University of Curacao holds first moot court on Sint Maarten and Valya Pantophlet graduates her law school

May 17, 2023  -PHILIPSBURG – Sint Maarten -On May 15 th , 2023, the University of Curacao, Da Costa Gomez, organized the first ever moot court exam
for four Sint Maarten law school students at the courthouse in Philipsburg. For one of the students, Ms.
Valya Pantophlet, passing this exam also meant that she is Sint Maarten’s first ever law school graduate
for the University of Curacao’s bachelor of law program.
The moot court was organized by Mr. Gerald Simmons – de Jong and Mr. Karan Doekhi, both frequent
guest lecturers and teachers at the Da Costa Gomez University of Curacao, in close collaboration with
the coordinator of the Sint Maarten department of the university, Ms. Eunelda Cairo.
Moot court is part of the bachelor program of the university where the students prepare and present a
court case to a panel of judges. The idea is that the moot court creates a realistic court session as much
as possible.
In this moot court, students were given a bankruptcy case. In short, a couple had decided to purchase
and construct an expensive yacht, but eventually the company that they structured this through went
bankrupt and the couple were held personally liable, among other things. Two students were tasked
with representing the trustee (in Dutch: ‘curator’) and the other two students represented the couple
that was held liable. The panel of judges consisted of the vice president of the joint court of justice, Mr.
Gertjan Wouters, Mr. Gerald Simmons – de Jong, and Mr. Karan Doekhi. They were supported by griffier
Ms. Jacqueline Evers – Maria.
‘‘Mootcourt is a great opportunity during the bachelor exam to put in practice what you have learned so
far. It’s always a special moment for a law student, and I am very proud that the University of Curacao
was able to organize the mootcourt exam for the first ever bachelor student graduate for the country
Sint Maarten, Ms. Valya Pantophlet. I congratulate all of the students. They did great’’ said Mr. Gerald
Simmons – de Jong.

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