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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 Amity Law School, Delhi (IP University) talks about the selection process followed, challenges faced while organising a moot and the benefits of mooting for a law student. Excerpts below.
Bar & Bench: How are members inducted into the Moot Court Committee and what are their main responsibilities?
Amity Law School, Delhi: The members of the Moot Court Society are inducted through 3 competitive selection rounds:-
Firstly, through the “Internal National Rounds’’. Allotment of moots is based on preferences as per the ranks secured by the teams in the “Internal National Rounds”. In the current academic session, a total of 98 teams with 3-members each participated, of which 16 teams were inducted into the Moot Court Society. In the current academic session, a total of 98 teams with 3-members each participated, of which 16 teams were inducted into the Moot Court Society.
Second mode of selection is, through the “Internal International Rounds” also open to 2nd to 5th-year students. These rounds are conducted in September and have an International Law based problem. The inductees are allowed 1 International Level moot if they are inducted in the society through this round. Interestingly, for the last 6 years, the top ranking team has always chosen to participate in the regional qualification rounds of Phillip C. Jessup Moot Court Competition. Students are open to participate in both, National as well as International selection rounds.
Both the above rounds are organized by the 4th-year batch which introduces them to the wide modalities of organizing a moot court event.
The induction process from the above 2 rounds culminates into the induction of all the senior members of the Moot Court Society for the academic year. These members of the society range from 2nd to 5th year. Subsequent to this, an Executive Committee is formulated through elections by voting of all the members through a secret ballot system which is coordinated by the Faculty-In-Charge.
The Conveners along with the help of the Executive Committee members are responsible for the smooth functioning of the society and assisting the members in mooting related matters. These can be either in relation to assisting them in research or taking mock rounds, collective bargaining for attendance and project/viva exemptions!
Finally, the Society also conducts an exclusive internal moot for 1st years. The ‘First year moot’ is a compulsory moot for all 1st-years. 24 first-years (from among 200 students) are inducted into the society. Each of the 24 students gets 1 moot, and are assigned mentors from the 4th or 5th year to assist them through the preparation process. Specific moots are reserved for first-year teams in order to best introduce them to mooting and help them get valuable experience.
B&B: What is the process of organizing an inter-college moot court competition? How do you find sponsors?
ALS: The process of organizing the moot begins 6 months prior to the moot itself. The Convener of the Moot Court Society or a group of senior mooters of the college, decide upon the Moot proposition, dates/ timeline and rules of the competition along with the Faculty-Convenor. Their details are posted on various websites, and law schools from all over India are open to register for the same. Limited slots are given out on a first come, first serve basis.
As the competition draws nearer students of the host batch, ie. the 4th-year form multiple committees, each to deal with separate aspects involved in organizing a moot, such as the judges committee, committees for courtroom management, participant-assistance, accommodation, transport, food and scoring. Within this scheme, the process of soliciting sponsorship for the event is done by the Sponsorship committee. Law Firms, Senior Advocates and sometimes even banks and corporations sponsor the event.
B&B: How do you select judges for various rounds?
ALS: Our flagship event, the Amity National Moot Court Competition is divided into 4 rounds. Judges for the ‘Preliminary-rounds’ are invited from amongst our own alumni and other young lawyers practicing in Delhi. The ‘Quarter-finals’ benches consist of Senior advocates, academicians and professionals with expertise in the areas of law the Moot Proposition concerns. The ‘Semi-final’ benches are presided over by Hon’ble judges of the Delhi High Court & Senior advocates and the ‘Final’ bench is composed of 2 Supreme Court justices. Several of the judges have become regulars at the Amity National Moot Court Competition each year, and now form an integral part of the event.
For the Internal National as well as International selections, judges are invited from amongst a pool highly gifted Amity Law School alumni and young lawyers practicing in Delhi who have excelled at mooting during their days in law school. Such judges, who have themselves boast considerable experience both as mooters & moot court judges and now as professionals are ideally suited to identify qualities of a good mooter. They expose students to situations they may come across at a competitive moot and give valuable feedback.
As for the selection rounds specially conducted for 1st-years, 5th-year students with considerable experience in mooting (at-least 4 moots) are invited to judge the rounds. Any shortfall in the number of judges is filled through a process of application, open to all 4th-year students. 4th-year students with maximum achievements and experience in moot court competitions as determined through the process of applications would be allowed to judge these rounds.
B&B: In your opinion, how does mooting benefit a law student?
ALS: Though it has been pointed out correctly by many, that proceedings of a moot court are distant from the realities of actual court proceedings, mooting as an activity offers much to learn for law students.
For starters, it introduces a participant to the very competitive nature of the legal profession. It allows students to explore new fields of law in a manner and with depth & perspective which the academic curriculum does not. Perspective and depth of exploration comes only from a practical application of legal knowledge, an opportunity only mooting can afford to a law student.
Mooting helps develop research skills and a habit of tireless reading. Students benefit by improving their understanding of the legal language which also improves their own writing skills. It also helps students develop their speaking style and confidence; not only for court proceedings but for any time the profession would demand it. Mooting also makes students “think on the spot”. These are all qualities which go a long way in any field of the legal profession.
The greatest virtue of mooting is perhaps the opportunity it affords to a student to travel, within as well as outside the country. There is no value that can be attached to what a student learns from similar-minded peers, professionals and academicians from across the world.
The Moot Court Society of Amity Law School, Delhi (IP University) comprises Ravin Kapur, Nishant Anurag, Ritwick Srivastava, Vrinda Bagaria, Bhuvan Ravindra, Ashita Alag, Mrinal Verma & Siddharth Raval.
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