Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law hosts moot court competition

The Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law, in cooperation with the Ateneo Society for International Law and Divina Law, hosted its first Moot Court Competition with the theme “State Responsibility and Cross Border Environmental Damage” from 26 to 27 November 2015. The event was held at the Ateneo Professionals Schools in Rockwell, Makati City.
The inaugural competition concerns the fictitious case of “The Haze Crisis in Southeast Somchai: Republic of Megat v. the Federal Republic of Luka.” 
While hypothetical, this year’s competition was set against the backdrop of the 2015 Southeast Asian haze situation, described by some environmentalists as a “crime against humanity.” The forest fire smoke, which has been widely believed to have originated from Indonesia, has reportedly affected an estimated 500,000 people in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, and has caused substantial damage to the environment and wildlife. The competition also came ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference set for December in Paris, France.

A total of 9 teams from the different law schools throughout the Philippines participated in the competition – University of Santo Tomas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Cagayan State University, Tarlac State University, University of Batangas, University of Cebu – Banilad, University of San Agustin, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.
The preliminary round was held on 26 November 2015 and judged by resident members and alumni of the Ateneo Society of International Law. The top four teams with the highest scores advanced to the semi-final rounds which were held in the morning of the following day, 27 November 2015. The top four teams were grilled by Ateneo Law School alumni and professors.
The top two teams who won the semi-final rounds – University of Cebu – Banilad and University of San Agustin -- battled it out in the finals held in the afternoon. The final round was judged by Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Atty. Antonio Oposa, Atty. Eduardo V. De Mesa, Judge Maria Josefina G. San Juan-Torres, and Assistant Secretary Geronimo L. Sy.

From left to right: Atty. Antonio Oposa, Asec. Geronimo Sy, Amb. Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Atty. Eduardo de Mesa, and Judge Josefina San Juan- Torres

The competition ended with an awarding ceremony with Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, who gave an opening remarks, and Ateneo Law School Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria. The following winners were announced:
Best Memorial – Applicant – University of Cebu – Banilad
Best Memorial – Respondent - University of Cebu – Banilad
Best Memorial – Overall - University of Cebu – Banilad
1st Best Oralist Preliminary Rounds – Rafael Dela Cruz III, Cagayan State University
2nd Best Oralist Preliminary Rounds – Josefa Maria A. Castro, University of San Agustin
3rd Best Oralist Preliminary Rounds – Emelie Marie Diez, University of Cebu – Banilad
Best Oralist Final Round - Emelie Marie Diez, University of Cebu – Banilad
1st Runner Up – University of San Agustin
Champion – University of Cebu – Banilad
The program was closed by remarks from Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee, followed by a closing dinner for all the delegates and participants. 

Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee and Justice Artemio Panganiban