NLU Odisha won the citation of the best memorial for Claimant and best memorial for Respondent in 5th NLIU Justice R.K. Tankha Memorial International Moot Court Competition 2020.
Please tell us about your team.
The team consisted of four members: Farhana Akhtar, Darshit Siddhabhatti, Palak Agrawal and Palak Aggarwal.
When did you develop an interest in mooting? Any specific reason behind choosing to participate in 5th NLIU Justice R.K. Tankha Memorial International Moot Court Competition?
Honestly, I initially participated in my college’s internal moot court competition as a blind sheep in a herd but after doing one moot I developed a keen interest for mooting.
Thus, I wished to continue with the same. Answering the second question, international commercial arbitration, which is the subject area of this moot, is a very niche subject area and it intrigued me from the very start.
Thus, I took this particular moot to pursue my interests.
What is the advantage of mooting and why should one choose mooting in college days?
It definitely provides with you an edge over the subject area of law on which the moot is based. If you want to pursue your career in some particular field or genuinely want to learn and understand a particular field of law, mooting is the right option.
Further, mooting not only gives you the right knowledge but also hones you with the skill to advocate your case best in a limited period of time and convince someone on the other side of the table.
These skills not only help you in your professional life but also in your personal life because you naturally start thinking and talking in a more persuasive manner than erstwhile.
Tell us about the moot problem.
Our moot proposition was a well-drafted and an interesting combination of varied subject areas of law. It involved an international commercial dispute pertaining to termination of a parts supply agreement between a private party and a government company.
The dispute pertained to delays in delivery on part of the Claimant in pursuit of which the government company, the Respondent, terminated the agreement citing that time was the very essence of the agreement.
There were five issues ranging from basics of International commercial arbitration and international sales and trade law to niche areas such as funding by third parties, security for legal costs and insolvency.
The government company had challenged the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal on the grounds of an invalid arbitration agreement and a moratorium being initiated against the Respondent. Further, the government company contended disclosure of alleged funding by a third party to the Claimant and requested security for costs thereof.
The claimant, on the other hand, contested to add government as a party to the proceedings to ensure enforceability of the award in light of insolvency proceedings being initiated against the government company and the government being involved throughout the process.
The last issue was on the merits of the case.
Please walk us through your preparation regime.
The entire team approximately spent 16-17 hours a day during the moot and 8-10 hours a day during the pre-reading of the moot. When the memorial submissions came closer, managing classes had started to become a burden on our shoulders. However, we somehow managed to attend some of the classes, if not all.
How was your experience in the event?
The level of participation was good. The judges held impressive professional credentials. We were grilled a lot in our second round while the judges were quite content and impressed with our answers in the first round. Interestingly though, we were marked more by the former bench.
What would you say about the other teams in the competition?
There were 43 participating teams including all national law universities across India. The team from NLU, Lucknow was considered by us to be the toughest.
Any advice for novice mooters?
First and foremost, I would advise them to set their priorities right. In moots, consistency is the key and not intelligence. You would need to shirk from some parties, hangouts and might even have to follow a strict schedule of ‘eat, sleep, study, repeat.’ B
ut consider all these as a mere price for the underlying happiness of having proved yourself in the legal fraternity by achieving something of value.
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