“Good morning, your Excellences, I’m the counsel for the respondent. I will address …..” The scenes of pleading still seem to be sharply clear even after the regional rounds ended for weeks. Indeed, participating in Jessup is a crystallized memory that will never be forgotten.
The excitement of the whole journey of Jessup has begun upon knowing to be one of the representatives of Department of Law and then followed by months of sweetness of teamwork, the bitterness of bewilderment and the satisfaction from accumulated knowledge on international law.
To begin with the memorial writing process, trying to understand or analyze the compromis is hard itself, not to mention finding supporting arguments through piles of big books that look more for appreciation than for reading or looking for precedents from cases full of unknown vocabulary and tangled facts. However, with one experimental argument after another, the knowledge of international law seems to be nurtured in our brains. After establishing seemingly steady arguments and after times of revision, the compilation of memorial is even more nerve-wrecking. Citation, index of authorities, punctuation and all other uncontrollable technical details took time and patience. I am really thankful that our dearest coach and my learned teammates made the whole compilation process work easier and happier. I will always remember how wonderful it was when the memorials were published as books, which are the fixations of months of effort and improvement of the whole team.
Later on, the oral training process started. Through the oral training part, we imitate how actual pleadings go. I can still recall that at first I could not even answer a question. The challenges of insufficient knowledge on international law and the language barrier were rather frustrating. However, with the lead of our coach and gradual improvement on language, the stutter lessened and pauses were gone. Every practice seemed to inspire new thoughts on questions which had never been discovered. Bit by bit, the oral training process worked somehow magically to transform an unsecured manuscript-reader to a confident oralist. Had it not been for the oral training process, “Practice makes perfect.” would stay more as an old-fashioned proverb than as a precious experience that I have gained.
When the regional rounds began, I have imagined numerous scenarios on how I would look stupid and how blank my brain could ever go, or even earthquake might took place to halt the competition. Thankfully, everything that I was worried about did not take place. After heart beating fast when seeing the judges bombarded my counterparts, adrenaline swept over me when it was my turn to plead. There were tough questions from the judges, however, they were trying to clarify the arguments and it was more about communication. Having this in mind, facing the judges was no longer that frightening. Rather, it was sheer wonderful to give out what have been prepared for months.
Throughout the stages of preparing for the competition, teamwork, the development of friendship and the help from our coach and the seniors are priceless too. Our coach is the one who made all the things possible and we can never be too thankful to her. With the seniors’ support, our lives in preparing for the competition become more cheerful and were full of joy. The friendship between teammates is beyond description. Had it not been for my friendly, cautious and knowledgeable teammates, the memory of Jessup 2014 would have never been so wonderful. The time when we felt nervous together in counsel table, practiced with each other, and how early we all woke up during the week and so forth become irreplaceable common memories.
Participating in Jessup is a unique page for my undergraduate life, the competition ended, whereas the time of collaboration, the sense of achievement from hard-work, and the gratitude toward anyone who has helped will never fade away. It is indeed a chance of the lifetime to ever participate in Jessup.