YLS Team Sweeps Awards at French-language Moot Court Competition

Yale Law School sent a team of students in May 2016 to compete in the Charles Rousseau International Law Moot Court Competition (Concours de procès simulé en droit international Charles-Rousseau), the premier French-language moot court competition in public international law. The competition brought teams from 26 universities to Varadero, Cuba to litigate a fictional dispute before the International Court of Justice. The YLS team, entering the competition for the first time, was the only team from the United States, and one of the few teams from a non-francophone country or region.

The YLS team received the highest score for their oral pleadings, the fourth highest score for their written memorials, and the second highest overall score of the 26 teams. As a result, the YLS team received more awards than any other team at the competition. Over the course of the competition, the team emerged victorious in oral arguments against Université d’Ottawa (Canada), Université des Lagunes (Côté d’Ivoire), Université du Maine (France), and Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).

Most impressively, all four members of the YLS team received individual oralist awards for placing among the top 10 out of the 98 mostly native French-speaking participants. Tal Eisenzweig ’17 placed tenth, Scout Katovich ’17 placed seventh, Lexie Perloff-Giles ’17 placed third, and Peter Tzeng ’16 received the Jacques-Yvan Morin Prize for placing first. The YLS team was the only team that had all four members place among the top 10 oralists, and they were the only non-native French-speaking participants who received individual oralist awards. In addition to the individual awards, the team received an award for their written memorials, as well as an award for being the strongest new team at the competition.

The YLS team had been preparing for the competition since last October. “It was an immense challenge to learn international law, conduct legal research, write persuasive memorials, and deliver oral arguments in French,” remarked Tzeng, who put the team together in the fall and served as the coach. “Yet with the help of professors, alumni, classmates, and many others, the team managed to rise up to the challenge.”