American University of Sharjah (AUS) has advanced to the finals in the Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition after winning the national round in the United Arab Emirates on February 26. The local round, jointly hosted by Latham and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, consisted of three teams, including ones from UAE University of Al-Ain in Abu Dhabi (the runner-up in this round) and the University of Sharjah. The final, international round of the competition will take place on March 25-31 in Washington, D.C.

The Jessup Cup, now in its 53rd year, is the world’s largest moot court competition, with participants from more than 500 law schools in more than 80 countries.  The competition simulates fictional disputes between countries before the International Court of Justice.  Teams of up to five students prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.  The Jessup Problem called “The Compromis” is created by the International Law Students Association and sets forth the facts and legal issues of a dispute between two or more countries.

This year’s topics were: the legality of the destruction of a cultural site; who may represent a State after a coup d’etat; State responsibility for a military operation conducted by a regional organization; and a sovereign nation’s immunity from suit in foreign domestic courts. In the UAE national round, teams competed in two rounds against each of their competitors, alternatively representing the applicant and respondent positions. Oral arguments were conducted in the DIFC Court before a bench of three judges comprising of H.E. Justice Al Al Madhani of the DIFC Court and lawyers from the Dubai office of Latham.

American University of Sharjah prevailed in the national competition after winning both rounds and earning the highest team memorial score. Lema Hatim of AUS was singled out as the “best oralist” for her delivery of oral arguments. AUS will compete against the world’s top law students in the International Rounds which will take place March 25-31, 2012 in Washington DC.

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