CWRU School of Law reaches International Criminal Court Moot Court competition finals for Americas and Caribbean Round

International Criminal Court Moot Court team 3.2021

Case Western Reserve University School of Law reached the finals of the Americas and Caribbean Round of the International Criminal Court Moot Court competition, held remotely from March 13–14. Based on the strength of its briefs and oral arguments in the preliminary and elimination rounds, the CWRU team outperformed other teams from the United States, Canada, and Latin America, including Osgoode Hall, Georgetown and Emory University School of Law.

The team also was selected for the third-best Defense Brief Award. Second-year law student Alan Dowling, who represented the prosecution, won the second-best final round speaker award.

The CWRU team also included oralists Jazmine Edwards (3L) and Caroline Ford (3L), and research/brief writers Kristen Connors (3L) and Lucas Christensen (1L). 

Team coaches were Michael Benza, senior instructor in law; Carol Fox, adjunct professor of law; and Denakpon Tchobo, Doctor of Juridical Science student.

While the team had made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious international competition the past two years, this is the first time CWRU has advanced to the final round.

CWRU now will advance to the international rounds organized by the International Bar Association and Leiden University; top teams from around the world will vie in June for the world championship.

“The team put in long hours drafting three separate Memorials (briefs) while also dedicating themselves to extensive practice rounds to flush out all nuances of the problem and to gain confidence in their oral advocacy skills,” said Benza.

This year's ICC Moot Court problem involved the international prosecution of a fictional general named Goodrider who adjured the creation of a deadly virus and ordered that its spread be kept secret when it escaped from the lab. 

The ICC Moot Court Competition was created in 2004 and has expanded to include teams from nearly 100 countries. CWRU Dean Michael Scharf, who was one of the co-founders of the competition, serves as the chairman of its Board of Advisors.