School of Law competes at the prestigious Telders International Law Moot Court Competition

6 June 2024

The Hague, 29 May – 1 June 2024

A team of undergraduate law students from The University of Buckingham’s Law School had the great honour of competing in the International Semi-Final of the 47th Edition of the prestigious Telders International Law Moot Court Competition, hosted by Leiden University in The Hague. Competing against 26 other teams from all over Europe, students Megan Priestman, Wajahat Mahmood, Maneeka Bhujun, and Sonali Bhujun, participated in four moots, representing both the Applicant and Respondent in a fictitious case before the International Court of Justice.

The fictitious case, written by a Judicial Fellow at the ICJ, addressed a dispute involving three States with a history of colonialism and various sovereignty claims over an uninhabited island which, it has just been discovered, boasts large reserved of oil and gas. The dispute culminated in accusations of espionage and a cyber-attack that resulted in significant damage to critical infrastructure. The students represented both the Appellant seeking an order from the court to stop the cyber-attack, and the Respondents who contest the jurisdiction of the court and also claim that the cyber-attack was a legitimate response the Appellant’s breach of their obligations under international law.

The team submitted detailed written memorials in March, and presented their oral submissions to panels of three judges, all of whom are highly qualified professionals and academics of international law. The judges challenged the students’ understanding of international law, their creativity, and their power of persuasion with many thought-provoking questions, and students had a chance to rebut points raised by the opposing teams following their main submissions.

The team also had the honour of attending the Peace Palace for the opening and closing ceremonies, and to witness a very deserving team from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy of Ukraine win the final round presided over by Judge Georg Nolte (Judge of the International Court of Justice), sitting alongside Judge Ivana Hrdličková (President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon), and Ambassador Mario Oyarzábal (of Argentina).

The team are grateful to their Coach, Dr Jessica Walsh (Lecturer in Law and Competitions Lead at the School of Law) and to the many other members of staff who facilitated their participation in this event.