Winning a Moot Court Competition is every Law Student’s dream. It is an academic exercise on an imagined issue for Law students wherein participants argue and present hypothetical cases in front of simulated courts to get a taste of how judicial trials work in practice. It is a fantastic opportunity for Law Students to gain valuable experience that will benefit them throughout their careers. It can assist students in various ways; for example, it may help some students overcome the fear of public speaking; for others, it may enhance their advocacy, writing skills, and legal research. Many Law students take advantage of it in order to expand their network as well.
What is a Moot Court Competition?
A Moot Court Competition is a simulation of a regular court hearing, where generally a team of three participants scrutinize the problem at hand, conduct legal research, prepare and submit memorials, and make an oral presentation. The team consists of 2 speakers and 1 researcher.
Benefits of Moot Court Competitions
Following are the advantages of participating in Moot Court Competitions:
- Enhance Important Skills
Moot Court Competitions are great opportunity for the law students to enhance their basic skills. Students develop much needed researching and advocacy skills during the process.
Moots also provide a chance to work with other members, as these competitions are team oriented. Students learn to work and coordinate as a team to complete the formalities in due time. Generally, there are three members per team, but there may be more as few Moot Court Competitions allows more than three members.
- Intellectually Rewarding
Moot Court journey is not a walk in the park, it is challenging, frustrating and irritating at times. After all these, students finds Moots very enjoyable and intellectually rewarding.
- Pride and Acknowledgement
Moot Court Competitions give chance to represent College/ University nationally, also globally. When a team wins, they become pride of the institution. Also, the College gets nation-wide acknowledgement.
- Build Network
Students meet hundreds of other Law Students from the different corners of the country. Students can learn from the peers and enhance their skills. In addition, this is an excellent opportunity to expand their professional network.
How to research on a Legal Issue for Moot Court Competitions?
Read the given proposition thoroughly. After reading the problem multiple times, try to identify “Issues”. Issues are the facts at which parties are at disagreement. Parties move to the court to decide these issues.
Note: It is always a good idea to read the moot proposition at least once a day. As the more, you read the problem, better you will understand and thus, better you can prepare.
After reading the moot court proposition, analyse and identify which laws to be applied to the problem. Identify the area of law, subject matter of the problem and statutes to be used to solve the issues at hand.
Once we have analysed the proposition thoroughly, students should start researching on the relevant laws to get answer of the identified issues. There are number of resources students can refer, but there is a well-defined structure which should be put into practice while researching.
Recently, most of the Law Schools provide access to legal web resources, like MANUPATRA, SCC ONLINE, etc. Truly, legal-tech has turned around the legal research. Now lawyers do not have to purchase hard copies of periodicals and manuals, as everything is available at fingertips.
Note: Refer only authentic websites. Use websites of Commissions, Government, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), etc. for your research, as experts, who provide authentic and genuine information, handle these.
How to Prepare a Memorial/ Memorandum?
There is marking for memorials; therefore, participants have to adhere to the standard format of drafting or follow the rules regarding memorial drafting. Details as to word limit for different sections of memorials such as the summary of facts, summary of arguments, and argument advanced will be provided along with Citation style for footnotes and Fonts name and size, which need to be used in the rulebook of the competition.
Read the Moot Proposition thoroughly.
It is the very first and primary step of any Moot Court preparation. It is important that you know the question on which you are going to argue. The moot problem can be completely hypothetical or based on real-life cases or contemporary issues in society. It would be best to read the facts of the case more than once to understand the issues properly. Research always starts with some hypothesis where the researcher has to prove or disprove something. Similarly, in Moot Court, participants either try to get the previous ruling dismissed or uphold, or one party claims something the other has to defend.
- Framing of Issues.
Formulation of issues or research problems is an integral part of any Moot Court unless it is already provided with the Moot problem. Participants have to frame issues themselves from their understanding of the Moot Proposition. However, sometimes issues are already provided with the moot problem so that all the teams are on the same page and arguing on the same issues. Memorials are not shared with other teams until one day before the oral round; therefore, it is helpful for participants when issues are similar and saves them from embarrassing situations where Respondent is replying to the argument which they were expecting the Appellant to make.
- Legal Research.
Legal research, like any other research, starts with a problem. Research problems provide the outlines and roadmap as to where the researcher should look for a solution. Usually, it is advised to start research with a Law library, but with advancements in technology, the internet is a go-to place for students. It is efficient and provides access to a more extensive database of information stored systematically.
Sources can be divided into two categories, primary and secondary. Primary sources are statutes, case Laws, constitution, and regulations. Secondary sources are legal articles and Law journals, legal encyclopaedias, and research papers.
It is crucial that all the sources of information, wherever it is needed, are correctly cited in footnotes. Case Laws are crucial to support the argument, but it is advised that students see that these case Laws are not reversed on appeal or overruled in another case.
- Compendium of Cases
A compendium is simply a folder containing all the relevant authorities, statutes, and Case Laws referred to in memorials. It is not always mandatory and entirely depends on the rule of the competition, but it facilitates arguments and gives a good impression.
Though there is no particular format for compendium, it should be compiled in order of flow of argument or order of their citation, so it is presentable. All the essential parts of documents should be properly highlighted.
Popular International Moot Court Competitions
- Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, also known as the Jessup Moot or The Jessup, is the world’s oldest and largest international moot court competition, with recent years drawing participants from over 700 law schools in over 100 countries. Many organizations and universities around the world have referred to the competition as the most prestigious moot court competition in the world, and it is one of the grand slam or big moots.
