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UP Law Achieves Historic Milestone as World Finalists in Criminal Moot Court Tilt

The UP Law ICC Team at the 2024 International Bar Association International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition (IBA ICCMCC). Photo from Janessa Kudera on Facebook.

The University of the Philippines College of Law (UP Law) finished as a World Finalist and Top 3 placer at the prestigious 2024 International Bar Association International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition (IBA ICC MCC).

This marks the first time a Philippine team has reached the world finals in the competition’s 11th edition held on June 7, 2024, at The Hague, Netherlands.

The UP Law ICC Team, consisting of Joshua Cabrera, Philip Javellana, Janessa Kudera, Jeremy Tan, and Team Captain Samantha Villanueva, won special awards during their final appearance.

UP Law won Best Victim’s Counsel Team, an award based on the scores of the Memorial submissions and the Preliminary Oral Rounds.

Cabrera was recognized as the Best Victim’s Counsel Speaker during the oral rounds where each team pleaded a total of 6 times, twice per role, in front of three or four judges.

Under the mentorship of Professor Michael Tiu Jr., with Professor Rommel Casis as the faculty adviser, the team outperformed over 93 teams from 47 countries.

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“Building on UP Law’s stellar track record in international moot court competitions, this outstanding achievement reinforces the institution’s reputation as a global leader in moot court contests and underscores the exceptional abilities of Philippine law students in International Criminal Law and Human Rights Law,” said UP Law.

According to UP Law, this year’s case, “Prosecutor v. Lionel Strong, Situation in Sirax,” involved complex issues such as the ICC’s jurisdiction following a State’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute and attacks on cultural sites as crimes against humanity. This scenario holds particular relevance for the Philippines, which is debating the ICC’s jurisdiction over crimes committed before its withdrawal.

The Philippine team defended the rights to a fair trial and the rule of law, competing against Singapore Management University, which represented the Victim’s Counsel, and Strathmore Law School for the Prosecution Counsel.

Three distinguished judges, led by ICC Judge Althea Violet Alexis-Windsor, evaluated the team.

Three other law schools from the Philippines participated in the ICC moot court competition: University of the Visayas – Gullas Law School, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law, and Dr. V. Orestes Romualdez
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The Prestige of IBA ICCMCC

The IBA ICCMCC, a large-scale educational program, brings together students of different backgrounds and cultures to simulate the judicial proceedings of the ICC. The competition aims to enhance law students’ knowledge of the Rome Statute and ICC proceedings by having them make written and oral arguments in a fictitious case.

Judges from international courts and tribunals, international (criminal) law professors, and other legal professionals, including many IBA members, serve as panelists.

The competition’s case addresses fundamental issues of substantive and procedural international criminal law. The Competition consists of a written round conducted remotely and an oral round conducted in person in ICC.

Each team takes on one of three roles: prosecutor, legal representative of victims, and defense counsel. The participating teams write a memorial for each role, which legal experts evaluate to determine who advances to the next round. The finalists argue their case in the final round before a panel including an ICC judge.

READ about other international victories of UP Law here and join us in celebrating UP Law’s new milestone!

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Ashley Nicole Ulep
Ashley Nicole Ulep
Ashley Nicole Ulep is a 4th-year college student taking up Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She is a former intern at Balitang A2Z who is passionate about writing news of the people and for the people.

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