In Conversation with the winners of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) International Arbitration Moot 2022, South Asia, Regional Rounds

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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 21st blog of the GYAN Series, we are going to learn everything about the art of mooting and how should one approach a moot court Competition to make his/her success.

The team of Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida won the 2022 FDI Moot Court Competition, South Asia, Regional Rounds. The winning team included Sarthak Raj, Yashwant Sanjenbam and Ayushika Mishra. Also, Yashwant Sanjenbam was awarded as the Best Advocate in the Finals.

The team competed NLU, Delhi and NLIU, Bhopal in the Semi-finals. In the final rounds, it faced Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) and emerged as the winner.

Team Legally Flawless congratulates the winners of 2022 Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot.

How did you feel when you came to know that you are the winners of the prestigious Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot 2022, Regional Rounds?

It was a delayed reaction, to be very honest. It took a while for the team to fully register what had just happened and when it did, relief. Years of trying to do our college proud was justified by that one single moment. We were overjoyed with the result and had to compose ourselves until the camera was turned off. It’s been a few weeks since the day of the announcement but the emotions felt that day are still fresh in the team.

How was the complete journey of this moot court competition?

It had its ups and downs. Every solution to a problem led to another problem and every problem led to another solution. The journey can be best described as being filled with a lot of backtracking, arguments and friendly discussions (well, mostly friendly). All in all, every step of the journey served its own respective purpose and ultimately, it all cumulatively helped the team perform to the best of its abilities.

Did you start preparing prior to the problem release?

Unfortunately we could not prepare for the FDI Moot, in particular, before the proposition was released. However, the team was engaged in another International Arbitration Moot just weeks before the release of the problem. So, the experience and knowledge we gained from the preceding moot made the transition into the FDI Moot a bit smoother.

How did you find this year’s moot proposition and what sort of issues were involved?

The 2022 problem was very intense, in the purest sense of the word. It was engaging and direct from start to finish. There was a diverse selection of issues and events that one could easily get immersed in. From cannabis to violent protests to civil war to destruction of properties by the very forces that was supposed to protect it. The entire problem comprised of 90+ pages but you wouldn’t be able to tell because of how engaging it was. The problem demanded the reader’s attention.

What factors did you consider while forming this winning team?

Besides the usual traits of a good work ethic and being in possession of the appropriate legal skills (whether oral, drafting or researching), the team’s primary qualifications for its members were being approachable, easily accessible, open to constructive criticism and, most importantly, a friendly temperament. At the risk of sounding vain, I believe all of the members of the team meet these requirements.

How was the experience of online mooting?

Ironically, given how restrictive it can be for the speakers to stay within the POV of the camera, online mooting allows the speakers more freedom to coordinate better and improve chemistry with each other while pleading. Whether it’s a light kick to the leg to inform your co-counsel that he/she has 5 minutes left or whether it’s writing words of encouragement on a sticky note to remind your co-counsel to remain calm, an online setting does have its perks.

What was the role of mentors throughout this whole journey? And What was that advice that made it a winning team?

The team has been privileged to have the mentors that it has. Every midnight session, every practice round and every correctional lecture played an immense role in shaping the team. The team would like to particularly thank Mr. Ziad Salloum and Mr. Ankit Singh for all the efforts they have put into this team and to this moot competition, despite their incredibly busy schedule. The most prominent advice that they gave to the team was to give us free reign over how we presented our submissions. As long as we had the basics and the crux of all the issues understood, we were free to present our cases in whatever way we wanted. That helped us to be more confident in our pleadings and gave us a creative license to prepare the most impactful way of submitting our arguments.

During the preparation did you come across a phase when you were stuck at a particular issue?

The moot problem and its issues were so extensive and yet so closely interconnected, that the team would not do justice to the drafters of the problem in choosing one particular issue as an answer to this question. Every single issue had its own unique set of problems and questions. And the more the team progressed with regards to understanding the problem, the more the team realized that there were problems in between the lines of the problem itself. So, to answer this question, the entirety of the moot problem was a problem (pun unintended).

We would like to know your comment on the mooting culture at Lloyd Law College.

Lloyd Law College has historically had a very active and enthusiastic mooting culture within its campus. The college shares the same zeal as its students when it comes to moot court competitions and it understands that moot court competitions are quite easily the most important activity that a law student can engage themselves in to be prepared for the real legal world. Every moot court competition has its own set of a moot team, its own members, its own issues, its own approach and its own journey. However, there is one common derivative with all of these different moot competitions and its respective assigned teams and that is the Director of our college, Prof. (Dr.) Md. Salim. He is the ever-present, constantly available and continuously supportive rock of the college that unites every single moot team. It is through his efforts that the college has such a thriving mooting culture. In this academic session alone (2021-22), the college has amassed more than a dozen moot court competition wins and several other moot curt achievements and it is all thanks to our esteemed Director.

What would be your advice for the upcoming participants of the FDI Arbitration Moot Court Competition?

An advice that the team would give for upcoming participants would be, besides preparing on giving your best performance in the competition, to allow yourselves to be immersed in the FDI community. The arbitrators, the organizers, other team members, all of them are potentially life-long connections that you can establish. Coming back to the competition itself, understand what the FDI moot stands for, investment treaties in real life can make or break the economies of entire states. Once you understand the gravity of this, you will be in a better position to face the FDI moot court competition. 

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