Duke Reaches Finals of WTO Moot Court Competition

April 23, 2007Duke Law News

For the second consecutive year, Duke Law School will be sending a team to the finals of the European Law Students Association’s annual “EMC2” WTO Moot Court competition in Geneva. The competition is considered to be the most prestigious and international WTO moot court competition in the world.

Jason Cross ’07, Carla DePriest ’08, and LLM candidates Sabine Van de Mosselaer and Ephraim Wittman will represent Duke at the finals, which will take place May 1-6, 2007 at the Warwick Hotel in Geneva. Duke qualified for the final round of oral arguments by submitting two briefs that were reviewed and judged by international trade law scholars to be good enough to earn Duke a place among the eighteen teams invited to Geneva.

Justin Sommers ’07 serves as coach of the team; Sommers was a member of last year’s team which place seventh out of approximately 100 teams entered in the competition. Professor Joost Pauwelyn is the team’s faculty advisor.

The aim of the competition is both to encourage further development on the subject matter in the curriculum of academic institutions and also to contribute to the ongoing discussion about globalisation in the context of the WTO Agreements. This year’s competition has focused on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS agreement), international patent rights, and the rights of developing countries to work within the patent system to protect the public health of their citizens.

“The team has done a great job making it to the finals this year,” said Sommers. “Because the WTO has yet to tackle many of these issues in previous disputes, this topic is particularly cutting-edge. Getting this far will put these participants in a position to develop a real understanding of complicated international legal issues that will undoubtedly arise in the future.”