Fiftieth annual Philip C. Jessup international law moot court competition.

Position:Proceedings of the One Hundred Third Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law: International Law as Law


The 2009 Jessup International Moot Court Competition problem, called the Compromis, focused on legal issues that arise when members of the international community, either collectively through the United Nations, or individually through unilateral action, intervene in the affairs of a state on humanitarian grounds. Among the many legal issues addressed in the Compromis were the following: the prohibition against the use of force; the responsibility to protect; the role of the Security Council in authorizing humanitarian interventions; the fact finding power of the International Court of Justice (ICJ); the role of the ICJ in matters taken up by the Security Council; restrictions to be applied to humanitarian interventions; international standards of due process; the death penalty under international law; and political asylum.

The dispute at the heart of the 2009 Jessup Problem involved two states--Alicanto, whose population is composed of two large ethnic groups in tension with one another (the Dasu and Zavaabi); and Ravisia, a former colonial power that establishes a military operation in Alicanto, without the consent of the Alicantan Government, in order to prevent what Ravisia characterizes as an impending campaign of ethnic cleansing.

The population of Alicanto is 30 percent Dasu and 50 percent Zavaabi. Both groups espouse the Talonnic religion--the Dasu subscribe to a moderate version of the faith, and the Zavaabi to a more orthodox version. The Dasu enjoy a higher standard of living and have historically occupied more influence in government and business.

In the mid 1990's, a Zavaabi political group called the Guardians gained momentum, promoting their aim of reviving the orthodox Talonnic faith and incorporating its tenets into Alicantan law.

In December 2005, the UN Security Council established UNMORPH, a peacekeeping mission in Alicanto with the purpose of maintaining a ceasefire agreement between Alicanto and its neighboring state New Bennu. The two countries had been involved in a conflict over rampant smuggling of illegal arms and drugs across their shared border. The largest contributor of troops to UNMORPH was Ravisia.

After Alicantans became frustrated with the Government's handling of the conflict with New Bennu, the Dasu-led government was turned out of office and emergency elections were called. The election resulted in the installation of a Zavaabi-led government, which put in place Prime Minister Simurg, the leader of the orthodox Zavaabi movement.

During the period of UNMORPH's two and a half year operation, the conduct of the mission's peacekeeping troops came under criticism by human rights observers who discovered a pattern of sexual exploitation by the troops against local young girls.

UNMORPH also came under fire by Alicantan government officials for broadcasting radio programming targeted towards informing local women and children about health...

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