11th out of 118 participating universities in DC and 500+ universities globally, whilst the 2017 team was awarded 4th best Combined Memorials!


The Jessup Competition is the world’s largest moot court competition. It is also the oldest moot court competition dedicated to international law. Let there be no doubt – the Jessup Competition entails work. However, this should also not be exaggerated, as this depends predominantly upon the student concerned. Firstly, if you have an interest in international law as such, it is not implausible that a number of your other classes will be focused upon international law, not to mention your Master Thesis. You will find that the acquired knowledge in the Jessup course will only facilitate these endeavors. Furthermore, if you are a motivated, efficient, and dedicated student this class will prove to be the highlight of your academic career thus far. The course as such goes beyond the traditional classroom setting and provides you with skills both oral and written, which will prove invaluable not only in the remainder of your academic career but equally so in your future careers. Public speaking skills will inevitably be acquired as will legal writing skills about complex legal issues. At the end of this course you will have thorough insight into public international law, including contemporary issues of international law which currently puzzle the international community. Finally, participation in the national rounds and potential participation in the international rounds will prove to be an inspiring challenge as it is incredibly exhilarating to go head-to-head on complex legal issues which have not yet been solved, with students from all over the world, from a variety of backgrounds with a number of varied and interesting legal approaches.

This class is a must for anyone with a competitive edge who enjoys a challenge in a prominent legal international setting!


Interested students are asked to attend the introductory class on Wednesday 29 September at 17h30 in Lokaal 7.1 Pleitlokaal (‘Pleading Room’) during which the selection proceedings will be elaborated upon!


For any questions and/or concerns, please contact! See you all there!

Apply / Questions

  1. Apply / Send questions to:
  2. Come to the introductory information session: (see Schedule)



Date (hours) Activity Location

29 September 2021 (17h30)

Introductory information session

Lokaal 7.1 Pleitlokaal (‘Pleading Room’)
1 October 2021 (09h00) Application deadline Online
1 October 2021 (10h00) Interviews Lokaal 7.1 Pleitlokaal (‘Pleading Room’)

Past achievements


  • Team: Marlies Vanhooren, Michiel Vervliet, Kiana Verschraegen, Anne Oloo (LLM) en Andrés Velèz (LLM)
  • International Round: 18th place


  • Team: Mats Cuvelier, Hanne Delbaere, Carl Vander Maelen, Thomas Vande Velde, Tamlyn Jayatilaka
  • International Round: 25th place
  • Awards: Carl Vander Maelen: 24th best pleader internationally
    Thomas Vande Velde: 31st best pleader internationally
    Written submission: 4th place internationally


  • Team: Jasmine Rayée, Julie Van Pée, Judith Vermeulen, Sophie Schiettekatte, Ella Rutter
  • National Round: winner
    International Round: 14th place
  • Award: Jasmine Rayée: 11th best pleader internationally


  • Team: Jole Carlé, Joyce De Coninck, Karel Devloo, Sabrien Rezkallah, Patrizia Sabbadin
  • National Round: winner
    International Round: 11th place
  • Awards: Joyce De Coninck: 7th best pleader internationally
    Karel Devloo: 68th best pleader internationally


  • Team: Kristof Caluwaert, Tijl De Jaeger, Bernard Dubois, Hans Plancke, Freekje De Vidts
  • National Round: winner
    International Round: 36th, Best Memorials


  • Team: Charline Daelman, Fran De Schryver, Sarah Moens, Charlotte Ryckman, Marieke Van Hoecke
  • National Round: winner

Testimonials, pictures and video materials


  • “It’s a privilege to be part of this year’s Jessup team – a group of driven, passionate and dedicated women who challenge each other to become the best version of themselves. This experience will prove to be an asset during my LL.M in the United States, which I plan to pursue in the next academic year. I passionately strive to make a difference in this world, and my ambitions include working as an international lawyer, or pursuing a career at international organisations such as the United Nations.”
    Jasmine Rayée (associate at Liedekerke, Brussels)
  • “It is my ambition to contribute in a conducive way to the field of public international law, be it as a scholar, judge or policy-maker. Preparing for the Jessup has provided me with valuable insight in the intricacies of international law and the close relationships and thin balances between human rights and security. I am honoured to work with and learn from my Jessup colleagues who have become my inspiration and friends for life.”
    Sophie Schiettekatte (teaching assistant public international law, Leiden University)
  • “My dream has always been to specialize in International law and Human Rights and, in this regard, to participate in the Jessup Moot Court. It is an honour to be part of this year’s talented team of young women – who became my dearest friends. My experience in Washington D.C. will undoubtedly further improve my knowledge of the law as well as my pleading skills. After graduating, I intend to apply for the postgraduate programme ‘International Relations and Diplomacy’ at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. It is my ambition to pursue a career in International and European Law within an international organisation or law firm.”
    Julie Van Pee (associate Contrast)
  • “I am honoured to be a part of the Ghent Jessup team this year. European and international law have been my main interests during my studies. As Jessup focusses on international law and creates the possibility to develop pleading skills – which I consider highly relevant as a law student – this is an amazing opportunity for me. I have learnt a lot already and continue to learn every day: it is a constant evolution. Additionally, I have the chance to develop these skills early – assets for my upcoming internships and for a successful completion of my Final Year.”
    Judith Vermeulen (scholarship recipient College of Europe, Bruges)
  • “International law is an area in which I hope to work and contribute in the future. I am very proud to be representing Belgium in this international competition, and to share the Jessup experience with a supportive and well-bonded team, who have a genuine passion for Public International law, making the journey even more rewarding. The Jessup forms a central part of my LL.M studies at Ghent University, a challenge I took upon myself after graduating from Oxford Law.”
    Ella Rutter (International Arbitration Trainee at Allen & Overy LLP, Brussels)

Pictures & movie clips