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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 School of Law, Christ University 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?
SLCU: The Moot Court Society at School of Law, Christ University is a student-run body which is guided by the Moot Court Society Policy that is drafted on a yearly basis by the members of the committee. The Moot Court Society Policy is the prime document that gives the authority to the Moot Court Society to conduct and participate in various internal and external moots. The Policy, after being drafted by the Committee, is deliberated with the faculty and then officially passed by them. The policy irrevocably and mandatorily provides for two convenors, one co-convenor and eight core-committee members.
The convenors are fourth-year law students of SLCU who are inducted into the committee on the basis of an application and final validation by the faculty, Head of Department and the Director of the law school. The convenor is always a student who is well-versed with the notion of mooting and possesses adequate leadership skills. The co-convenor on the other hand is a third-year law student who is elected by the constituent members of the Moot Court Society. The core-committee members are chosen by the faculty of the law school and the convenors of the Moot Court Society.
B&B: What is the process of organizing an inter-college moot court competition? How do you find sponsors?
SLCU: SLCU also organizes a much acclaimed National Moot Court Competition on a yearly basis. Also, we hosted the South India Qualifying Rounds of 55th Philip C Jessup International Moot Court Competition in association with Surana&Surana, International Attorneys, Chennai in the year 2014. And this year, we hosted the India Rounds of the 56th edition of the same competition.
Organising an inter-college moot of such a stature is a herculean task and the Moot Court Society of SLCU achieves the same with the meticulous work of an Organising Committee. Before the happening of any moot court competition to be hosted by SLCU, the Moot Court Society calls for applications from the student body to constitute the organizing committee for that particular moot. The students apply to be a part of various organizing sub-committees like Accommodation Committee, Food committee, Floor Management, Court Clerks etc. The students are then recruited accordingly to be a part of various sub-committees based on their previous organizing experiences.
Some of the vital tasks that are undertaken by the organizing committee are, drafting the proposal for conducting the moot court competition, chalking out the budget for the competition, sending invitations to various eminent people well-versed in law to judge the competition, arranging accommodation and travel for both the participants and the judges, sending out invites for various law schools across India to participate in the Moot, registering the teams that apply to participate in the same, arranging for a Moot-problem drafter and a memorial correction team etc.
Work is effectively delegated to Sub-Committees to avoid confusion. In this manner all the tiny details are planned and utmost care and caution is taken to ensure that the competition goes on smoothly.
B&B: How do you select judges for the various rounds?
SLCU: For the internal rounds, we invite advocates from all across the state who are experienced and are adept mooters themselves. The National Moot Court Competition, which is conducted by SLCU on a yearly basis, has advocates who practice in the High Courts, the Supreme Court and various reputed law firms across the length and breadth of the country judging the various rounds of the competition.
The final round of the SLCU National Moot Court Competition 2014-2015 was judged by eminent personalities such as Justice Chandrashekhar, Judge, Karnataka High Court, Justice Rathnakala, Judge, Karnataka High Court, Ram Jethmalani, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, Manas Kumar Chaudhuri, Partner, Khaitan and Co. and P.D. Dinesh Kumar, Senior Advocate, Karnataka High Court.
For competitions like the prestigious Phillip C Jessup, we invite judges who particularly have a sound knowledge in International law since the problem is entirely based on the same. We have also had the honour of hosting Soli J Sorabjee for India Rounds of Jessup International Moot Court Competition, 2015.
The final rounds of the 56th Phillip C Jessup International Moot Court Competition which was hosted By SLCU this year was judged by a bench of eminent personalities like Justice Altamas Kabir, Prof. David Ambrose, Prof. Subramanya, Roza Pati and Krishna Deekshit. Thus, we try to ensure that the judging is of the highest standard to provide for a rich and beneficial mooting experience as a whole.
B&B: In your opinion, how does mooting benefit a law student?
SLCU: Mooting is an essential activity for a law student. It helps in nurturing and channelizing the research and oratory skills of a person. Keeping in mind the very nature of a lawyer’s profession, it is a well-acknowledged fact that mere text-book knowledge is not enough to mould oneself into a successful lawyer. It is important to learn the art of applying the academic formula into the practical world. Mooting offers this opportunity to all the law students.
Thus, it helps in the growth of a law-student by providing them a peek into the real-world problems and the manner in which law can come to the rescue of an entity. Mooting also tests many different skills like the confidence, presence of mind, organizational capabilities and the over-all practical nature of an individual. Mooting is also one of the easiest ways to taste the lawyer’s life before actually qualifying to become a lawyer.
The Moot Court Society of School of Law, Christ University includes Andrew Chakroborty, Steve Thomas, Aroop Das, Sushmita Ravi, Shivam Pandey, Medha M. Ghatge, Kruthika R., Aashima Panikar, Shobhana Nataraja and Shruthi Narayan Rao.
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