In conversation with GNLU's winning team at ILNU & CCI's 10th National Moot Court Competition

The winning team from GNLU
The winning team from GNLU

Gujarat National Law University emerged as the winner of the Tenth Institute of Law National Moot Court Competition, 2021 organised by Institute of Law, NIRMA University, Ahmedabad in association with Competition Commission of India from 16th April, 2021 to 18th April, 2021, wherein 36 teams from across the nation participated.

The winning team comprised of Rishab Aggarwal, 4th year, B.A.LL.B. (Hons.) and Rishabh Joshi, 4th year, B.B.A.LL.B. (Hons.) as the speakers and Ishaan Pandey, 1st year, B.A.LL.B.(Hons.) as the researcher.

The team from National Law School India University [NLSIU] got the runners-up title.

The winning team has also received an opportunity to intern with Vaish Advocates Associates as well as one-year subscription to EBC Learning.

This edition’s problem was based on contemporary and developing aspects of Competition Law along with Intellectual Property Rights.

Campus Ambassador Gyanda Kakar conducted an interview with the winning team. This is what they had to say:

How did you get to choose the moot in the first place? Moot Courts Competitions are indeed a team effort and positive team dynamics go a long way, how were you able to handle your differences especially since it was challenging to work remotely?

As the process of allocation of moots at GNLU is driven by rank that one gets in the intra rounds and then through preferences submitted with the committee, we three were allotted NIRMA moot. We preferred this moot since it was a unique combination of two amazing laws - competition and IPR and it also suited with our academic calendar, being in April.

Working from three different corners of the country was a challenge, however we strategised in terms of set deadlines for draft preparation and oral pleading, doing frequent calls and group video calls at regular intervals were the key.

Owing to the pandemic, the moot was conducted virtually. How was the virtual mooting experience compared to your previous in person moot court experiences?

Virtual mooting has it’s own set of pros and cons. One advantage of course is preparing and arguing from the comfort of one's home and having all material handy. However increased time spent online and entire process being conducted in front of screen led to increased stress.

During the oral preparation, presenting in front of virtual camera was more exhausting as compared to physical presentation and the feel of mooting in a courtroom was missing. Given the testing times, it was a fortunate opportunity though, to get to moot which we tried to utilise in best possible manner and it was truly a great learning experience.

Since you had less than two weeks for this moot, how did you go about the research and drafting the memorial?

Actually, we got our moot allotted little late at university and registered during the extended time period, hence, we had only around 10 days for memorial submission. We therefore prepared an interim plan of action and adhered to our deadlines for first draft with research, second draft with formatted citations and so on.

We remained in constant touch with each other for discussing research questions and had to wake up late during night or sometimes work throughout night so as to complete the work. It was gruelling but interesting work.

How were you able to balance the rigorous preparations, considering you had less than 2 weeks, and the mounting academic pressure?

This was certainly the most crucial as well as daunting task of our preparations since we had roughly only 10 days for our research and memo preparation. So, we firstly delegated the work amongst ourselves.

Secondly, to ensure that we did not miss out on any limb of research and have sufficient time for drafting as well, we kept very precise deadlines.

And third, we tried to stay connected and discuss all crucial points while we were putting together our drafts to ensure clarity in legal research and uniformity in arrangements. We realize in the hindsight that this 3D approach (Delegation, Deadline and Delegation) did the trick for us by allowing us to manage the time well.

Then we had around a week for oral rounds preparations and we used the same approach for it coupling it with series of practice sessions.

How did the seniors, and faculty contribute to this win?

Our seniors and faculty members played a very significant role in this victory. They were always there to help us, guide us and clarify any doubts that we have. Their perspective of looking at any issue opened new legal avenues to explore and cover.

Despite the pandemic and their personal engagements, our seniors and faculty ensured that we stay on track in our preparations for both written and oral submissions.

This victory would not have been possible without them.

Lastly, are there any pointers you could share with the future participants and aspirants, especially for the oral rounds?

For argumentation, it is imperative to think out of the box. This can be done in two ways: First, understand that the problem may not be limited to the laws which are clearly provided for. There may be other legal applications as well.

Second, specifically for moots involving competition law, the economics aspect has to be thoroughly considered from a creative angle.

As far as oral rounds are concerned, it is extremely important to practice as much as possible. Be very well prepared with all the intricacies of your arguments and have prepared responses for anticipated questions. It must be understood that moot is not a monologue but an interaction, so welcome questions and see them as opportunity to further your legal points. And finally, pay attention to the intonation and tempo of your voice for assertiveness and clarity.

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