Introduction of the 18th John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition on WTO Law

The John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition (formerly known as the ELSA Moot Court Competition) is a simulated hearing of the WTO dispute settlement system held by the European Law Students’ Association annually. Participants from all over the world are separated into several regional rounds, and the best 20 teams out of these regional rounds will qualify for the Final Oral Round which takes place at the WTO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This year, the Asia-Pacific regional round was originally scheduled to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from April 3rd to April 7th. However, due to the pandemic, the competition had been held online and rescheduled to April 14th to April 16th. The Final Oral Round, which was originally scheduled to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from June 23rd to June 28th, was also conducted in a virtual form.

The 2019-2020 NTU team included four team members, Chuan-Ju Li, En Hsiang, Chia-Hsuan Tsai, and Chia-Lin Ho, and two student coaches, Yu-Chun Liu and Peng-Ying Chen. Professors Tsai-Yu Lin and Yueh-Ping (Alex) Yang from the Asian Center for WTO & International Health Law and Policy served as faculty advisors.

The fictitious case of this year involves the following issues:

(1)   Under SPS Annex A(1), the issue is whether a measure, which bans marbled crayfish, both processed and live, in the regions of an FTA’s members, is and SPS measure. 
(2)   Under SPS Arts. 2.3 and 5.5, the key issue is whether the measure arbitrarily and unjustifiably discriminates between countries where the same conditions prevail, and whether it distinguishes different appropriate levels of protection between countries that bear comparable risks.
(3)   Under SPS Art. 4.1, the key issue lies in the interpretation of whether the level of protection between two countries are equivalent.
(4)   Under GATT I:1, the issue is whether products from an FTA member and a non-FTA member are like, whether the exemption from examination confers an advantage, and whether the advantage is extended unconditionally to like products. This further leads to the discussion of whether the inconsistencies with GATT, if any, can be justified by GATT Arts. XX and XXIV.

We entered the quarterfinals for the East Asia Regional Round this year, and was awarded the Best Written Submission for Complainant, the Best Written Submission for Respondent, and the Best Written Submission in Overall.