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An estimated 17-minute read
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Hi,

Welcome to the Liveblog of the 2013 GNLU International Moot Court Competition.

This year's moot is going to see participation from 42 teams.

We will be giving live updates for the Semi- Finals and Finals of the competition on Saturday and Sunday live from Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar. 

Stay Tuned!

 

9/2/2013

Semi Final 1 (NLSIU v. Amity (IP University)

 2:40 PM - We are live here at Court Room No 4 at Gujarat National Law University at the 1st Semi Finals of the GIMC International Moot Court Competition and the WTO Dispute Settlement Body is in session.

2:45 PM - The Complainants are from NLSIU, Bangalore and the Respondents are from Amity Law School (IP University), New Delhi

 

Complainants (NLSIU, Bangalore)

 

2:50 PM - The Bench is questioning the Complainants on whether a "document is a legislation" but the team from NLSIU , Bangalore remains calm and Speaker 1 for the Complainants responds with poise.

2:51 PM - Speaker 2 is passing hurried notes to Speaker 1.

2:53 PM - The Bench is now on the offensive, launching a barrage of questions at Speaker 1.

2:55 PM- The problem in this edition of GIMC is based on a dispute regarding  import restrictions detrimental to International Trade and in violation of WTO Law.

3:00 PM - The grilling continues unabated. The Bench is now saying that the Complainants are trying to "slide through" the issue without tackling the main problem

3:05 PM - The problem is a trade dispute between the nations of Enroda and Zwovka about the import of toxic toys containing Lead based paint to Zwovka from Enroda. Some of these toys are made by an anti-social group based in Enroda called "OAZ". Enroda is the Complainant and Zwovka is the Respondent. Zwovka passed a legislation which expressly barred the import of dolls from Enroda which  have a lead content of more than 100ppm as they could be toxic for children.

3:10 PM - The Speaker is now talking about the 'Test of Likeness"

3:14 PM-  The Bench is now bombarding the speaker with questions about the basic fundamentals of the problem ie. Is GATT applicable at all?

3:17 PM - All details for the 2013 GNLU International Moot Court Competition including the problem, schedule and rules can be found here

3:21 PM - As the Speaker goes into a few technical aspects of the problem, the Panel listens patiently for a brief period of time.

3:23 PM - The silence is short lived though, the bench launches its barrage again, now asking questions about the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement and about the GATT's conversion to the WTO.

3:24 PM - Speaker 1 has been told that her arguments weren't convincing enough. Speaker 2 rises to speak on the 2nd issue. The Complainants are trying to prove that a certain legislation passed by the Zwovkan Legislature is a disguised attempt to restrict the trade of dolls between Zwovka and Enroda

3:31 PM - The Complainant is trying to bring in the history of diplomatic conflict between Enroda and Zwovka. However the Panel says that the sole concern of the Dispute Settlement Body is whether the trade restriction is justified and that it doesn't look into diplomatic disputes between nations.

3:42 PM - Speaker 2 tries to argue that Enroda is a Least Developed Country (LDC). Bench argues that it is not an excuse if the toys cause lead poisoning. He also says that the Complainants are trying to abuse the provisions in the WTO in favour of LDCs

3:48 PM - Speaker 2 continues to orate calmly, responding to the Panel's questions without getting perturbed. She is expressing Enroda's "helplessness" in dealing with the problem of anti-social elements who manufacture toys with high lead content. The Panel is relentless in its questioning, calling it a bilateral issue and calling the dispute a "proxy war" with the anti-social elements using trade as a weapon.

3:54 PM - Speaker 2 is stating that since there is no "credible evidence" to show that OAZ is a national security threat. The Panel states that there is no evidence to show that Enroda has done anything curb these groups either.

3:59 PM - The Panel has asked the Complainants from NLSIU to rest. The Respondents from Amity Law School, New Delhi begin their arguments.

 

Respondents (Amity Law School , New Delhi)

4:00 PM - The Panel has cut Speaker 1 of the Respondents mid-sentence and asked her to come to the point.

