Duke Law team places in top ten and wins "Best Brief"

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ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law

Duke Law School’s International Moot Court team of 2Ls Ben Mitchell and Justin Sommers, 1L Scott Thompson, and LLM Shinjiro Takeda placed an impressive seventh among 108 participants from all over the world in the finals of the WTO Moot Court Competition April 25-30 in Geneva. The team also earned the title “best brief” in the international written round of the competition.

The WTO case focused on a dispute between two WTO Member States, one that subsidizes its agri-industry and another that does not, over whether the agri-subsidies of the first member state violate the Agreement on Agriculture, which prevents a member state from paying out more in subsidies than its scheduled commitments permit, and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), which aims to curb the use of government assistance to give producers an unfair advantage in the world market.

The Duke Law team, with help of team coach and SJD candidate Jan Yves Remy, qualified for the final oral round in Geneva after competing against teams from North America and Africa in the preliminary written selection round.

The team’s participation in the competition marks the first time a Duke Law team has joined in the Geneva finals.

“Only 18 teams selected from all over the world compete in this mother-of-all-trade-law competitions,” said Professor Joost Pauwelyn, the team’s faculty advisor. “It truly is like reaching the ‘sweet 18.’ It offers a unique opportunity for Duke Law to showcase its prominence in international law.”

“We had a great experience in Geneva that will surely have a great impact on our lives and future careers,” said team member Shinjiro Takeda.