By Michelle Prince
The Dhaka University Moot Court Society (DUMCS) team won the Bangladesh National Round of the fifth Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (Jessup), moving on to the International Round, Feb. 13, with the other participating universities. U.S. Ambassador Earl Miller opened the inaugural ceremony in February with guest of honor Bangladesh Attorney General AM Amin Uddin. This year, the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (DOJ/OPDAT) sponsored 19 universities from Bangladesh, and an appellate attorney from the DOJ helped judge the quarterfinal round. The DUMCS team won the National Round and Brac University was the runner-up.
This year’s competition was the culmination of a years-long planning process. Bangladesh hosted the first Jessup National Round in 2017, and it was the first year a Bangladesh team attended the International Round in the United States. The Dhaka team earned the “Best New Team” award that year thanks to the tireless efforts of Bangladesh’s Jessup founding National Administrator Nuran Choudhury and DOJ/OPDAT Legal Specialist Sangita Gazi—the Dhaka University team coach at the International Round.
As the world’s largest moot court competition, the Jessup enables aspiring law students from approximately 700 law schools across 100 nations and jurisdictions to address fictional disputes between countries before the International Court of Justice. The competition builds students’ oral advocacy and written presentation skills, while providing the opportunity to meet other students within the international community.
The DUMCS team’s strategy for success involved extensive preparation, legal research and analysis, and several practice sessions.
“By the time we finished our research, we had gone through over 250 journal articles, cases, blogs, and 10 books by some of the most eminent authors in public international law,” oralist Sal Sabil Chowdhury said.
Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Mohammad Nazmuzzaman Bhuian said it was worth it.
“Jessup remains a rare and rewarding experience,” he said, noting that the team is committed to upholding the ideals.
DUMCS prepared for the International Rounds of the Jessup, which were held, March 13–April 18; they competed in the Advanced Rounds, March 28.
Michelle Prince is a resident legal advisor for the Department of Justice in Embassy Dhaka’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training.