4:03 PM - The Panel is questioning the intention of the Zwovkan Legislature when they passed the legislation which is the bone of the contention. Whether their intention was bona-fide or not. The Bench is also questioning how a "Security Concern" can be part of a public health measure.

4:06 PM - The arguments now shift to the interpretation of the legislation. There are a few sarcastic laughs by the Panel, but the arguments proceed. Speaker 1 holds her nerve and continues to speak.

4: 15 PM - The dangers of lead and lead based paints to children are now being debated upon.

4: 20 PM - The discussion now shifts to the allegation by Enroda that Zwovka passed the legislation as a "disguised restriction" to trade as they are not satisfied with the explanations given by the speaker justifying the legislation.

4:26 PM - The speaker tries to use the measures used by the United States to restrict the trade and commerce of clove cigarettes. The measure then identified youth smokers as the primary consumer as the product and sought to protect them. Just as the Zwovkan Legislature identified children as the main consumers of the product.

4:29 PM - The speaker tries to define "market" but the Panel rejects the definition outright.

4:30 PM- As the speaker tries to push on. A Panelist says that she has "no case at all"

4:32 PM - Panelist says that the speaker has been "contradicting herself" all along.

4:34 PM - Just as the Panelists were about to wind up the Respondent's submission, they realized that they skipped the issue that dealt with MFN (Most Favoured Nation) treatment.

4:39 PM - The speaker brings up an expert opinion report about the toxicity of the lead in the toys. The Panel almost pounces on it as they take a peek at the document.

4:46 PM - The Panel is now questions why the Respondent Nation is banning imports of dolls from the Complainant when their own domestic industry produces dolls with lead levels above safe levels.


4:51 PM - Speaker 1 rests with her arguments. Speaker 2 starts with his arguments. His voice is loud, clear and confident.

4:52 PM - The Bench is questioning the standard applied to drafting the legislation and whether the measure taken by Zwovka was reasonable and proportional or not.

4:55 PM - The Panel and the speaker are now discussing about the "OAZ", the shadowy underground criminal organization based in Enroda whose general objective is to undermine Zwovka's interests. The Bench is wondering why the Respondents did not take such a drastic measure when they were aware of the existence of the OAZ since 2005.

5:00 PM - The discussion is heating up with the Panelists now arguing with the Respondents about authorities cited by them in their arguments.

5:06 PM - The Panelists says that "Zwovka is choosing the obligations that favour them"

5:08 PM - A Panelist questions the speaker's use of  "arguendo"

5:16 PM - The Bench is cornering the speaker to a corner and is questioning the validity of GATT in this case.

5:18 PM- Speaker tries to evade the questions on the applicability of the TBT Agreement by saying that it has already been dealt by Speaker 1.

 

 

 

5:21 PM - The arguments have ended and the rebuttals have began. Speaker 2 is speaking for the Complainants

5:22 PM - The Panel has asked her to stick to the points and the she goes on to finish her rebuttal. She is asked a few questions but manages to handle them

5:24 PM - The Panel now asks Speaker 2 for the Respondents  to respond with his own rebuttal. The Speaker speaks with a confident voice but struggles to convince the Panel. The Panelists say that he has "Upset the entire WTO Structure"

The Rounds have ended and the results eagerly awaited. Stay tuned to the blog for the 2nd Semi Finals of GIMC.

Its RMLNLU v.NUS, Singapore!!

 

 Semi Final 2 (RMLNLU V. NUS, Singapore)


Complainant (NUS, Singapore)

5:52 PM - The second semifinal of the GIMC has begun, Speaker 1 from NUS, Singapore is speaking for the Complainant (Enroda). The Speaker goes on to speak about the applicability of the TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) Agreement to this problem and the provisions of Annexure 1.1 of the TBT. His voice is polite and not that confident, but he seems to be having an answer for everything

5:58 PM - The Panel is trying to confuse the speaker using his own words. They are still grilling him on the nature of the legislation and whether it is merely a "technical regulation".

