February 11, 2017 marked a long anticipated day that was going to make us face the challenge of the Jessup Moot Court competition in national rounds representing the American University of Armenia. That was the day when we had the opportunity to illustrate our capabilities, knowledge and the results of the diligent teamwork. That was the day when we had the chance of evaluating ourselves. Though, eventually, not the one to represent Armenia in international rounds, it was obvious that we had built a special and unique team, which later on became a warm Jessup family.
Despite the fact that victory was not on our side, we did our best and we still consider ourselves as winners of the game, for we had acquired skills and built up an experience that is unforgettable. We have played as a real team-confident, motivated, enthusiastic and unanimous. The Jessup, in general, had put forth a case that allowed participants to broaden their knowledge and research competences, to familiarize themselves with materials that might be not even taught in faculties or might not be included in the educational curriculum. Hence, the complex mix of several fields of international law and different issues, such as standing, and jurisdiction issues; the treatment of evidence and questions of burden of proof at the International Court of Justice; international human rights law and; the law of the sea; treaty law; state responsibility; many more that are relevant problems in today’s reality, were presented in our case, which was an immense opportunity for us to do profound research and feel the masters of the international law itself. We have, probably, never had this feeling of completeness as if you have fulfilled something, some desirable goal with the best potential. However, this would not be possible without our beloved coach Hayk Malkhasyan, as he was the one to motivate us every time we felt insecure and confused. He was the one to show us the right way out within those complicated issues presented to us. Finally, he was the person who believed in us and gave the stimulus before each game to present the group’s work in the best possible manner.
It is with no exaggeration to state that we did our best. One of the judges was amazed by the creativeness we had, as we had prepared some visual aids, more particularly graphs presented by one of our speakers. She professionally presented them so as to insist on her point of view in front of the judges, and persuade them that the truth was on her side. Another judge evaluated our team to be “outstanding”, and one of the speakers of our team was granted the second best oralist of the day.
Thus, participation in the Jessup Moot Court was a huge contribution both to our academic and professional growth. We feel as winners with all the achievements in building new layers of knowledge and confidence. In any event, the team, the coach and the warmth within this amazing AUA team are what make us winners of the game.
Contributed by Astine Badeyan, Tigran Danielyan, Mane Mashinyan, and Elizabet Mamikonyan.