The fourth Bangladesh national rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition took place from February 6-8, 2020, at the University of Asia Pacific (UAP). 24 Law Schools from across the country took part in this national qualifying round of Jessup, the largest and most renowned moot court competition for law students across the globe. Jessup Bangladesh, in association with the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ); International Law Students Association (ILSA); University of Asia Pacific (UAP); Old Bailey Chambers and UQEEL organised the Bangladesh national qualifying rounds of Jessup for the fourth successive year.
The inaugural ceremony and the exchange of memorials took place on February 6, while the preliminary and the knockout rounds took place on February 7 and 8 respectively. The team from University of Dhaka (DU) consisting of Rifat Zabeen Khan, Tahseen Lubaba and Jalal Uddin Ahmed won the championship, while the team from University of Chittagong (CU) consisting of Syed Fazlul Mahdi, Arafat Ibnul Bashar and Badhan Ghosh were adjudged as the runner-up. University of Asia Pacific bagged the 3rd place, while East West University (EWU) clinched the 4th place in the competition. As a result, DU, CU, and UAP have all qualified to participate at the international rounds of Jessup in April at Washington D.C., USA.
The grand finale of the competition was adjudicated by Justice Mirza Hussain Haider, Judge, Appellate Division, Supreme Court of Bangladesh; Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury, Judge, High Court Division, Supreme Court of Bangladesh; and Barrister M Amir-ul Islam, veteran lawyer, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. They also graced the closing ceremony as the distinguished guests. Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Vice-Chancellor, UAP; Ms. Lesley Benn, Executive Director, ILSA; Mr. Eric Opanga, Resident Legal Advisor, OPDAT, US DoJ etc. were also present at the closing ceremony.
The judges of the grand finale lauded the performance of the mooters in the final and wished them good luck for the upcoming international rounds. They also stressed the importance of organising such mooting competition to develop the research and oratory skills of our law students, which would help them to become better legal practitioners in the future.
Apart from the championship and runner-up trophies, prizes in the other categories were also handed out in the closing ceremony. Rifat Zabeen Khan from DU won the best mooter award, while the team from CU won the best memorial award. The best new team award went to Khulna University while Premier University, Chittagong clinched the Spirit of the Jessup award.
Earlier on February 6, the competition was inaugurated by Mr. CM Shafi Sami, Chairman, Board of Trustees, UAP. Also present during the inaugural ceremony were Mr. Md. Asaduzzaman, Head, Department of Law & Human Rights, UAP; Mr. Eric Opanga, Resident Legal Advisor, OPDAT, US DoJ; Ms. Lesley Benn, Executive Director, ILSA; Mr. Qayum Reza Chowdhury, Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, UAP; Mr. Nuran Chowdhury, National Coordinator, ILSA Chapters, Bangladesh; and Advocate ASM Sayem Ali Pathan, National Administrator, Jessup Bangladesh.
Jessup is considered as the world cup of moot court competitions, assembling law students from over 100 nations in its international rounds. Bangladesh first took part in the international rounds of Jessup in 2017. Ever since it has been regularly competing in the international rounds. This year too, the red and green flag will make its way to Washington D.C. at the 61st edition of Jessup, courtesy to the teams from DU, CU, and UAP.
The event covered by Ali Mashraf, student of law, University of Dhaka.