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“The Mooters” is a regular series where Bar & Bench interviews the Moot Court Committees of different law schools in the country. In this piece, the team from Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur 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?
HNLU, Raipur: The Moot Court Committee is an integral organ of the Student Bar Association of our University. The mandate of the committee extends to the organization of moot court competitions and other allied events in the University and to govern, regulate and supervise the moot court activities in the university, and to develop and facilitate a dynamic, vibrant and healthy mooting culture in the university.
The primary responsibility of the members of the committee is to ensure a hassle free and smooth conduct of the “Internal Challenger Rounds”, vide which students are selected to represent the University in any moot competition that they seek to participate in.
The MCC consists of 16 elected student members; 3 students are elected from each of the five current batches and one student is elected from the current LLM batch. The Convenor and the Vice-Convenor of the Committee are then elected from the aforementioned elected members.
The MCC also comprises of some ‘Co-opted members’ who though are regarded as an essential part of each MCC discussion but then they do not enjoy any voting rights in any of the committee meetings.
The MCC is presided over by the Faculty Coordinator who is appointed by the Vice Chancellor of our University at the inception of the new MCC after SBA elections. At present, the Faculty Coordinator of the MCC is Dr. Kaumudhi Challa.
B&B: What is the process of organizing an inter-college moot court competition? How do you find sponsors?
HNLU: The Justice Hidayatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition (“HNMCC”) was started as part of the Centenary Celebrations in memory of the stalwart of the Indian legal arena- Justice Hidayatullah. The sheer enthusiasm attributed to mooting is an integral aspect of law school life. The rush of rebuttals and hair splitting arguments come together to create a unique experience for a law student. This is the driving force behind HNMCC.
Needless to say, we leave no stone unturned in making this event stand true to its rich heritage. The preparations for the successful conduct of the HNMCC kick start around three months before the dates of the competition by constituting a Core Organising Committee which generally comprises of around 12-13 members which supervises the functioning of various sub committees such as Court Room Committee, Judges Hospitality Committee, Team Hospitality Committee, Mess Committee, Transport Committee, PR Committee, Scoring Committee, Venue Committee and the like. HNMCC involves participation of around 150 students in the positions of Coordinators and Volunteers of the aforementioned sub committees.
As far as sponsorship of this mega event is concerned most of it is refurbished by the Chhattisgarh State Government Annual Fund and all other allied expenses are taken care of by generous sponsorships from institutions like State Bank of India, Chhattisgarh Tourism, Jindal Steel etc. We approach these concerned institutions with a pragmatic approach to make them realise and appreciate the various benefits that they might procure from being associated with a mega event such as HNMCC.
B&B: How do you select judges for the various rounds?
HNLU: The MCC, till now, has maintained a policy to invite our distinguished alumni to judge the Preliminary and Quarter final rounds of the HNMCC. This strategy aims to provide a platform to the current student body of the University to be able to interact with them in person and the concerned alumni in turn can also use this opportunity to advise the current student body.
For Semi Final Rounds, an effort is made to invite a panel of distinguished and celebrated figures that specialise in that aspect of law upon which the moot proposition of the concerned edition of HNMCC is based.
For Finals, the bench comprises of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India or the Chhattisgarh High Court.
B&B: In your opinion, how does mooting benefit a law student?
HNLU: Focussing only on academics in a course that runs for half a decade can become quite mundane. Moots are the best way to harness your reasoning ability, research skills and ability to make arguments. Even objectively, recruiters across the country would not generally ignore a CV reflective of five years of constant and regular activity. Further, most reputed Moots are based on emerging or grey areas of a subject, or sometimes even transactions that are hitting the news.
The benefits of mooting are manifold. Mooting affords participants the opportunity to develop their understanding of the law and improve their skills in legal research and analysis. Mooters learn to develop and defend legal arguments and to work closely with their teammates towards a common goal, in a way that serves to increase confidence and improve public speaking skills. Mooting allows for interaction between students and members of academic staff, practitioners and judges, in a rewarding environment.
Mooting also tests a number of skills: organisation, confidence, clarity of oral expression, the ability to think on your feet, and others. Those are valuable skills in a multitude of careers, so proving one’s worth in a moot impresses a range of potential employers.
Mooting gets a law student as close as possible to a real Court room.Though it is not an exact replica of the actual court room yet it gives you the flavour of the same. Drafting, interpretation, argumentation and various other legal and logical skills which they gain are incomparable to any other learning method.
The Moot Court Committee of Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur for 2014-2015 includes Aman Dwivedi, Ashish Tiwari, Anirudh Sujoria, Ishita Mathur, Ishan Verma, Kajori De, Mayur Choudhary, Sachin Mishra, Sanskriti Singh, Syed Zeeshan, Shashank Shekhar and Vivek Pandey.
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