6:06 PM - Speaker is now trying to convince the Panel about the nature of the legislation and the product. The Panel, indignant at first sound convinced after he cites a few cases and examples.

6:10 PM - Speaker is talking about the "double standards" being practiced by the Respondents as they are allowing production of toys with lead upto 300ppm but barring imports of toys from the Complainant containing more than 100ppm of lead.

6:13 PM - Panelists and Speaker are arguing on the language of Article XI of the GATT and the term "quantitative restriction". The speaker says the legislation  is a quantitative restriction but later rescinds his stand.

6:18 PM - Speaker 1 rests and Speaker 2 begins her arguments. She speaks slowly and clearly. The arguments are about whether the Zwovkan Government is only using this as "piecemeal approach" to reduce the incidence of lead poisoning and whether their intention is bonafide or not. However the Bench is instead questioning the change from natural-dyes to colour the toys to lead based paint.

6:28 PM - Speaker 2 tries to say that the while all products may not be coated with lead based paint, there may be toys with lead components that may also be affected by the regulation. The Panel says that if the point is conceded then the Complainants lack a case as the toys coated with the lead based paints are the main contention of the dispute. A Panelist crosses over to the Respondents and asks them if they will allow the import of toys without any lead paint. They agree and the Panel laughs.


6:35 PM - Speaker 2 continues to assert her position as to the interpretation of the Legislation, by saying that its an emergency measure. However the Panel prove to her otherwise. Speaker 2 rests.


Respondents (RMLNLU, Lucknow)


6:40 PM - Speaker 1 for the Respondents speaks up. She is assertive and confident and trying to put forth her point to the Panel.
She accepted that the measure in issue is a "technical regulation" which is one step towards proving the case against them.

6:42 PM - The Speaker tries to prove the 4-point criteria of the "likeness" of products. It is an essential part of her arguments that the products are like.

6:44 PM- There is a light moment when a Panelist asks her to stop wasting public time. The fate of Zwovka hangs in the balance!!

6:50 PM - Speaker says "Lets put things in perspective". Panelists cheekily reply "Sure" . Laughs and giggles heard in the Courtroom.

6 :52 PM - Speaker is now talking about the various uses for the toys. She tries to strictly demarcate the uses toys can have. A panelist calls her proposition "absurd" and asks her if Zwovka is a Communist nation where every product has an officially sanctioned use!

6:54 PM - The Judges seem to be in a lighter mood for this round. Speaker 1 rests her arguments ending it with "It indeed was an Honor, Sir". A Panelists asks her if she was being "forthright and honest" when she said that. Laughter again in the courtroom.

7:02 PM -  Speaker 2 is also confident and is trying to convince the Panel on the applicability of the "qualitative restriction". But the Panelist calls his interpretation of the TBT to be in "bad faith"

7:05 PM - The Speaker is struggling to cite convincing authorities and is getting lost in a maze of notes on his table trying to cite  the US-Tuna case at the WTO.

7:09 PM - Speaker is being asked to review his basics when he tries to cite an ICJ Judgement.

7:16 PM - Panel is now grilling the Speaker on any alternative measures that were considered by Zwovka before they came up with the legislation, the Panel is unconvinced.

7:20 PM - The Panel is losing its patience and has asked the Speaker to summarize the rest of his arguments in half a minute.

7:21 PM - Speaker 2 is asked to rest and the rebuttals begin.

Speaker 2 for the Complainants begins with her rebuttal. She spoke about the conflicting policies of the Zwovkan Government by which it is supporting its own industry by allowing domestic production of toys with more than 100 ppm of lead but banning imports from Enroda.

Speaker 2 for the Respondents tries to justify the Zwovkan Government's policies.

Speaker 2 rests and the Second Semi Final of the 2013 of GIMC comes to an end.

Hope you enjoyed this Liveblog. Stay tuned till 2 PM tomorrow for the Finals of the competition.

 

Thank you!

