For the second year in a row, the University of Tasmania's Jessup Moot team have achieved both a quarter-final placing and the award for the Best and Fairest at the 2019 Australian qualifying rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Adam Irwin, Sylvia Lawrence, Aisha Nazzal, and Noah Grubb, as barristers, and Alice van Galen as their solicitor, continued the Faculty of Law's tradition of producing excellent competitors for the world's largest moot court competition

“We managed to strike the right balance of achieving well and enjoying the spirit of the competition,” said Alice.

The University of Tasmania has a reputation for punching above our weight in terms of what we achieve in the competition, as well as being a friendly and approachable team.

The teamwork between the five competitors was key to both their placing in the competition and being awarded the Best and Fairest.

“We had a really good team dynamic,” said Adam.

“It’s important to figure out an efficient and collaborative way to work with your team so you can tap into their knowledge. That’s ultimately what will allow you to succeed at the competition.”

Dr Peter Lawrence, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, and Daniel Westbury, Faculty of Law graduate, coached the team who they described as a close-knit unit with a terrific work ethic and sense of humour.

“I think we took the competition really seriously, but we didn’t take ourselves too seriously,” said Alice.

The competitors have emerged from the three-month-long writing, drafting, and mooting process as highly employable legal advocates, well-versed in international law.

“It’s hard work, but it’s really worth it,” said Sylvia.

The skills that I learnt through writing the memorials and mooting are so much more than I would have learnt through a normal unit at University. I feel more ready to go into the workforce after doing Jessup.

Peter and Daniel both agreed this was reflected in their performance at the competition which took place in Canberra.

"The team performed to a very high level as advocates, withstanding unnerving questioning with charm, erudition, and deep knowledge of international law.”

The 2019 team attributed a large part of their success to the academic, library, and operational staff in the University of Tasmania's Faculty of Law, who they felt supported them throughout the competitive process. 

“The staff took us through a lot of practice runs and gave us in-depth feedback,” said Sylvia.

Adam added, “They really lifted us to the next level. We are particularly thankful to Peter and Dan.”

“Beyond this, the financial support that the University puts into us as competitors was really integral to our success,” Noah said.

Anyone who feels like they can give it 110% should strive to do it. It’s the best thing you’ll do in your legal career.

The 2019 Jessup Moot team encouraged others to take up the opportunity to participate in the competition which takes place over Summer School each year after a competitive selection process. 

Find out more about studying a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Tasmania, and the Faculty of Law's mooting competitions.


— Story by Rachel Hay.