International and Comparative Law Program Director Travels to Kabul to Serve as Judge in Jessup Competition

20170224 ICPL Jessica Peake in Kabul
Jessica Peake, director of the International and Comparative Law Program, is pictured above (center).

Jessica Peake, director of UCLA School of Law's International and Comparative Law Program, traveled to Kabul in January to serve as a judge at the Afghanistan National Rounds of the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The Jessup Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with teams from more than 550 law schools in more than 100 countries.

The competition is a simulation of a dispute between two states before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Each team prepares oral and written pleadings arguing both positions in the case. This year's dispute concerns the equitable utilization of underground aquifers, protection of world heritage sites, return of cultural property, and whether there is a right to compensation for expenses incurred due to mass refugee flows.

National rounds are held in multiple countries to determine which teams advance to the international rounds of the competition. The 2017 finals will be held April 9-16 in Washington, D.C.

Teams from 18 law schools across Afghanistan competed in the Afghanistan National, which is administered by the Center for Democratic Governance and Rule of Law at Ohio Northern University, with funding from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Peake judged several preliminary rounds in Kabul, and was the only female judge on a panel of five for the final round of the competition between Balkh and Kandahar universities. Balkh University won the Afghanistan rounds, and both Balkh and Kandahar will compete in D.C. in April, along with an exhibition team from Takhar University.

Peake has extensive experience with the Jessup competition. She has judged at the international rounds in Washington, D.C., for nine years, as well as at several national rounds, and prior to that was both a participant representing Leiden University and a team coach. She will be a judge at the international rounds in Washington, D.C., in April.