The Eugene Dupuch Law School Sweeps the 14th Annual CCJ International Law Moot

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The Eugene Dupuch Law School Sweeps the 14th Annual CCJ International Law Moot

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. On Friday, 22nd March, the Eugene Dupuch Law School from The Bahamas was the winner of Overall Moot Challenge Shield at the XIV Annual Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) International Law Moot. This year represents the sixth win for the Bahamian law school, which also won the prizes for the best oralist and best written submission. The second-place prize was awarded to the Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine who also copped the prize for the Best Academic Institution. The Norman Manley Law School edged out the Department of Law, University of Guyana to win the Social Media Spirit Prize.

A mere two weeks after the world celebrated International Women’s Day, the impact of women was duly reflected in the all-female winners of this year’s competition. The victorious team comprising Chastity Butler (winner of the Best Oralist Award), Tracy-Ann Martell, and Sashae Duncan, credited hard work, cooperation, and flexibility before the judges for their incredible win. Their achievement included receiving the first-ever prize for the Best Written Submission Award in tribute to the late Mr Justice Jacob Wit, who before his retirement from the CCJ, was a stalwart in this annual competition.

The Moot was established in 2009 to orient law students in the processes and procedures of the Court while helping them become more familiar with the Court’s Original Jurisdiction (OJ). It focuses on the interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC). In its OJ, the CCJ is an international court and is the only court that has the authority to interpret the Treaty when there are disagreements concerning freedom of movement, trade, services, and capital within CARICOM. Countries, businesses, and individuals can ask the Court to interpret the Treaty.

According to the Hon. Mr Justice Winston Anderson during the opening ceremony, “this Moot presents an invaluable opportunity to delve into the nuances of the Revised Treaty, understand the procedures for pursuing the rights it bestows, and familiarise yourselves with the Court that interprets and applies the Treaty. We hope this experience will ignite your passion for the advancement of Community law, inspiring you as practitioners and scholars to contribute significantly to the development of Caribbean jurisprudence.”

Under the chairmanship of the Hon. Mr Justice Burgess, this year’s Moot question was argued before a panel of three judges, comprising the Hon. Mme. Justice Rajnauth-Lee, the Hon. Mr Justice Denys Barrow, and the Hon. Mr Justice Peter Jamadar. The students participating in the Moot were given a fact pattern which presented issues on the breach of provisions in the RTC. The teams which were applying to the CCJ for special leave were to argue that there had been imposition of new restrictions on the CARICOM right of establishment under the RTC, that there had been a breach of the provisions governing the establishment and imposition of the common external tariff, and that there had been imposition of measurable restrictions contrary to the provisions of the RTC. The teams on the defence were to argue that there had been no breach on any of those points.

Members of the public can view the recordings of this year’s competition and the award ceremony on the Caribbean Court of Justice’s YouTube channel here.

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