22 June 2004

High Court of Australia judge The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG will present students from The University of Queensland’s T C Beirne School of Law with a prestigious international award on June 24.

Justice Kirby will present the Richard R Baxter Award of the 2004 Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Competition for the World Champion Memorandum (Respondent) to The University of Queensland team.

He will also give a speech on the topic International Humanitarian Law.

The team members were Caitlin Goss, Michael Hogan, Marion Isobel, Annaliese Jackson and Tamerlan van Alphen.

In taking out the prestigious Baxter Prize, as well as equal second for the best applicant memorial, they beat the best research of the national and regional Jessup competitions, as well as the best research of the teams competing in the oral finals in Washington.

T C Beirne School of Law lecturer and team supervisor, Anthony Cassimatis, said the team was thrilled with the result after the disappointment of narrowly missing a place in the oral finals.

“The Baxter research award ensured that they received some of the recognition they deserved,” Mr Cassimatis said.

The Baxter Competition brought together the top Memorials from the International Rounds and the top Memorials from the National and Regional Rounds in a single competition to determine the best Applicant and Respondent Memorial in the world.

The 2004 topic was related to the new International Criminal Court established in 2002.

“The topic involved consideration of arguments raised by a country that is not a party to the treaty that established the Court regarding whether its nationals could be brought before the court,” Mr Cassimatis said.

The UQ team’s prize for Best Respondent Memorial in the World in 2004 follows high research rankings in the 2003 and 2002 Jessup international finals.

Mr Cassimatis said these results demonstrate consistent excellence in research by students from UQ’s Law School.

“Our Law School is blessed with students who are as bright and as hard working as any in the world,” he said.

“The mooting program in the Law School helps these students to develop legal skills that, combined with their intelligence and hard work, allow them to compete against the best in the world and to succeed.”

The 2004 Jessup competition involved 529 teams from over 85 countries. It began in the United States in the 1950s and is now the largest and most prestigious legal advocacy competition in the World.

Teams from institutions such as Harvard and Columbia Universities in the United States and Cambridge University and the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom have competed in the Jessup competition against teams from other leading law schools from around the world.

The Baxter competition recognises the written research element of the Jessup competition and is named after Judge Richard R Baxter who served in the International Court of Justice in the late 1970s.

The UQ Jessup team is sponsored by the Law Firms Allens Arthur Robinson, Dibbs Barker Gosling and Minter Ellison.

Justice Kirby will make the presentation to the team at a function the T C Beirne School of Law, Forgan Smith Building, St Lucia, at 5.30pm.

Media: For more information, contact Anthony Cassimatis on (07) 3365-2446 or a.cassimatis@law.uq.edu.au or Brad Turner at UQ Communications on (07) 3365-2659 or b.turner@uq.edu.au