The Mindanao State University – College of Law (MSU-COL) has made mooting history once again by making its first participation in the 2022 DivinaLaw-UST Philippine Jessup Cup held last February 26 – March 1, 2022.
The top two winners of the national round shall represent the Philippines in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the largest and oldest international moot court competition which attracts hundreds of law schools across the globe. Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda College of Law, University of Cebu – Banilad, University of San Agustin, University of San Carlos, University of Santo Tomas, University of St. Lasalle – Bacolod, University of the Philippines, and our very own Mindanao State University were among the schools that competed for the coveted top two spots.
Law students from participating schools argue over a hypothetical legal dispute between nations that addresses timely public international law issues. The release of the Compromis, a compilation of the agreed facts written by prominent scholars of international law, rings the start of months of research and output composition.
The participants prepare written and oral pleadings as both applicant and respondent for the case to be adjudicated before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial body of the United Nations.
In this year’s competition, the participants were presented with an international conflict between the Democratic Republic of Antara and the Velan Kingdom of Ravaria over differences arising from the Suthan Referendum.
Representing MSU-COL were the oralists, Rohanimah “Ace” Guro, Charity Gene Abugan, Christian Paul Timonera, and lead researcher/alternate Reyz Mary Glydel Fausto.
Their preparation for the national rounds was backed by the indispensable support of researchers Ruth Celina Bautista, James Jerusalem, Ameena Macaan, and Abdullah Binn Macaan, with the untiring mentorship of their coaches Atty. Annabelle Mindalano, Atty. Alizedney Ditucalan, Prosec. Loren Lao, Atty. Ashyanna Alexine Bangcola, Atty. Nash Marohomsalic, and USec. Shidik Abantas.
Despite being the college’s first bid in the competition, MSU-COL surely left a mark on the Jessup stage by sending no less than its top-caliber students. With immense preparation and support, the oralists presented their submissions with conviction and eloquence during the rounds. They crystallized every point in their stand and turned tables in the rebuttals.
Charity Gene Abugan, President of the Debate and Moot Society (DMS), spoke about her experience as an oralist in the competition.
“The experience was both humbling and enriching,” she said emphatically.
“Humbling in the sense that you will realize there is still room for improvement during the preparations, as well as the fact that you are surrounded by equally qualified and competent teammates. Enriching because there’s so much you can learn from the experience. Not only do you learn about laws, jurisprudence, and other topics, but you also learn more about yourself. The experience has also served as a source of inspiration for future DMS training and activities. “We are planning to host moot court competition and moot court 101 for DMS members in the next semesters.”, she added.
When asked how important the competition is to the DMS, she stated, “It’s a statement that not only DMS, but MSU-COL as a whole is ready to break barriers.”
“My biggest takeaway is that MSU College of Law can compete for side by side with top tier universities in moot court, Shout out to our mentors!” she concluded.
The team’s run concluded at the end of the national elimination rounds. Nonetheless, their performance was more than worthy of a curtain call. For the participants, it was definitely an experience that will transcend law school, and for the college, it was another glimpse of a promising future in the mooting arena as it sharpens its aces for more competitions to come.
Following its very first mooting stint in the ICRC’s National Moot Court Competition last year, MSU-COL’s first bid in the Jessup cup this year was a momentum builder for the exciting future of mooting at the College.
Wilver is a Registered Chemical Engineer, a cum laude graduate from MSU-IIT, and is currently working in the power industry. As a 2nd-year law student and a chemical engineer, he finds engineering and the study of law very distinct, but he sees a silver lining in the fact that they may blend too. He admits that law school is stressful, a neutralizer of his undergraduate achievements, and is more complicated than finding the infamous x’s and y’s. It is more complex than solving chemical reactions and, in his case, a catalyst of hair thinning and aging. He is an anime fan, a Marvel and DC comics nerd, and a self-proclaimed gamer. He is one of the writers in The Nexus.