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“The Mooters” are a series of interviews with the Moot Court Committees of different law schools in the country. In this piece, the team from Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar 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?
GNLU, Gandhinagar: The GIMC Organising Committee organises the GNLU International Moot Court Competition, an annual event hosted by GNLU in the month of February. The committee is reconstituted every academic year and the selection process involves a personal interview with a panel consisting of the faculty Convenor, Mr. R. Girish along with the other faculty members of the GIMC OC. They look at the student’s organisational skills, interpersonal skills along with others as these are the very basic requirements for organising any event successfully. Generally once a student becomes a member he/she is selected every year. Students belonging to the 1st year to the 5th year of GNLU form a part of the OC. Students from each year of college are deliberately selected so that they can learn the organisational work by observing senior members and also to help them shoulder enhanced responsibilities with each passing year. Every member of the GIMC OC is divided into sub-committees headed by a coordinator and co-ordinator. The members are given a choice regarding the sub-committee they would like to join as the work undertaken by the sub-committees is varied. There are a total of 6 sub-committees which comprising of the Logistics, Sponsorship, Communication, Hospitality, PR and Treasury Committee. Each sub-committee has pre-assigned work and the members take care of the same.
B&B: What is the process of organizing an inter-college moot court competition? How do you find sponsors?
GNLU: We organised the 7th edition of the GNLU International Moot Court Competition in February this year. The GIMC OC work round the year for the successful organisation of the competition. Generally GIMC is held in the first week of February, so we start out by finalising our problem drafter and it is always our priority since the quality of participation and the competition is always affected by the quality of the moot problem. Then we concentrate on teams and judges. We send out e-invites to various National and International Colleges which are followed by hard copy invites and then subsequent follow ups are done via calls. We have a dedicated communications team which deal with all follow up and registrations. There is a lot of other ancillary work which is done simultaneously. When it comes to sponsorship, we have been lucky to have long term relations with LKS and WTI as they have constantly supported the Competition. We have also been able to form a partnership with Borden Ladner Gervais, the largest full service firm based in Canada, which helps us increase our international presence. Other than the long term partners the sponsorship team approaches various organisations every year. The moot problem of GIMC is based on International Trade Law but touches different aspects of international law every year. For e.g. the theme of the problem this year was labelling issues of Infant Formula. So every year the sponsorship team works on bringing in a theme partner based on the problem. Bringing in sponsorship requires a dedicated and perseverant team as each potential sponsor has to be approached with a personalised proposal, Further the organisations have to be convinced about the benefits they could reap by partnering with GIMC. The sponsorship committee tries to bring in new partners with every passing edition.
B&B: How do you select judges for the various rounds?
GNLU: The selection of judges forms a very important part of organising the competition as only the judges can facilitate the task of finding the most deserving team. As per the competitions structure we conduct four rounds which includes the preliminary rounds, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final round. Each round is judged by a different set of judges. The profiles of potential judges are first sought out based on their area of practice, work experience, achievement specially in mooting and other added experience in trade law. After an initial list of potential judges is made the Faculty Convenor scrutinises each profile following which the selected people are approached to judge the competition. Our most difficult work is identifying judges for the preliminary rounds. We require more than 10 equally qualified judges for the preliminary rounds who are capable of accurately assessing the potentials of teams since only 8 teams out of the 50 plus participating teams make it to the next round. For the finals we bring in the best in the field of International Trade Law to adjudge the winner of the competition.
B&B: In your opinion, how does mooting benefit a law student?
GNLU: Mooting forms a very important part of a law student’s life and that goes without saying. Acuity, clarity of thought, thorough research, composure along with flawless presentation and eloquence are all required to win any moot court competition. So preparing for a moot court competition in turn helps law students develop skill required to be a successful prospective lawyer. Other than that mooting also helps gain perspective regarding areas of law as the competition provides a platform to interact with and observe other teams from different Universities and also provides the opportunity of sharing space with the luminaries from the field. In short mooting offers a systematic training process for the development of essential skills likes that of problem solving, legal analysis, drafting legal submissions and the development of public speaking which makes it an indispensible part of law school life.
The Moot Court Association of Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar for 2014-2015 includes Snigdha Guha Roy, Huma Roohi, Anamika Ray, Tanya Nayyar, Muskaan Sharma, Sagar Seth, Chirag Narasimiah, Arinjay Vyas, Aishwarya Mohapatra, Anu Shrivastava, Randal Williams, Maitree Muzumdar and Saisha Orke.
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