Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

The Jessup Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, and the oldest moot court competition dedicated to public international law, drawing law-student participants from more than 500 law schools in more than 80 countries.

The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between nations brought before the International Court of Justice, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Teams prepare written and oral pleadings arguing both the Applicant and Respondent positions. The top two teams from each U.S. Regional Competition advance to the International Rounds in Washington, D.C.

The University of Arizona Jessup team consists of five people, four of whom are oralists and one who is "of counsel," helping research and write the Memorial (brief) and judge practice oral arguments. The "of counsel" is also backup oralist at the competition. Serving on the team is a two-semester commitment, beginning in the fall semester.

Coach / Faculty Contact

Professor Shirley Spira


Successful completion of first-year curriculum

Recommended Courses

  • Advanced Legal Writing
  • Public International Law

Team Selection

Tryouts for the team are held in the spring, usually around mid-April, and are open to students in good standing in their second or third years. Packets containing a short problem, rules, instructions, and a minimum amount of research are emailed to candidates, who then have six to seven days to complete a three- to six-page argument. Those who submit written arguments will then schedule a 10-minute oral argument before members of that year's Jessup team and their faculty advisor. New team members will be chosen based on the combined results of their written and oral presentations.

Competition Timeline

(Check the competition website for exact dates.)

  • Compromis (problem) released: September 
  • Deadline for submission of memorials: January
  • Qualifying rounds: January - March
  • International Rounds: March - April
  • Jessup Cup World Championship Round: April

Academic Credit

Three units (two units in fall; one in spring)


Team members meet with professor at least once a week, but will be expected to meet additional times, including weekends, on an as-needed basis. Meetings will involve a combination of instruction, discussion, and practice.


The College of Law pays reasonable travel expenses for Jessup participants to attend the regional round of the competition. Please consult Student Reimbursement Checklist for guidelines on required documentation, expense limitations, and procedures for reimbursement.