WTO signs a Memorandum of Understanding with European Law Students Association, organizer of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition on WTO Law

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The WTO has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the European Law Students Association (ELSA) formalising the 20-year long fruitful relationship between the two entities in organizing the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition on WTO Law. For the WTO the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang, while ELSA was represented by Louis Bremond, Vice President in charge of Moot Court Competitions.
The Jackson Moot Court Competition has proven to be one of the most successful technical assistance and academic outreach activities of the WTO. It bears the name of one of the internationally most renowned scholars of GATT/WTO law and policy. This moot court competition is organised annually by ELSA with the support of the WTO and other partner institutions. The WTO has been a technical supporter of the competition since its inception in 2002. WTO staff members participate as panelists assessing written submissions and hearing oral pleadings and advise ELSA on the logistical and academic aspects of running the competition.
Each year, around 90 universities from dozens of countries across the globe participate in the Jackson Moot Court Competition. Each student team represents both the complainant and the respondent in a fictional WTO case and submits written and oral arguments. Students compete in five regional rounds: two European Rounds, All-American, African, East Asian, and Oceania and West and South Asian Rounds. The best teams from each round proceed to the Final Round that usually takes place in June in Geneva, at the Graduate Institute and the WTO. The past two editions of the competition have been held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the world finals of the 2021 edition, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala delivered a welcome address. Deputy-Director General Angela Ellard provided a statement for the final award ceremony at which a winner, the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, was announced. In the past five editions, teams from developing countries – Kenya, India, Colombia, Turkey and Sri Lanka – were either the winners or runners-up in the Final Round. This attests to the capacity building success of the competition. With the upcoming 20th anniversary of the competition, the WTO is looking forward to strengthening its cooperation with ELSA and working together on the development and expansion of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition on WTO law. The competition has grown into a truly global event, reaching great numbers of trade law students as well as academics and practitioners serving as panelists and promoting visibility and engagement with WTO matters in all continents.
For more information about the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition, visit its website here or its LinkedIn page here.