 

 10/2/2013-

Hi and welcome again to the 2013 edition of the GIMC Moot. We are back again to cover the finals of the competition

 

Finals (NLSIU, Bangalore v. NUS, Singapore)

 

2:11 PM - An atmosphere of excitement is being built as the audience wait in anticipation for the Panel to arrive. The participants are ready.

The team from NLSIU is to the left, as the complainants and the team from NUS is on the right, as the Respondents. As they wait in anticipation for the panel they are calmly going through their notes.

2:15 PM - NLSIU is sitting pretty at the top of the MPL table at the moment. The have amassed a massive 197 points and at the moment they just have NUS in their way. But with the runners up position assured at the moment, there seems to be nothing stopping them from hitting a double century at the MPL!.

2:25 PM - The Panel arrives and all rise. The Panel consists of

1. Bimal N Patel , Vice Chancellor of Gujarat National Law University.

2. Victoria Donaldson, Chief Legal Officer, WTO Appelate Body

3. Dr. Christian Häberli, Senior Research Fellow at the World Trade Institute.

4. Lakshmi Kumaran, Lakshmi Kumaran, Founding Partner at Lakshmi Kumaran and Sridharan (LKS)

5. Prof. Lakshmi Jambholkar, Excecutive President at the Indian Society of International Law.

 

 Complainants (NLSIU, Bangalore)

 

2:32 PM- Speaker 1 for the Complainants speaks up and the Panel appears to be more patient than the one in the Semifinals. They are now listening to arguments about the TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement) and the "National Treatment Clause"

2:37 PM - Panel is attentively listening to Speaker 1. No one has interrupted her yet. She is speaking about the Legislation passed by the Zwovkan Government.

2: 40 PM- The Panel has started its questions. Panelist Lakshmi Kumaran is now asking Speaker 1 about the importance of punctuation in statutory interpretation.

2:45 PM - Panelist Christan Haberli is now asking for applicable precedent in WTO Jurisprudence. Ms Donaldson asks the Speaker to speak on  Sections 3(2) and 3(4) of the GATT and the "Test of Likeness". Mr Lakshmi Kumaran grills the speaker on Anti-Dumping.

2:50 PM - The Korea- US Beef case is cited by Speaker 1 and Ms Donaldson continues to press the Speaker on Article 2(1) of the TBT and 3(4) of the GATT and asks them to cite recent jurisprudence on the same. Speaker answers promptly and the Panel appears satisfied.

2: 55 PM - Speaker 1 runs out of time and decides to wrap up her arguments. Speaker 2 begins her arguments

3:00 PM - Panelist Victoria Donaldson asks the Speaker about the burden of proof in Article XX of the GATT. Panelist Haberli warns the Speaker that she is doubting a foreign government's intention and must tread carefully. Also asks for more applicable WTO jurisprudence. Ms Donaldson also asks about whether they are doubting the Zwovkan Government's objective in their Legislation.

3:03 PM- Panelist Lakshmi Jambholkar speaks up for the first time, she asks bout the security threat posed by the OAZ and wants to know how the Zwovkan Government is not being bonafide in its intention. Speaker confidently answers and says that there is no security threat posed.

3:07 PM- Panelist Victoria Donaldson grills the speaker on the test of "material contribution". The Speaker confidently gives two Panel reports. Panelist Haberli looks satisfied and nods approvingly. The team from NUS is surprised as the speaker goes on to show how the measure passed by the Zwovkan Government is trade restrictive.

3:13 PM - Speaker decides to wrap up her submission with the Security exception clause. Panelist Victoria Donaldson warns her that the language of Article XX and XXI are different , However the speaker is confident and says that both are to be read in context. Panelist Lakshmi Kumaran asks the team from NUS to proceed.

 

Respondents (NUS, Singapore)

 

3:15 PM - Speaker 1 comes straight to the point as he says that the Zwovkan Government has not breached any international obligation with their legislation. The team from NLSIU listens attentively as they jot down points for rebuttals.

3:18 PM - Speaker speaks about unconventional methods of warfare, and tries to draw its relevancy to the issue of the OAZ in Enroda.

