A team of UNSW law students has achieved the University's best result ever at the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition.

The Jessup Competition is the world's largest and most prestigious international law Moot Court tournament. Nearly 600 law schools from 98 countries contested the 2008 competition.

Ranked first out of 100 teams after the preliminary rounds, the UNSW team were narrowly defeated by US law school Case Western in the championship round.

The UNSW Jessup International Law Moot team comprised Hernan Pintos-Lopez, Rebecca Zaman, Brent Michael, Derek Wong and Tom Levi. The team was coached by UNSW law graduate and former High Court Associate, David Hume. The competition simulates a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Representing both sides of the argument, the teams prepare both oral and written pleadings. This year's moot centred on the tension in international law between ensuring human rights and responding to acts of terrorism. Competing teams were expected to be well-briefed on legal developments globally. The UNSW team impressed the judges in the final by citing a judgment of a South African court that had only been handed down the day before.

UNSW's Director of the International Law Moot Program, Dr Jane McAdam, praised the UNSW team for its outstanding results, commending the team's hard work, professionalism and good sportsmanship throughout the competition. "Placing second at the world's most prestigious international law mooting competition is a brilliant achievement," she said. "Since 2000, an Australian team has reached the international grand final on six out of the eight occasions, winning the competition four times. No other country in the world has ever come close to this level of achievement."

The competition's championship round was judged by Richard Goldstone, former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and a Constitutional Court Judge from South Africa; David Crane, former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court of Sierra Leone and former Inspector General of the US Armed forces; and Lucy Reed, an international arbitration counsel at Freshfields and newly elected President of the American Society of International Law.

The UNSW Jessup International Law Moot team received financial and in-kind support from law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, the NSW Bar Association, and the Australian & New Zealand Society of International Law.