The John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition is a simulated dispute settlement proceeding with written submissions and hearings under the rules of the WTO dispute settlement system. The competition was formerly known as the ELSA Moot Court Competition in WTO Law and was renamed in 2018 after John H. Jackson, an eminent legal scholar and expert on the multilateral trading system.

The WTO has been a technical sponsor and partner in the competition since its inception in 2002-2003. The WTO sends legal experts to the regional rounds to act as panelists. WTO staff members also advise ELSA on the academic aspects of running the competition and help organize regional rounds and the final oral round in Geneva.

Each year, around 90 universities from dozens of countries across the world participate in the competition, with students competing in five regional rounds — two rounds in Europe and one each for the Americas, Africa, East Asia and Oceania, and West and South Asia. The best teams from each round proceed to the final round which usually takes place in June at the Geneva-based Graduate Institute and the WTO.

The last two competitions were held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala delivered a welcome address and Deputy-Director General Angela Ellard spoke to participants at the final round of the 2021 competition.

Over the years, the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition on WTO Law has proven to be one of the most successful technical assistance and academic outreach activities of the WTO. It has grown into a global event involving academic institutions and practitioners from all continents to promote WTO laws and know-how.

More academic institutions from developing countries have been taking part in the competitions attesting to its far-reaching capacity-building effect. The winner of the 2021 competition was the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. In addition, institutions from Kenya, India, Colombia, and Turkey were either the winners or runners-up in the final round in past 5 years.

For more information about the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition, visit its website here or its LinkedIn page here.




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