The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. A team from each participating school is required to prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case. The Jessup Moot Court Competition covers issues in international law. Recent topics have included civil wars, war crimes, global internet regulations, and oceanic environmental issues. The Jessup team consists of four oralists and one alternate position. Two oralists represent one country, while the other two oralists represent the other country. Each pair prepares a brief and oral argument. The alternate helps with the briefs and oral arguments, but is not expected to argue at the competition. The alternate will be an oralist the following year.