SMU is 1st runner-up in World’s Most Prestigious Moot Court Competition

Reaches the finals thrice in less than 10 years despite being the competition’s youngest law school

Singapore, 13 April 2022 (Wednesday) – Singapore Management University (SMU)’s Yong Pung How School of Law (YPHSL) reached the finals of the 63rd Philip C. Jessup Law Moot Court Competition (also known as the Jessup), held between 25 March and 10 April.  In addition to championship final positions in 2013 and 2014, this is the third time SMU has taken the 1st runner-up spot in less than 10 years, despite being the youngest law school in the competition. Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Attorney-General Lucien Wong, and Minster for Law, K. Shanmugam were former participants of the competition.

The Jessup is the most prestigious and largest moot court competition and one of the grand slam or major moots internationally, with about 700 law schools from 100 countries competing. The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Each law school is allowed to send one team for the competition, where students will present arguments through oral and written pleadings.  This year’s topic revolved around human rights on the Internet, data theft, the secession of part of a nation's territory, and foreign election interference. It was judged by three International Court of Justice judges.

The SMU team was represented by Chang Wen Yee (LLB, 2022), Brian Wong (JD’2022), Robbie Tan (LLB'2022), Joel Soon (LLB'2022), and Allen Chong (BBM/LLB'2022). They were coached by SMU Associate Professor of Law, Chen Siyuan, who is Director of International Moots and oversees the training and development of all SMU moot court teams, together with Joel Fun (BBM/LLB'2022) as assistant coach.  Wen Yee also came in 1st-runner-up for Best Speaker in the preliminary rounds. Associate Professor Chen Siyuan said, “It would have been great to bring the Jessup Cup back to Singapore after more than 20 years. We have been knocking hard on the door, but met with worthy opponents from Harvard University at the finals. I am nevertheless extremely proud of the team’s efforts and standing in this competition. Three finals in ten years for a school that only saw its first batch of students graduate in 2011 is quite remarkable.”

This year, SMU also reached the finals of several other moot competitions. Notable  championships include the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot, the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot, and the Vis East Moot.  Combined with tournament records in the Price Media Law Moot (4 championships) and International Criminal Court (4 championships), SMU is now the tournament leader in 4 of the 7 Grand Slams. 

Details of SMU’s scorecard this year and over the last 10 years can be viewed in the Annex.