INTERNATIONAL Law Week, held last March 3-7, 2014, was organized by the Ateneo Society of International Law (ASIL) with the theme, “The International Legal Regime Surrounding Corruption.” According to ASIL’s incoming Deputy Administrator Mon Mercado (2A), the organization chose the theme because of its relevance to the current issues happening in the country.
During the week, an exhibit showing different articles and topics regarding corruption was displayed in the Basement 1 of the Ateneo Professional Schools. These include written pieces by international personalities on corruption and current events in relation to international law.
The highlight of the week was the two-day moot court competition, which was organized by the International Moot Court elective class handled by accomplished ASIL alumni Attys. Jose Lorenzo Sereno and Domnina Rances. The Public International Law classes of 2A and 2B under Dean Sedfrey Candelaria, Atty. Luisa Rosales and Atty. Danielle Bolong, took part in the competition, with each block having their respective representatives. Dubbed as “The 2014 Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban – Liberty and Prosperity Public International Law Moot Court Competition,” the moot covered the dispute between the State of Asioya and the Kingdom of Raepinosa concerning the events related to Dereez and Lexseia.
The elimination round was held on March 4. Held the day after at Justitia, the final round was graced by the presence of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban himself, together with his wife, Elenita. Ambassador Manual Teehankee, Atty. Sereno and former presidents of ASIL, Atty. Pia Alvendia and Philip Dabao were also present to serve as judges for the competition.
Lester Flores and Sang Mee Lee, both from 2B, represented Applicant, the State of Asioya, while Abby Castelo and Paolo Gonzales of 2A represented Respondent, the Kingdom of Raepinosa. The competition ended with 2A bagging Best Memorial and Overall Winner. Paolo Gonzales won Best Speaker for the final round and Alyssa Tan, also from 2A, was awarded Best Speaker for the eliminations. The competition formally closed with Chief Justice Panganiban expressing both his delight over the said event and his hope that more Atenean lawyers will be active in the international law sphere.
A symposium concerning corruption and its application in both the domestic and international spheres capped off the International Law Week. It was held at the APS Auditorium on March 7 and had Attys. Golda Benjamin and Jayvee Salud, and Happy Feraren as guest speakers.
Atty. Benjamin, who used to work for the Senate, shared her personal encounters with corruption in her line of work and, likewise, tackled several problematic areas in the law where corruption can manifest itself. Atty. Salud discussed how the international law community is currently reacting to corruption and further cited treaties and studies that attempt to address the problem. Happy Feraren, as the third speaker, introduced to the audience Bantay.ph, a civil organization whose advocacy is good governance and upholding citizens’ rights with regard to certain procedures in society. The symposium ended with an open forum. Incumbent ASIL President Toni Lou Sevilla (4C) delivered the closing remarks, thanking the guests and audience for their active participation in the weeklong event.