The team of the Institute of Law Nirma University won the 4th Jindal Technology Law and Policy Moot Court Competition, 2019 after defeating NLSIU Bangalore in the finals.
The winning team from the Institute of Law Nirma University included Devansh Dubey, Arya Vineeth, Payas Jain and Shubhsmita.
Before beginning with the questions Team Legally Flawless would like to congratulate the Nirma University Team for winning the 4th Jindal Technology Law and Policy Moot Court Competition.
The team members play a major role in a moot court competition, so how did you form the winning team?
So the teams at Nirma University are selected based on intramurals. Initially, the team formed after the intramurals had only 3 members. Then as the rules of the competition mentioned a 4-member team, Open Challengers were conducted and Shubhsmita (the 4th member) was selected.
There was very good chemistry between the team members as 2 of them namely Devansh Dubey and Payas Jain were from 3rd year and Arya Vineeth and Shubhsmita were from 2nd year. Also, this was the first time that Payas and Arya participated in a moot court competition.
Devansh Dubey had already participated once in KK Luthra International Moot Court Competition 2018 organized by the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University. This Competition was based on International Criminal Law. Also, Shubhsmita had participated in the moot court competition by Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur. This moot court competition was based on IPR.
This Moot Court Competition was based on Technology Law and Policy, so how did you prepare for the same?
The phrase ‘Technology law and policy’ is indeed a vast area of law covering whatsoever one can associate with the term. Therefore, after the team formation, we looked up to the previous year\’s moot problems in order to get a brief idea about the major areas of law which formed the focus of the problems. We identified that the competition was majorly based on Intellectual Property Rights with an emphasis on law of patents. There were other laws as well in addition to this. Some of the problems of the previous years were a concoction of IPR and Competition Law, whereas other problems were based completely on IPR including Plants and Farmer’s variety Act, etc. We thus concluded that barring other diverse areas of law, there is sheer good chance that the next problem would be based on IPR (and most probably law of patents).
Now since law of Patents was a subject totally new to us, we began preparing for the very basics of the same. Looking at the previous trends, we analyzed that the moot proposition would probably be released by the month of December or January. Also, since we had a compulsory 1 month internship to be completed during the month of January as per our institute’s policy, we decided to intern at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights, NLSIU Bangalore. This basically served the twin purpose of doing an internship as well as preparing for the competition. When the moot problem was out, we found that the problem is based majorly on Competition Law, Law of Patents, Big Data and Data Privacy. Till this time we were well versed with the basics of Law of Patents.
Did you seek any mentorship for this competition?
We received a lot of guidance from our seniors and batch-mates. As our competition was not based on just one law, we sought help from various people.
For Competition Law, we approached Mr. Ishaan Arora (Associate (Competition Law) at Gaggar & Partners, Solicitors & Advocates), Faiz Siddhique (Associate (Competition Law) at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.), Rajat Sinha and Naman Maheshwari (Both Final Year Law Student, ILNU). For IPR, we approached Harshit Singh Jadoun (Ex- Associate, Fidus Law Chambers).
I (Devansh Dubey) and Payas Jain had already written a paper on Data Privacy before, so we had a good knowledge of the same.
The new challenge before us was to start building the basics of competition law from scratch as this again was a totally new subject for us.
How did you begin with the preparation for this Competition?
The internship at Centre for IPR, NLSIU, Banglore was very much crucial in the preparation. During this internship, interns had to write a research paper. So, we decided to write on different topics as this would be beneficial for the moot preparation. Also, when the moot proposition came, we extensively used the resources available at the NLSIU library.
We read the problem multiple times and as we were not much aware of Competition Law, we spent about 15 days just to identify the issues. In the actual competition, we realized that we had an edge over our competitors as some teams had not identified one or two issues. So, we would suggest that if the problem is open ended, then teams should not miss any point or issue. We started with the preparation for the oral rounds from the 1st week of March which was 2 weeks before the memorial submission.
After practice, we decided that Devansh Dubey would be the first speaker as he had already participated in a moot court competition earlier. Moreover, Arya was more comfortable being the 2nd speaker as this was her first time. We completed the memorial well in advance and thus got more time to review the same.
How was your overall journey throughout the preparation period?
There were highs and lows during the preparation. There were multiple emerging issues with no precedent. As the subject matter of the moot concerned emerging issues of Competition Law, Big data and data privacy, so we focused much on the jurisprudence of these issues rather than concerning ourselves over the lack of judgements and rulings on the problem. Therefore, in order to substantiate our arguments, we relied more on research papers, scholarly articles and the views of world-renowned experts in the field of Big Data and data privacy. Since there weren’t any direct case laws that applied to some of our issues, we also tried to solve them by drawing analogies from the established precedents.
Further, we maintained the right schedule, periodic checks and balances and focused mostly on the Moot Court Competition. In the Competition as well, we were appreciated for our strong grip over facts and law.
How did you balance your classes?
It would not be wrong to say that we gave priority to our competition more than the classes since it’s a privilege to be able to participate in a moot court competition for which nearly whole of the institute competed during the intra-murals, and a few are selected. We came to the library early in the morning and left late at around 8 or 9 pm. We even did not celebrate Holi. So, we prioritized the moot court competition over anything else.
Any further comments for junior mooters?
A Law student should definitely try mooting once in his/her law school life. The only purpose of mooting isn’t to build your CV or get you a corporate job but to get an in-hand experience at the very outset of your legal career. The back-breaking sitting hours, the engrossment in the moot problem to the exclusion of every other thing, the craze of finding a substantial argument from your respective point of view, all these have an excitement of their own and are truly a memorable experience of a student in his/her college years. Besides this, you really get to learn a lot of different things, most importantly researching skills. However, this is not the only opportunity; there are various opportunities in a law student’s life, so if one does not like mooting he/she may try other activities too.
Whenever you are giving mooting a try, do it with full energy and keep it as your first priority. Also, don’t think about the result because it can be unexpected sometimes. The judge sitting in a competition judges a team’s hard work of months in a mere 10-15 minutes. So rather than carrying any far-fetched expectations during the preparation phase, your job should just be to give 100%. Whatever may be the result, you will surely be a new person afterwards.
Things to Learn from the winners:
- Focus on the basics. Don’t leave any point or issue.
- Identify all the issues as crisply as possible. Remember Albert Einstein’s way to go about – If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.
- Have a strong grip on facts. Read the problem at least 10 times at the beginning (but not if the problem is 300-pgs long).
- Plan out a strategy. Build a timeline as to completing the research work, framing the arguments, doing the citation and compendium work, starting the oral practise, etc. Preparing a proper schedule will help you avoid action-faking.
- Practice more for the oral rounds because a moot court competition can only be won through oral rounds. By this we mean that no matter how good your research is if you cannot persuade the judges then it is of no use.
- Do not beat around the bush. Make your arguments to the point.
Thanks for your time.