A group of Cambodian law students from the Royal University of Law and Economics made it to the top 16 of the world’s largest moot court competition earlier this month, placing higher than Cambridge University and the University of Indonesia.
They did even better in the written component of the competition – known as the memorials – placing second, ahead of some of the best law schools in the world.
“We totally exceeded our expectations . . . we are proud that we could make it so far,” said team member Ngoang Muyseo, 22, adding that other teams were “shocked and surprised” to hear a team from Cambodia had placed so highly.
The annual Jessup International Law Moot competition simulates a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, with this year’s problem relating to issues of climate change.
The Royal University team advanced past the second round before losing to Columbia Law School.
“As a team, we are proud of defeating NYU and the Jamaican team, who were both really good,” team member Van Yuvaktep, 21, told the Post. “But personally, I felt proud facing Columbia Law School. I believe that as an oralist, I beat them in my rebuttal.”
With a law library of only a few shelves to consult, the team performed impressively, said Zach Lampell, team coach and deputy director of the university’s English Language Based Bachelor of Law program (ELBBL).
“It is testament not only to their intelligence but their hard work . . . we are incredibly proud,” he said.
“Everyone I spoke to [at Jessup] said they had never seen a Cambodian team with such knowledge of the law and the dexterity to explain the legal issues in English,” said Margaret Ryan, director of the ELBBL program.
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