3:22 PM - Speaker now goes on to speak about the relationship between Article 2.1 and 3.4 of the GATT. Speaker relies on the "Substitutability Test" when testing the likeness of products, when asked for an authority he answers promptly, he seems to have all the answers on his fingertips.

3:28 PM - Panelist Victoria Donaldson is not satisfied with the test of likeness cited by the Speaker in the US-Clove Cigarettes case. Speaker struggles for a while to get his point across.

3:32 PM - Panelist Lakshmi Kumaran is not satisfied with the explanations given by the Speaker regarding the domestic production of dolls having more than 300ppm lead by Zwovka. He says that he thinks the measure is a barrier to International Trade.

3:35 PM- Speaker 1 rests. Speaker 2 speaks up with a dramatic line "the seemingly innocuous trade of dolls to encourage international terrorism". Panel seems unamused.

3:38 PM- Speaker 2 tries to use creative language, says that the measure may appear discriminatory "on the surface" but that she will target the issue specifically.

3:40 PM- Speaker 2 is now being questioned on the intention of the Zwovkan Government by Panelist Victoria Donaldson and Panelist Lakshmi Kumaran.

3:42 PM- Speaker goes on the next issue by saying "I see the panel is with me on the issue of discrimination". Panelist Lakshmi Kumaran cheekily replies "You can assume whatever you want to assume"

3:43 PM - Panelist Lakshmi Kumaran says that the Zwovkan Government has "picked and choosed" the objectives in favour of itself. Speaker replies by saying that they are protected by provisions in the GATT.

3:48 PM - Panelist Victoria Donaldson seems concerned for the protection of children by the Zwovkan Government against its own dolls.

3:53 PM -Speaker 2 speaks about the threat posed by the OAZ, the sources that confirm such a threat, rumors that corroborate each other and goes on to say that a legitimate objective was present behind implementing such a measure.

3:55 PM- The troubled relationship between Enroda and Zwovka is now being discussed by Speaker.The cocktail of issues seem to complement the speaker's dramatic stance.

3:57 PM - Speaker proceeds to wrap up her arguments, but is stopped by Panelist Victoria Donaldson, she asks her to elaborate on certain legal points regarding Article XXI of GATT

4:00 PM - Before the rebuttals begin Panelist Victoria Donaldson asks the speakers to clearly say what measure they seek to argue against and which article or precedent they intend to use as a defense. Speaker 2 for the Respondents rests

4:01 PM - Rebuttals begin. Speaker for the Complainants says that Zwovka has not taken enough safety measures to protect even its own children against Lead Poisoning as there are residential building in and around electronics and battery factories which use lead  as a raw material. She also says that the OAZ is a "rag-tag militia" and not a serious threat to Zwovka

4:04 PM - Speaker for the Respondents tries to differential Zwovka's relegious dolls with the ordinary dolls produced in Enroda. She brushes aside any charge of protectionism and asserts that the measure taken by the Zwovkan Government is fully legitimate.

4:11 PM - Panelist Haberli after a long time and asks the Speaker to elaborate on the labeling requirements on the toys. Speaker apologises for not addressing the issue earlier and asserts that labeling alone is not enough to address the issue of lead poisoning.

4:13 PM -Rebuttals end and Panelist Lakshmi Kumaran ends it by saying that "It would be easier to adjudicate on the dispute rather than judge which of the two teams is better"

6:00 PM - The results are out!

 

Winners : National University of Singapore, Singapore

Runners Up: National Law School of India University, Bangalore

Best Speaker : Teo Christin, National University of Singapore.

Best Speaker (Prelims) : Cock Yi Yong, National University of Singapore

Best Written Submission : GLC, Mumbai

2nd Best Written Submission : Amity Law School, New Delhi (IP University)

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading this Liveblog on the 2013 edition of the GNLU International Moot Court Competition.

This liveblog was by Arvind Ravindranath and Aishwarya Mohapatra from Gujarat Nartional Law University, Gandhinagar

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

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