Press release

Hertie School one of two German champions at Jessup International Moot Court competition

Hertie School participants, along with coaches Mark Dawson and Pierre Thielbörger, are joined by the award sponsors. ©Louise Preuss / Sören Herber / Walther Schücking Institute for International Law

Team beat 19 top German law schools, will advance to world finals in Washington, DC.

Berlin, 07 March 2018 – A team of five Hertie School students beat 19 German law teams, taking second place at the Jessup International Moot Court competition in Kiel on 28 February - 4 March. As one of the top two teams, the students will advance to the world finals in Washington, DC, 1-7 April. Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 550 institutions in around 87 countries. It simulates a fictional dispute between countries before the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, in which teams prepare and argue oral and written pleadings.

“The level is always very high - we are, after all, competing (as non-lawyers) against 19 of the best German law schools,” said Pierre Thielbörger, Professor for International Law and one of the coaches for the Hertie School team. “We have been getting better and better each year.” Other coaches were Professor for European Law and Governance Mark Dawson, Postdoctoral Researcher Ana Bobić and Research Associate Evi Kröker. The five Master of Public Policy students included Keri Hartman (US), Kris Best (Canada), Julian Georg (Germany), Rebecca Segall (South Africa) and Kasia Nalewajko (Poland).

The topics for the competition were: a rogue state acquiring nuclear weapons, contested action by the United Nations Security Council, the validity of an arbitrational award, and military action by one state against a supply ship of another state with several civilian casualties. None of the team members have studied law. Their backgrounds are in Economics, Sociology, Political Science and Linguistics, and they all participated in the Law and Governance course taught by Dawson and Thielbörger in spring 2017. 

Besides competing in the grand final and taking second place to Munich’s Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, the team won the award for the best memorials, which is the written stage of the competition, and were ranked number one after winning all 4 preliminary rounds. Leading international law professors and judges from international courts and tribunals were on the jury.

This year’s event in Kiel was hosted by the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law, the oldest academic institution in Germany dedicated especially to international law. 

In Washington, the Hertie School team will face teams from top law schools in over 60 countries.  

The Hertie School is a private university based in Berlin, Germany, accredited by the state and the German Science Council. It prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. Interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, first-class research and an extensive international network set the Hertie School apart and position it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. The school was founded at the end of 2003 as a project of the Hertie Foundation, which remains its major partner.

Press Contact: Regine Kreitz, Director Communications, Tel.: 030 / 259 219 113, Fax: 030 / 259 219 444, Email: