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The finals of the ELSA WTO Moot Court Competition held on June 7, 2015, saw two Indian teams battle it out for the winner title. Eventually, the NUJS team of Sandeep Ravikumar, Ira Chadha-Sridhar, Pramiti Parwani and Abhimanyu Hazari were adjudged the winners. Ira was also chosen as Best Oralist for the semi-finals and the finals.
In this e-mail interview, Shreya Vajpei talks to the team about their experience at the competition.
Shreya Vajpei: What made you choose this particular moot?
NUJS: We have an intra-university selection process for moot allotments. So according to our ranks, and also our areas of interest, we chose ELSA. Our team had Sandeep Ravikumar and Ira Chadha-Sridhar as Speakers and Pramiti Parwani and Abhimanyu Hazari as Researchers.
SV: What was the preparation phase like?
NUJS: The preparation was intensive from the very beginning. None of us had any background or knowledge in International Trade Law so our preparation began from a very basic level. Apart from following the usual rules of spending hours in the library pouring through every possible book and brainstorming repeatedly with the team, the most important thing we did was research every possible line of argumentation that could arise, and not just the strongest argument or the ones we were most comfortable with.
With Pleadings involving such an incredibly diverse set of trade law professionals as our Panellists, almost every line of argumentation did come up between the Regional Rounds and the World Rounds in Geneva, and it was vital to be prepared to this degree.
SV: How would you rate the competition?
NUJS: The quality of judging at the World Rounds in Geneva was absolutely brilliant. We had the privilege of pleading before some incredibly qualified members of the trade law fraternity, be it partners at the private firms, people working and adjudicating the various organs of the WTO, academicians and government representatives.
SV: Any special moments that you would like to share?
NUJS: There was one argument that was a little unique and we had come up with it after a lot of research and brainstorming. We were apprehensive about running it, but honestly, we had become very invested in that argument. One of the most special moments was meeting the problem setter after the finals and having him tell us that the argument was exactly what he was looking for! Just discussing that argument with him made all the work put into making the moot happen totally worth it!
Pleading before the Finals’ panel was also a very special moment. It was chaired by Mr. A.V. Ganesan, the former Chairperson of the WTO Appellate Body and included many authors whose books we had pored over during our research. It is extremely gratifying to be appreciated and judged by such incredibly eminent names. It was also brilliant to be able to interact with the crème de la crème of the trade law profession at the various social events that had been organised. And of course, Ira winning Best Oralist for the Semis and Finals. All this made the entire moot a truly unforgettable experience.