Could you solve an international crisis in 24hrs?

03 May 2017

Day of Crisis is an international academic contest between 10 universities from Belgium to China. This year, King’s College London (representing France) was named overall winner as the team faced a series of major international crises to be solved over the course of 24 hours.

Competing teams represented governments, international organisations, or non-governmental organisations, in dealing with a variety of legal issues quickly, accurately and diplomatically.

The Day of Crisis began on Friday 21 April am and concluded with an emergency United Nations (UN) Security Council session the following day. A jury of legal experts were convened, chaired by Mr Steven Hill, Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at NATO.

The challenges included the use of force in the South China Sea, a coup d’état and human rights crackdown, the arrest and abuse of diplomats, and cyber warfare. Teams had to produce 13 pieces of written advice and conduct two negotiations during the 24 hours.

Teams represented the governments of People’s Republic of China, French Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Turkey, Russian Federation, Republic of the Philippines, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the organisations of NATO, the European Union and UN.

The winners:

This 24-hour non-stop international law and diplomacy competition challenges students’ knowledge of public international law, and their skills in teamwork, drafting, negotiation and working under pressure.

Simmons & Simmons has supported the contest since its inception in 2012 by the University Paris X (Paris West). This year, for the first time, the competition was held in London, hosted at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. Members of the winning team are offered a place for a paid 2017 summer vacation scheme at Simmons & Simmons London.

Simmons & Simmons projects partners Juliet Reingold and Patrick Wallace and dispute resolution partner, Etienne Kowalski served on the Jury of the International Day of Crisis Competition.

Partner, Juliet Reingold commented: “Day of Crisis was a fun and inspirational event for a very talented group of aspiring young lawyers. The international influence within each of the teams really made this a true global event and it permeated through to the way they approached the challenges of the day and made it hugely interesting for us on the jury.
“Speaking to the teams after the challenge it is clear that this has motivated them to do more in this area so this in itself is a great result for international law. Just reading the case study gave me mental gymnastics so I can only imagine how it must have felt for all others involved

Partner, Etienne Kowalski said: “This was my forth year serving on the jury and the experience never fails to amaze me. It was particularly great to have participants from India and Australia, demonstrating the internationalisation of the event and its growing interest. What we see in the competition is that the best teams are always the ones which cooperate, just as we see in real life. We also see that the quality of all teams improves each year. The competition will no doubt be even more exciting in future years”.


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