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Moot Court competition

(under picture) Conor Keegan (Arthur Cox), Alice Jago (Partners at Law) and Clíodhna Ni Ghadhra (Arthur Cox) at round one of the International Environmental Mooting competition.

Alice Jago, a trainee solicitor at Partners at Law, competed as part of the Irish team at the 2019 International Environmental Mooting Competition. In September 2018 Alice entered her training at the Law Society of Ireland for part one of the Professional Practice Course. Having always had a passion for the law and the environment, the environmental competition was the only moot competition she tried out for. After being picked for the team, together with Clíodhna and Conor, the work started immediately as they had to submit a memorial paper by the end of October. The memorial tested each team on their legal research skills, International Court of Justice submission standard and the strength of their legal arguments. The team’s memorial was successful at getting them through to the final rounds in Florida.

Knowing that they were through to the final rounds, the oral practice every week became very important. The team presented to panels of previous teams and respected lawyers in Ireland. The question paper presented to them dealt with international jurisdictional and state responsibility questions and the merits of these matters on the basis of the rules and principles of general international law, as well as any applicable international treaties.

After months of practice the team travelled to America, Florida in April 2019. The competition was held on the beautiful campus of Stetson University. 28 international teams had prepared to argue on issues such as international transboundary harm, environmental impact assessments and the effects of climate change. The applicant’s argument was that another state cannot utilize a shared resource if it is likely to cause harm to an endangered species and a unique ecosystem. The respondent’s argument was that the catastrophic effects of climate change warranted the extraction of seaweed and without a causal link, the respondent had not breached its international legal obligations. The team argued on both sides for two days, enjoying the nuances of each argument.

The team competed against the University of China, National Law School of India, Beijing Institute of China, the Philippines Manila University, and The University of Philippines. The Irish team got to the quarter finals with four straight wins finally bowing out to the defending champions, the University of Philippines.