Moot Court Competitions: Why and How should you Participate?

Mr. Praful Dwivedi is an alumnus from the Institute of Law, Nirma University. He has been Legal Executive at Sintex Industries Pvt. Ltd. Further, he is an experienced and avid mooter. He is highly skilled in legal research and is always eager to help his juniors.
Legally Flawless has started this drive to aware law students and young lawyers to achieve in the field of law through strategies from the achievers themselves. 

In our third blog of the GYAN Series, we are going to learn everything about mooting from Mr.Praful Dwivedi.

Please tell us something about your mooting life at Law School

I have done two moots in my Law School; the first was of Jagran Lakecity University at Bhopal. This competition was based on constitutional law. My second Moot Court competition was in my third year which was B.R. Sawhney Moot Court Competition, organized by NALSAR, Hyderabad. It was also based on constitutional law and concerned question regarding the right to privacy and how it is related to the article 21.

What motivated you to take part in Moot Court Competitions?

The life of a practicing lawyer motivated me to participate in moot courts. This is because when a lawyer argues before the court, he has been given certain facts and he has to apply the law and the law specifically in favor of his party and the same goes in Mooting.

The Moot court gave me an opportunity to experience the court’s proceedings. Also, I kept in mind that someday, I will have to appear before the court. So, Moot Court Competitions helped me in gaining the requisite skills required to practice before the court.

One also understands professionalism. This includes things like:

  • How to link the facts with the law.
  • How to present one’s case through participating in a Moot court.
So, I just wanted to make sure that when I appear before a real court in my life, I am ready for it.
What impact does Moot court competitions have on CV?

Moot Court Competitions definitely have an impact on CV. This is because when an interviewer comes to know that the candidate has excelled in a particular Moot Court Competition on A certain topic, then it shows that the candidate is ready to learn something and gain experience in a particular field of law.

Further, Moot court competitions give an opportunity to learn the basics of research, drafting, court professionalism, mannerism, etc. and these are the things which an employer looks for in a candidate.

Why should one participate in a Moot court competition?

There are various reasons because of which one should participate in a Moot court competition.

  • Firstly, it enhances your interpretation skills.
  • Secondly, it enhances your knowledge of a particular law.
  • Thirdly, it enhances your research, speaking, and drafting skills.

All these skills are very important for a lawyer. If a student acquires good drafting skills, he or she can also apply these skills to the various assignments in his 5 years of Law School. The Moot court experience also helps a lot during internships. In most of the internships, interns are required to prepare case briefs and if one has mooting experience then he or she can easily summarise the cases and can accurately apply the facts with the law. These all things give a mooter an edge over other students who haven\’t participated in a Moot court competition.

Further, mooters learn the way of extensive research by way of various keywords on legal databases like Manupatra, SCC Online, etc. Also, the use of good research in a draft reflects the quality of the draft. Further, moot courts have a great impact on the personality of a person and help to garnish the personality of a person to a great extent.

How should one approach a Moot Court Competition?

So first, the moot preposition is released which contains all the details regarding the moot and which contains facts, issues, and laws related to the moot problem.After the moot preposition is released what a student needs to do is to read the moot preposition at least 10 times and he should continue it reading one time a day during his preparation. This helps in identifying the problem and the issues in a very crystal clear manner.

For example, the first issue of a preposition is that whether the situation is arbitrary as per article 14 of the constitution? So, now one needs to research what is article 14. From the petitioner\’s side, he has to prove that this condition is arbitrary as per article 14 of the constitution and it can be made in three ways – whether it is arbitrary, it is ultra vires or it is not under reasonable classification.

Now, on the other side, you have to write from the respondent side that it is not arbitrary as per Article 14 as there is a presumption of constitutionality or it has certainly reasonable classification; so you have to think from both sides, i.e. petitioner as well as respondent and prepare your points accordingly. Subsequently one needs to research more on the law, to make his arguments more authoritative by way of citations. So, one needs to find decided case laws and link the same with the facts. If one follows this procedure, he can draft very strong arguments.

Further, whenever one is researching, he should write down the points so that he doesn’t lose track of his research. Once this structure is made, one needs to jot all these things down in the memo in a structured manner.The most important thing here is the wise choice of the team members as if one of the members doesn’t work then your whole team is going to lose its efficiency and it will be very difficult for the team to go further in the competition.

The next thing comes with the preparation for the drafting of the memorial if one has less time for the preparation, he should draft the memo side by side with the research but if there is ample time like three to four months for the preparation then one should do his research first, prepare a structure, and then start drafting the Memo.

How is mooting different from debating?

Both the activities play a very important role in the personality development of a person. The only difference between both is that in mooting you require a lot of time to Research and drafting while in debating one needs to be a very good and a prompt speaker. One should have a habit of reading as in debating one needs to prepare his research and his speech in a very short span of time but in mooting the team has more time as compared to Debate Tournament. Both are equally important for legal profession and one should continue to do both.

As you have judged various Moot Court Competitions, what are the common mistakes that various teams commit?

The most common mistake that speakers do is that they prepare the speech in order to recite or read the whole speech in front of the judges but they do not prepare for the questions on the side of the judges. As a judge, we look for the arguing capability as well as the understanding of the speaker with respect to the law and facts. So, speakers don’t need to prepare only for reciting the speech, instead, they should be prepared to answer the queries of the bench, to interact with them, and persuade them to prove the point.

Some handy tips to keep in mind while preparing the memorial?
  1. The most important thing to drafting is IRAC method. This includes- first the issue, the law or rule, the argument, and then the conclusion. 
  2. Your arguments or your Memorial should be very Crisp and precise so that one need not repeat the things. Keep in mind that the arguments should give a very clear precise understanding of what you are trying to prove.
Any further advice for your juniors?
  • Firstly, one should not think that mooting is a waste of time because the chances of winning the Moot court competition is very less.
  • One needs to understand that winning or losing does not matter rather one gets good experience and knowledge about the law.
  • One should know and remember that there are many instances where even second year or first-year students have beaten the final year students in a moot court competition. So, everything depends on your efforts and approach towards law.
  • One should take note that one’s research will never go waste it will always be helpful and always broaden your horizon about the law.
  • Students should go into the background of the law as the judges can ask any questions related to that law.
  • Each member of the team should read the moot preposition as many times as possible. This will improve your knowledge and give a very crystal clear idea of the moot proposition.
  • Lastly, do not forget to learn the court mannerisms before approaching the bench.

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