International Moot Court Team at Pace Law School

CORAL GABLES, FL (February 13, 2012) – Miami Law’s International Moot Court team advanced into the international rounds at thePace/ICC Moot Competition for the third consecutive year. The competition took place at Pace Law School in New York last weekend. The team has qualified to participate in the World Round of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial at The Hague in April.

In their arguments, team members Kevin Cobb (2L), Karen Chrisman (2L), Brittany Young (3L), Donnell Wright (3L), and Margarita Tarkalanova (3L) took on a fictionalized case of crimes against humanity within the borders of country. The International Criminal Court needed to decide about the seriousness of the case to be tried in front of the trial chamber; also about the protection of Immunity for Head of States after the latest decision in the Prosecutor v. Al Bashir case, among other current and real issues. . This year, the case is different from the last years because it is a case in front of the appeals chamber challenging the decision of the pretrial chamber on the confirmation charges.

“It was a pleasure to see the students arguing a complex case of crimes against humanity,” said Professor Paula Arias, Director of the International Moot Court Program and Lecturer in Law. “The students demonstrated their deep understanding of international criminal law issues, and acted as true professionals.”

Arias, who coached the IMCP teams, explains that the students in the team underwent extensive training for the competitions. For four hours every week, the students met to discuss and learn the relevant law, the court system, , apply the law to the fact patterns, create arguments, and practice their skills in oral arguments. In addition to the time spent meeting and practicing as a group, the team also spent a substantial amount of time researching the issues and writing briefs for their respective competitions on their own time.

Before making it to the actual competition, the students had to try out in front of Arias, pleading for ten minutes based on the problem used in the competition the year before. Students were required to demonstrate knowledge of the law and their oral advocacy skills. Based on Arias’ criteria, the award winning team was selected.

Thenext step is the global competition, sponsored by the Dutch government, in cooperation with Pace Law School, the University of Amsterdam, the AmericanSociety of International Law, and the International Criminal Law Network, where the students will argue in front of the judges of the International Criminal Court. The ICC Moot Court Competition is one of the first such competitions in the world. Unique among moot court competitions, in its simulated criminal trial competitions, each team of students participates in three rounds of oral arguments, getting the chance to argue from all three perspectives represented in ICC proceedings — prosecutor, defense counsel, and government’s counsel. The teams are under the instruction of legal associates and law school professors from the United States and abroad.

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