University of the Philippines

UP Law brings Philippines’ 3rd win in biggest moot court contest

Lian Buan

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UP Law brings Philippines’ 3rd win in biggest moot court contest

WORLD CHAMPIONS. University of the Philippines College of Law wins the 2024 Jessup moot court world championship.

Jessup White & Case LLP Facebook Page

The only two other times that the Philippines won the Jessup cup were in 1995 and 2004. UP Law beats more than 600 teams from 100 jurisdictions.

MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law won the world championship in the 2024 Philip C. Jessup moot court competition, the country’s only third win in what is considered the most prestigious moot court competition in the world.

The UP Law team was composed of Mary Regine Dadole, Pauline De Leon, Pauline Samantha Sagayo, Chinzen Viernes, and Ignacio Lorenzo Villareal. They were coached by Professor Marianne Vitug, who was a world champion in the 2018 Stetson International Moot Court Competition and best oralist of the final round. Their adviser was international law professor Rommel Casis.

The last time UP Law won the Jessup cup was three decades ago, in 1995. The last time that the Philippines won was when a team from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) won two decades ago, in 2004.

The Jessup cup is the “oldest, largest, and most esteemed moot competition worldwide,” said the UP Law Debate and Moot Court Union. A total of 642 teams from 100 jurisdictions competed. UP Law competed against Argentina’s Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in the finals, held on Saturday, April 6, US time, in Washington D.C.

The 2024 Philip C. Jessup moot court imagined a fictional case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the republic of Antrano against the constitutional monarch Remisia. The made-up case is about Remisia’s criminal conviction of 40 activists for disrespecting the crown which, under its domestic law, is punished with the removal of citizenships. Antrano, which is an advocate against statelessness, secured a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to “call upon” Remisia to allow a team of investigators to enter the country and obtain documents.

UP Law represented the respondent or Remisia. In the final rebuttal, UP Law’s Villareal discussed the bindingness of the security council resolution when it used the language “call upon,” and in doing so, mentioned the real-life resolution of the UNSC to “use the mandatory language demand” for the ceasefire in Gaza. Villareal won best oralist in the finals.

On X, formerly Twitter, transitional justice lawyer Ruben Carranza said: “I am very proud of what the UP Law Philippines team did in this Final Round: they used this fictional case as a platform, invoking the ICJ case on genocide in Gaza, and reminding us all that in the real world, Palestinian lives should and do matter.” Carranza said Villareal “smoothly dropping” the Gaza ceasefire “just shows why he deserved being named 2024 Jessup Finals Best Oralist.”

Carranza, a UP Law alumnus, coached the last UP Law team that won the Jessup cup in 1995. The 1995 UP Law team was composed of the late Commission on Human Rights chairperson Chito Gascon, Maria Luisa Bartolome Bunggo, Ingrid Rosalie L. Gorre, Philip Ronald P. Regondola and Anthony Suzette V. Suarez.

“The entire UP community joins in celebrating this historic triumph, which not only underscores UP Law’s legacy of excellence but also inspires future generations of legal scholars and practitioners worldwide,” said the UP College of Law in a statement Sunday, April 7.

“With UP Law’s last and only world championship title dating back to 1995 and the only other Philippine victory in 2004, this triumph marks a watershed moment in legal education,” said the UP Law Debate and Moot Court Union.

The last Philippine team to win the Jessup cup before this was the 2004 team from Ateneo Law. They were Frederick Ryan Castillo, Justine Adrienne Guerrero, Andrew Fornier, Aimee Dabu and Ryan Mancera, coached by Professor Silvia Jo Sabio. –


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  1. ET

    Congratulations to the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law, especially its UP Law team, for winning the world championship in the 2024 Philip C. Jessup moot court competition. I hope that UP Law’s legacy of excellence will not only be limited to moot court competitions but will benefit the Filipino People by fighting the triumvirate of Corruption, Repression, and Disinformation that manipulates Filipino Society.

    1. ET

      “Mabuhay ang Pag-asa ng Bayan!”

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.