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“The Mooters” is a weekly series where Bar & Bench interviews the Moot Court Committees of different law schools in the country.
In this piece, the team from Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai talks about the selection process followed, challenges faced while organising a moot and the benefits of mooting for a law student.
Bar & Bench: How are members inducted into the Moot Court Committee and what are their main responsibilities?
Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College: The Moot Court Committee consists of faculty body and a student body. The faculty body is appointed by the Principal in consultation with the senior faculty of the College.
The student body is made up of students who sign up for the moot court committee and participate in the intra-college moot court competition each year.
From those who have become basic members based on their involvement with administration and the organising of various academic events at college each year, the faculty body assigns them shadowing roles in the successive years. Based on their performances as organisers at college events and their participation at academic events including mooting at other colleges, they are given roles such as student conveners, social co-ordinators, media co-ordinators, etc. Students who have held titular roles in their senior most years play the role of mentors and assist in moulding the younger student population.
The primary responsibilities are:
1. Keeping students informed of various moot court competitions, conferences and other academic events
2. Organising the Intra-College moot court competition
3. Running of selection rounds for various competitions
4. Organising festive day academic events
5. Fund raising
6. Media co-ordination
B&B: What is the process of organizing an inter-college moot court competition? How do you find sponsors?
AGLC: Our first step is to find intellectual partners, moot problem/preposition drafters. Quality of the moot problem has been our primary concern.
Once our faculty body approves the problem and the proposal put forth by the student body, we get an approval from the Principal and Director of Legal Studies. This basically is the initiation to hosting the competition.
Post satisfaction of administrative requirements, we approach our college administration and our very supportive alumni for funds. The current edition of Fiat Justitia, National Moot Court Competition is sponsored primarily by the graduating class of 1985, Law 85’ Trust.
We are gifted with a legacy of over 120 years as a law school, our institution is in the heart of the city in the Madras High Court Campus, visibility and network is a huge factor in gaining sponsorships. These features attract publishers, media houses and other commercial establishments.
B&B: How do you select judges for various rounds?
AGLC: Our Judges selection is based on the moot problem. Traditionally, we have had moot problems on commercial and corporate law involving Arbitration Act, Company’s Act, Contracts, etc. For the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds, we bring in lawyers who specialize in the area of the problem, with experience in arbitration and original side practice in the High Courts. We lean in on our Alumni and the gifted young and articulate lawyers enrolled in the Madras Bar.
Judges for the Semi-finals are senior lawyers who specialize in the field of the problem and those who also have a very strong academic approach to moot courts.
Our Finals have been traditionally judged by a mix of Sitting Judges of the Madras High Court, Senior Academicians and Senior Lawyers.
B&B: In your opinion, how does mooting benefit a law student?
AGLC: The most important thing we learn is to read a case properly and understand the proposition/problem. The logical side of our brain is put to work in understanding the issues.
Irrespective of us going into litigation or corporate practice, we need to be able to research thoroughly both on facts and on law; such skills cannot be acquired in the classroom. We gain discipline, not just in court room decorum but in planning, getting organised, executing such plans, working in a team, and most importantly respect and trust towards one another.
This is the closest we can simulate a real time scenario prior to enrolment in the Bar.
Most important are the network we build, the friendships we make and the knowledge we gain of the world outside ours.
Last but not least, many institutions and moot court committees make the social atmosphere a very enjoyable one as well. It is not just academic anymore.
The Moot Court Committee of AGLC, Chennai consists of Principal Dr.K.Murugadoss, Prof.Dr.Gowri Ramesh, Prof.Dr.A.Vijayalakshmi Ramalingam, Savitha Mahaadevan, Vaitheeswari Sundaresan, R.D.Ashok Kumar, Aparna Sundar, Manisha Mohandas, Rukmani Venugopal, Rajagopal Vasudevan, Ramaswamy Meyyappan, Rukmani Viswanathan, Sivakumar.
(If you would like your college moot court team to be featured, send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)