Bond Law students retain world champion crown at international IP Moot

Both OzTREKK and Bond Law School have great reason to be very proud!

Bond Law students Justina Sebastiampillai (also a former OzTREKK student!) and Jeremy Butcher have cemented Bond’s position as world champions of the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition with a victory at the 2016 event. This is the fifth time Bond has won the moot.

The BFSU Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition, which is held annually in Beijing, is an English-language moot competition. The moot focuses on real-life intellectual property issues similar to some that have arisen in the Chinese business sector.

Bond Law students win international IP Moot
Proud moot victors, Jeremy Butcher and former OzTREKK student Justina Sebastiampillai (Photo credit: Bond University)

The competition is judged by high-profile judges and internationally renowned intellectual property lawyers and experts.

Bond defeated 15 teams to become the 2016 winners; 11 from leading Chinese universities, one from Taiwan and the others from the US and Australia. The legal problem that was the subject of this year’s moot concerned employees claiming compensation for an invention created during their term of employment.

In addition to taking out the top honour, Justina also received the ‘Best Oralist’ award and was asked to deliver the prestigious ‘thank you’ speech to the Judges, on behalf of all the teams in the competition.

Bond Law School’s Professor William van Caenegem, who coached the team on the ground in Beijing, said they performed strongly from the start of the competition.

“From the outset, Justina’s and Jeremy’s style and oral advocacy skills were outstanding,” he said. “It was a tough moot but they performed flawlessly.”

“An amazing amount out of hard work went into both their preparation in the six weeks leading up to the event, and from the moment they touched down in Beijing.

“The team worked tirelessly, day and night, and in the end this certainly paid off.”

Justina Sebastiampillai, who is graduating with a Juris Doctor degree later this month, said the BFSU IP moot was a complex challenge on many levels.

“Although the moot was in English, the case itself was Chinese, so research was a major challenge,” she said.

“Not only did we have to very quickly get to grips with Chinese Law and the foundations of the Chinese legal system, but the sources of information at our disposal about the case were very limited, and largely in the Chinese language.

“Thankfully, Bond’s Faculty of Law provided a huge level of support: our academics shared their expertise, feedback and perspectives; we had after-hours access to the moot courts and case study rooms; we received a constant barrage of messages of support from staff and students when we were in Beijing; and we even had alumni who were living and working in Beijing come forward to offer their support.

“It was hard work, preparing without background, but we were determined and committed to continuously improving ourselves throughout the competition process. When we saw how the bench responded to our first moot we knew whether or not we won, we were good enough to win, which gave us an enormous sense of pride and confidence.

“I felt very fortunate to have such a bright and talented teammate as Jeremy, and a coach that was as incredibly experienced and knowledgeable as William.

“It was exciting to see that Bond University has a degree of fame in this competition. The Bond name was instantly recognised and respected thanks to our success and high-quality performances in previous years’ events.

“I was very lucky to have a couple of days in Beijing after the competition when the Chinese students took me under their wing and together we went to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden City and visited some of the best restaurants in the city.

“We were overwhelmed by the hospitality of the students and competition organisers. They were so friendly and welcoming that true friendships were forged and we can’t wait for them to come to Australia and visit Bond.”

Justina has participated in four moots during her time at Bond: the Sir Harry Gibbs Constitutional Law Moot; the Wilson Moot in Canada; the Universite Paris 13 Sports Law Moot; and the BFSU Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition.

“Although the topics change, the skills required—and acquired—are the same: hard work, dedication, a desire to solve legal problems and a commitment to never stop learning,” Justina said.

“Being part of Bond Law moots has made me realise the importance of understanding law in different jurisdictions and how fundamental relationships with students and academics in other countries are as a future global law professional.

“I am very thankful to Bond for these incredible learning opportunities. The moots have been my favourite experiences so far and are a fantastic way to end my time at Bond.

“I now understand firsthand why Bond has the reputation of having the best mooting program in the world.”

All of us at OzTREKK are very proud of you, Justina! Way to go!


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