After three days of intense debates and statements, three teams are heading to Washington, D.C. for the final rounds.
Last week, 17 teams comprised of approximately 130 students as well as 54 judges arrived at the Hertie School to compete for the honour of representing Germany in the international Jessup Moot Court competition in April. After three days and countless rounds of heated debates, the final ruling was issued: the teams from Humboldt University, Bucerius Law School and Heidelberg University will travel to Washington, D.C. for the final, international round of the competition. After being crowned champion for two consecutive years, this year’s Hertie School Moot Court team, Robyn Liza Titulski, Johannes Maria Halkenhaeusser, Dominik Robin Cramer, Rianne Desirée `t Jong and Olivia Aitken, made it to the quarter-finals. Two of the team members were also honoured with individual awards recognising their outstanding individual efforts. The competition was organised by Hertie School Professor of European Law and Governance Mark Dawson, Professor of German Public Law and International Law Pierre Thielbörger, and Vincent Widdig.
A highlight of the event was the high-level visit by German Justice Minster Marco Buschmann, who joined students for a fireside chat and a keynote address. Praising the students, some of whom had invested up to six months in preparing for the competition, he urged them to regard their profession and duties as a treasure for our closely-knit societies and not just as “simple craftsmanship”. “To apply the law means to reconcile freedom and rules, peace and conflict. Only under the law can people peacefully strive for their personal well-being in peaceful competition with each other,” remarked Minister Buschmann.
The final rounds were held in the grand chambers of the Kammergericht in Berlin, the oldest German court building still in use. There, the finalists pled their cases in the very same courtrooms normally used for high-level court proceedings for the city of Berlin. On Saturday evening, a final championship dinner was held at which Tim Eicke KC, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, and other notable guests gave speeches and the winners were announced. The best applicants and respondents, the most balanced and improved teams, and the best oralists also received awards, which were presented by representatives of German and international law firms.
The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is organised annually by the International Law Students Association (ILSA). It draws participants from close to 700 schools around the world. As the 2021 and 2022 German champion, the Hertie School had the privilege of hosting the 2023 German national rounds.
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Mark Dawson, Professor of European Law and Governance
Pierre Thielbörger, Adjunct