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ELSA International invites proposals from prospective case authors to write the Moot Court Case for the 20th edition of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition, formerly known as the ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law, for the term 2021-2022.

The Competition is a simulated hearing of a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel. Teams of interested students from all over the world prepare written submissions for the complainant and the respondent on a fictitious case. The purpose of the Competition is to teach students about WTO law and the WTO dispute settlement system as well as to assist them in developing practical litigation skills. Teams then travel to Regional Rounds where they compete against each other before a WTO dispute settlement moot court panel composed of WTO and trade law experts. The best teams from each regional round participate in the Final Oral Round of the Competition held in Geneva.

Case proposals will be evaluated by an Academic Board composed of WTO law academics, practitioners, and staff of the WTO Secretariat. After acceptance of the case proposal by the Academic Board, the case author will work with the Academic Board to refine the issues presented in the proposal before the launch of the Competition with the publication of the case on 15 September 2021. In addition to the initial moot case, the case author will also prepare written clarifications addressing questions raised by students on the case (due in November 2021) as well as a bench memorandum and score sheet for panelists to use in judging the written submissions and competition (due in the first week of December 2021). A detailed schedule of this review process will be provided to the selected author. The case author would be invited to the WTO in Geneva to judge the Final Oral Round of the Competition, along with distinguished WTO scholars and practitioners, in June 2022.

The case author should be an academic or practitioner with extensive knowledge of WTO law, excellent legal research and analysis, and drafting skills. S/he should normally have no less than 5 years of experience and a proven record of dealing with complex issues of WTO law and policy. Proposals from young academics are particularly welcome.

The Case should enable students to engage with a realistic trade dispute raising legal issues under the WTO covered agreements. The case proposal (approximately 1000 words in length) should present a factual scenario and identify approximately three to four WTO legal issues (which may include procedural issues) that arise from the scenario. The Case should provide a relatively balanced opportunity for legal arguments in favour of both the complainant and the respondent. Ideally, the Case would address some legal issues raised but not resolved in the jurisprudence to date and provide the opportunity to study and argue existing case law. The resolution of the legal issues should not depend on an evaluation of complex evidence or data. The proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the novelty of the issues raised, along with the opportunities provided by the case for students to engage with the existing WTO jurisprudence. Candidates are encouraged not to repeat the issues in the previous year’s case.


    Case proposals should be made to mootcourts@elsa.org, copying iryna.polovets@wto.org and miguel.villamizar@wto.org. The case author would be notified as soon as possible and begin work with the Academic Board to develop the case over the summer, before the case is launched on 15 September 2021. Please note that any application needs to be done on the 15th of March the latest, to allow for sufficient time for its review by the Academic Board.