Interview by Rushali Srivastava. Rushali interviewed Yash bagra, Bharat Singh and Harshit Chordia of the winning team from the Institute of Law, Nirma University.
Winning Teams Memorials
1. What made you choose the moot in the first place?
It is not about what made us choose 31st Bar council of India moot, it is about being best and when you want to become the best you have to face your ultimate demons and in our opinion Bar Council of India Moot Court Competition was the most appropriate opportunity wherein we could have faced the toughest competition as it is the most difficult and prestigious moot court competition in the entire country where all the colleges including NLUs send their best teams, so to become the best you have to be better than the best.
2. What was the process of your preparation? How did you go about it?
The journey was wonderful despite of many sacrifices involved throughout the journey. College premises and library became our first home during the preparation phase.
We approached problems one by one on the lines of previously decided schedule.
We did not distribute the issues among us as it could render us being unaware of the part of each other and in our opinion that was the differentiating factor of our team to other teams against whom we were pitched.
We applied process of logically and factually breaking each problem as we were of the view that if we have the logic on our side we will surely find legal backing for the same and if facts were against us we used to find a legal position to justify those facts in our favour.
The most difficult part of the preparation was sticking to the page limit as were given a page limit of 5 pages for pleading and authorities and reducing the pages after drafting of all the issues involved much brain storming.
Our seniors were always with us during the preparation. When our seniors won BCI they had this tagline ‘Jeetne aye ha, jeet ke jayenge’. So we had the advance version of this tagline i.e. ‘trophy to jeet chuke ha, lene ke lea ja rahe he’.
3. How important is the essence of team effort during moot preparations? How was it like working with your team? Were there any roadblocks?
Moot Court is primarily a team work as it is not possible for a single person to manage the varied aspects involved in it.
We are good friends from the very first semester before being teammates, so half of the work was already done.
We were motivated which initiated the whole preparation but it was our habit of being obsessed which led us to being victorious.
We three were very much clear about our objective and shared the same obsession about it.
We kept on motivating each other throughout the preparation as well as in actual competition.
Each one of us had his own strength & weaknesses and we were very much frank about that. We were openly monitoring each other’s work.
We were having differences of opinion on many key issues but that eventually helped us in getting the best of the argument.
4. How many teams were you up against in the competition? Which team would you consider to be your toughest competition?
There were 44 teams in the competition.
To be frank the team from NLIU-Bhopal whom we faced in the semi-final round were the toughest competitors as both of their speakers were clear with the facts and law involved and each and every query of the bench was responded in a concise and clear manner.
To add on we were of the opinion that no team can compete with us except us.
5. How was the final round up against CNLU?
The final round was the ultimate fight of becoming the best.
CNLU had also won the BCI moot previously so we were aware of the fact.
Therefore, we did not left any stone unturned and that`s what helped us to defeat CNLU.
Both of their speakers were good on factually fighting the case but at most of the important points they were unable to address the queries of the bench as they were well prepare on their strong points but it seemed that they were lacking arguments on their weak points.
On the contrary we were having arguments for our strong points as well as weak points and that in our opinion was the differentiating factor between us and CNLU.
6. Students generally are scared when it comes to researching on certain topics in moots. How should a student go about when a moot is allotted to him? What are the basics of researching?
Mastering legal research is a sine qua non for every law student. However, it is not a one day affair.
It requires consistent and dedicated efforts.
Technology has made things easier.
There is nothing to be scared of. Legal research has become more interesting today given the availability of various tools for helping out students.
We approached the problem by starting from the very basics and then moving ahead step by step.
Our main focus was to break the problem based on facts and to defend the case logically. We believe that if we are able to defend a case logically then there will be some or the other law backing that logic.
According to us following should be the sequence of events during the preparation of moot.
First thing will be to read fact-sheet again and again to the extent that you are able to narrate it in the middle of the night. Afterwards start discussing the problem with team mates, faculties and seniors.
Try to decipher the intention of drafter behind each statement of the moot proposition.
Make sure that each and every word of the factsheet is discussed or pondered upon.
Identify legal issues and research points involved.
Then make a schedule with keeping enough margins for last moment works.
Finally, adopt whatever arrangement for researches keeping in mind your convenience & circumstances and at the same time that arrangement should be practical and logical.
One should always try to come up with innovative arguments, witty analogies, and creative interpretation backed by proper research. Maintain open outlook towards all possibilities.
Drafting may be a fun or cumbersome work depending upon ones attitude. Art of drafting is expressing maximum things in minimum words keeping the sequential logic in the arguments i.e., arguments should be concise and clear.
Oral presentation is all about discussing the case with judges.
Giving mock pleadings before actual competitions prepared us for the barrage of questions and situations that may be posed during actual rounds.
Most of the arguments which the other team had raised, we had already pre-mediated and were prepared for rebutting the same.
Be handy with all the authorities that you have relied upon.
At the time when our actual sessions were going on, continuous passing of compendiums to the judges had a great impact on minds of judges.
7. How important is mooting in a law student’s career? What message would you like to pass on to the mooters and the non-mooters?
Importance of mooting for a law student is already well recognised. It has many things to give you as a budding lawyer.
It can be a great learning experience for all of us, as we learned from each other during the phase of preparation for the moot as we learned something new every day.
This is one platform where you can learn a lot from yourself, from your team members and from your competitors.
Message to mooters, “Win is the ultimate objective. The moment you decide to do moot, you also decide to win.”
Message to non-mooters, “It is still not late to taste the flavour of law studies. It can become a moment that you would cherish throughout your life.”
Mooting prepares you for the future. Every single day you learn something new which helps in your professional career.
Finally, Mooting is not about making a team with the best lot but it is about making your team ccccbbest by strong desire, obsession and sheer hard-work.