The International Law Students Association organizes the event named after Philip Jessup, a former member of the International Court of Justice. In 1960, the moot began as a friendly advocacy competition between two Harvard University teams. The first champions were crowned in 1963, and non-American teams were allowed to compete in 1968.
- Price Media Law Moot Court Competition
The Price Media Law Moot Court Competition, or simply Price Moot, is a yearly international moot court competition. The Price Moot focuses on international media law and associated human rights such as freedom of speech, faith, affiliation, and privacy in different forms.
The Moot was founded and organized by the University of Oxford’s Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy and is named after the program’s founding director, Monroe E. Price, a communications law professor. The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights took over as the event’s organizer in 2017. The international rounds of the competition are held at the University of Oxford.
- The Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot
The Vis Moot, also known as the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, is an international moot competition. It has been held annually in Vienna, Austria, since 1994, attracting over 300 law schools worldwide and inspiring the production of over 20 pre-moots each year before the actual rounds in Vienna. It is a grand slam or big Moot and is the largest moot in the world for its area. Just before the rounds in Vienna, a sister moot, the Willem C. Vis (East) Moot, is held in Hong Kong. It was established in 2003 and annually draws about 150 teams, making it the second-largest commercial arbitration moot as well as a grand slam moot.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, all Vis moots were held online on the original dates, paving the way for the first editions of the Virtual Vis East and Virtual Vis, respectively.
- Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition
The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is an international human rights moot court competition. The inaugural edition was held in 2009 at the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law’s Centre for Human Rights, with support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Previously, the competition’s oral rounds were held in Pretoria, South Africa, annually. The competition has been held in Geneva, where the United Nations is headquartered, in recent years.
Students with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in law are qualified to compete. A team of two students from each university is invited to participate in the competition.
- International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition
The International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition, or ICCMCC, is an annual international moot court competition on international criminal law held in The Hague and organized by Leiden University’s Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, The Hague Campus, with institutional support from the International Criminal Court and the International Bar Association. The moot began as an in-class exercise at Pace Law School in 2004, and a domestic competition was launched in 2005. The following year, the competition became regional, with the finals held in 2007. The ICCMCC is the world’s largest annual sporting event, attracting more than 100 teams from 50 nations.
Popular National Moot Court Competitions
- BCI Moot Court Competition
The Bar Council of India Trust was founded as a public charitable trust on April 27, 1974, by the Bar Council of India. The Trust is dedicated to upholding ethical standards in the legal profession and improving legal education. The Trust is charged with establishing high-quality law schools and promoting legal study to achieve this goal.
Since its establishment in 1981, the Bar Council of India’s National Moot Court Competition has been fostering advocacy skills among law students under the auspices of the Trust. In collaboration with an Indian university, the Trust is hosting the eagerly anticipated event, which will feature intense competition between teams from 40 different universities.
- M Harish Moot Court Competition
The D. M. Harish Memorial Government Law College International Moot Court Competition (DMH), sponsored by the D. M. Harish Foundation and organized by the Government Law College in Mumbai, India.
The Government Law College in Mumbai celebrates its 156th anniversary in 2011. The Government Law College has dominated India’s legal landscape since its founding in 1855, with a history spanning over a century and a half. This one-of-a-kind institution has nurtured generations of distinguished legal luminaries, and their contributions to the development of the Indian legal system have been important.
- KK Luthra Memorial Moot Court Competition
In honour of late Senior Advocate Mr. K.K. Luthra, the K.K. Luthra Memorial Moot Court was founded in 2005. This is the first international criminal law moot court held in India, with top law schools from India and abroad participating. Every year in January, it takes place at Delhi University’s Campus Law Centre.
The competition is named after the late Senior Advocate, Mr. K.K. Luthra, an eminent criminal lawyer who appeared in a number of trial courts, High Courts, and the Supreme Court of India in a 49-year legal career. In 1984, he was appointed as a Senior Advocate of the Delhi High Court.
- Amity National Moot Court Competition
Amity University Rajasthan established the School to provide world-class legal education to the state and region. It is still striving to build a legacy of leadership, technical acumen, and excellence in its relentless pursuit of excellence. The Amity Law School (ALS) at Amity University in Rajasthan was established in 2008.
Law students enrolled in the three-year LLB program and five years of the integrated program from any college/institution/university recognized by BCI.
- Surana And Surana Trial Advocacy
Surana and Surana Moots, known for their openness and ethical behaviour in conducting moot courts and other allied competitions for law students in India, is one of the country’s oldest, biggest, and most prestigious moot court projects, with students from India and SAARC countries (for international moots) participating regularly.
Surana and Surana International Attorneys have hosted, conducted, and funded over a hundred moot court competitions in collaboration with India’s leading law schools every year since the mid-1990s. This is one of the most significant projects of its kind undertaken by any law firm in the world.
- NLIU National Corporate Law Moot
- ULC Bangalore Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition
- HNLU Moot Court Competition
- RMLNLU-SCC Online Media Law Moot Court Competition
- UPES Insolvency Law Moot
- Jamia National Moot Court Competition
Moots and Winning Memorials
XIX ALL INDIA MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2015
University Law College, Bangalore University, Bangalore conducted XIX ALL INDIA MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2015.
MOOT PROPOSITION [View]
Winning Memorials: Faculty of Law, University of Allahabad
Lex Omnia 2016
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani conducted LEX OMNIA MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016.
MOOT PROPOSITION [View]
Winning Memorials: School of Law, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar