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Welcome to the Live Blog on the 14th D.M. Harish Memorial Government Law College International Moot Court Competition 2013!

“An experience, filled with intensity, nerves and intellectual brilliance, all tempered with warmth, hospitality and comfort. Simply put, an experience like never before. Legally put, an experience, unprecedented, and aptly put, the DMH Experience!”

In its 14th edition, known popularly the world over as "DMH", the event has been acclaimed as India's most prestigious International Moot Court Competition by legal fraternity, law students and faculty alike.

Started in the year 2000 as a National Moot Court Competition, with the continuous cooperation of Mr. Anil Harish & Mrs. Shobha Jagtiani, the chief patrons of the D. M. Harish Foundation and the efforts of the Moot Court Association, the event was elevated to the International Level in the year 2005, making it the first of its kind in the country. 

Law students from all over the world travel to Mumbai to participate, not merely in a competition, but in an amalgamation of cultures and conjunction of bridges. This event gives tomorrow’s lawyers and judges, the platform to contemplate and research issues which are relevant to the international community and to present their cases before senior advocates and attorneys from Bombay, considered to be one of the greatest bar associations in India, concluding with an opportunity to argue in front of 5 high court judges, from what several nations believe is the strongest Judiciary in the world.

This Edition has 30 teams participating; 15 International Teams and 15 National Teams. The participation of Law Institutes from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Sri Lanka, Nepal Bangladesh, Mauritius, Spain, Greece, Russia, Malaysia, Ireland, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Singapore, Jamaica, Australia & Pakistan hold witness to the truly global flavour of DMH. This year we additionally look forward to participation from prestigious Universities such as the New York University from USA, Bond University & the University of Melbourne from Australia, Moscow State Law Academy from Russia, University of Sussex and Southampton University from UK, Aristotle University from Greece amongst other international teams, apart from the cream of Indian Law Universities that will attend this competition.

The Competition is spread over a span of 4 days starting from the 7th of February with the Finals on the 10th, at the Mumbai University Convocation Hall. There shall be a Panel Discussion on 7th at the Sahyadri State Guest House on the topic “Thought Control or Reasonable Restraint: The dividing line in Social Media”

The Panelists for this year are:

  •    Mr.Arup Patnaik, Director General of Police and Managing Director of Maharashtra State Security      Corporation
  •     Mr.Mahesh Jethmalani, Senior Advocate, Bombay High Court
  •     Mr. Rahul Bose, Actor and Social Activist
  •    Mr. Rohas Nagpal, Founder President, Asian School of Cyber Laws
  •      Ms. Shaina NC, Member of the Bhartiya Janta Party
  •     Mr. Ramesh Srivats, Entrepreneur and Activist
  •   Ms. Swati Deshpande, Senior Assistant Editor, Times of India

The Competition shall have two Preliminary Rounds on the 8th of February, Two Octa-Final Rounds and a Quarter-Final Round on the 9th of February. The Semi-Final and the Final Round shall be on the 10th of February.

The Final Rounds of Arguments will be presided over by:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice D. Y Chandrachud Judge, Bombay High Court 

The Bench will also comprise of Hon’ble Mr. Justice R. M Savant,Judge, Bombay High Court ,Hon’ble Mr. Justice N. M. Jamdar, Hon'ble Smt. Justice M. Bhatkar and Hon'ble Mr. Justice Naresh Patil. 

The Blog shall resume tomorrow when we go live and bring you the updates from the competition!

Do watch us to stay updated!

 

7th February 3:45 PM

The teams arrived to the college at 12:30 PM and had lunch. The Researchers' Test began at 2:15 PM. A researcher commented "this feels like a real test". Guess what? It is one!! 

The Orientation and the Draw of Lots went on simultaneously. 

The "Mem Team" of the Moot Court Association is pairing up the Memorials as per the outcome of the Draw of Lots  for the Preliminary Rounds tomorrow.  The Participants and all the members of the MCA will proceed to Sahyadri State Guest House (Malabar Hill) for attending the Panel Discussion.

 

8th February 7:54 AM

Sorry for the delay folks! The Panel Discussion yesterday was a huge success. We were so engrossed in the discussions that we almost forgot to update instantly! The topic as we know was "Thought control or reasonable restraint: The dividing line in social media". Our eminent panelists put forth thought provoking points articulately. 

When the Panel addressed the questions from the audience, one of the members of the audience raised a concern about the scope of Section 66A of the IT Act specifically when a person is booked under Section 66A and  is unaware of the offense committed by him or her. Mr Arup Patnaik replied to the same with an interesting line "Personally, I agree with you, but Professionally, I am bound."  

More on Panel Discussion soon!!

8:00 AM

The Compromis of the 14th DMH can be found on:

http://www.mcaglc.org/dmh/international-moot-court-competition/case-study.htm

You can also follow us on Twitter @mcaglc 

9:00 AM

Preliminary Rounds -1 begin. Judges proceed to the respective court rooms. 

In New York University v RGNUL Patiala, the 2nd Speaker of the Applicants was extremely confident and had a very clear idea about the contentions. The judges seemed impressed. He convinced the Bench that the taxation amendment can be retrospective and no International law bars it.

There was a very interesting competition in NLSIU v NALSAR. The 2nd speaker of the Applicants had an answer for every question. The Speaker 1 from NALSAR was extremely polite and knowledgeable in law.

9:21 AM

Now we bring to you the action between Symbiosis Noida v University of Exter. Speaker 2 of Symbiosis was questioned for the contradiction between their Oral Submissions and the Facts of the case. The Agent for Respondents kept stressing on the point that Naveta was the one which had to undergo maximum damage, economically. Speaker 1 of Respondents was confused as to on whom the control was to be exercised  by Naveta.

9:35 AM

In NYU v RGNUL, Speaker 1 of RGNUL succeeded in convincing the judges that if the act amounts to an offense under the domestic laws, they will be tried under the same in Naveta.

9:55 AM

In NLU-J v NLU-D, the Applicant doing the Rejoinder seemed a bit confused and flustered. The Sur-Rejoinder by NLU-D's speaker was very strong and the 2 minutes were utilized by her efficiently.

10:20 AM

In CLC v Moscow State Law Academy, the Speaker 2 of Respondents looked like she was unable to answer the questions, but her courtroom manners were very good. During the Rejoinder by CLC, the Speaker performed well. During the Sur-Rejoinder the Judges were smiling as the Speaker could answer all their questions.

12:23 PM

The participants are having lunch and will proceed to the D.M. Harish Law firm for a visit. The Preliminary Round -2 shall resume from 6pm. We will be back soon!!!!!

06:00 PM

The Preliminary Round 2 began at 6 PM.

6:15 PM

We first bring to you GLC v Sri Lanka Law College. Speaker 1 of the Applicants started off well and was answering questions confidently. 

06:27 PM

In Valparaiso University v. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Speaker 1 of Valparaiso University spoke fluently and the Judges seemed to be satisfied with the answers to the questions asked. She kept stressing on citizen's safety of Jyotistan in response to the Judge's concern over the threat of violence against Naveta by the government of Jyotistan.

06:45 PM

In NLU-O v. NLU-J, Speaker 2 of NLU-O contended that Jyotistan is a developing country and the retrospective amendment to the Tax Ordinance will be good for them.  The prayer by the Speaker was in a very monotonous tone with the teammates   standing at their place. (Reminded us of a narration from a Ram Gopal Verma movie). We saw it for the first time and we likey!!!

06:50 PM

Speaker 2 of Valparaiso University was extremely confident and answered the flood of questions from the judges regarding Tax ordinance deftly, impressed the Bench. The speaker also avoided a near goof-up by being able to justify the comment "Naveta is the largest company that avoids tax." 

07:03 PM

NALSAR V. NYU: Speaker 1 for the respondent said "Religion naturally causes conflict." We are in a dilemma whether to agree or not! Speaker 2 of NYU was extremely polite and pleasant and gave a good hypothetical example to drive home his point about the Tax Ordinance. Also happened to use the Applicant's memorial to their advantage (very smart)

07:16 PM

In RGNUL v. NLSIU, the speaker 1 for the Respondents impressed the judges with extremely good research to support her contentions. The speakers on behalf of the respondents in NLU-D v. Symbiosis Noida had confused the judges very much as regard to the context and direction in which the arguments were to proceed. One judge looked extremely bored; not impressed folks.

07:32 PM

Heading back to GLC v. Sri Lanka College of Law, the first speaker for the respondents had good court manners. In NUJS v. University of South Hampton, during the sur-rejoinder by the South Hampton, the speaker addressed the Applicants as "My Dear Friend". Good to see a friendly approach in the competition. NUJS performed well.

07:44 PM

National University of Singapore v. CLC: Speaker 2 of the respondents couldn't find the source of a statement made by her after being questioned by the judges but managed to give a good finish.

Quarter-finals from 9AM tommorrow, 9th February. Watch this space for more.

 

 

9th February 2013

8:00 AM 

The results of the teams qualifying for octo-finals had been announced last night. The teams which qualified are: (In no particular order)

1) NLIU- Bhopal

2) University of Southampton

3) New York University

4) Government Law College, Mumbai

5) NLU- Jodhpur

6) Valparaiso University

7) ILS Pune

8) Sri Lanka College of Law 

9) Symbiosis , Noida

10) NUJS- Kolkata

11) NALSAR

 

12) National University of Singapore

 

13) Moscow State Law Academy

 

14) NLSIU- Bangalore

 

15) GNLU

 

16) NLU-Delhi

 

Congratulations to the teams! 

 

 

 

9:00 AM 

The Octa-Finals 1 begin. 

Sri Lanka College of Law v Symbiosis Noida: Speaker 1 of Sri Lanka College of Law is asked to narrate the facts by the judges and he is baffled and takes time to recover but bounces back soon. He justifies retrospective amendment well and impresses the Judges. 

In GNLU v NLU-D, speaker 1 of GNLU is trying to explain that the act committed by citizens of Naveta amounts to a cyber attack. The speaker is very clear and her contentions are precise and to the point. 

9:28 AM

In NLIU-Bhopal v University of Southampton, the Speaker 1 for the Applicants is continuously grilled by the judges, "but the Facts remain" that she stuck to her stand on the issue and gave an impressive performance.

The Speaker-2 of GNLU started off on a convincing note.

9:40 AM

NYU v ILS: Speaker 2 of NYU asks the Judge to quote an article of the Charter.......hmmm....but manages to pull it off well with his sense of humour. Speaker 1 of the Respondents took a statement from the Applicants' memorial but could not state the authority for the justification presented. She listens very carefully and slowly gets back on track.

10:02 AM

Speaker 2 of ILS is expressing her extreme displeasure towards the Applicant State with a sarcastic line The Applicants have a wonderful contention; Naveta is the largest corporation. They invest more so lets tax more."

10:15 AM

In National University of Singapore v GLC, Speaker 2 of GLC finished off on a positive note. The Rejoinder and the Sur- Rejoinder went off smoothly as the Judges accepted the points presented by the Speakers.

Octo - Finals 2 start at 11:30 AM

11:45 AM

In NLU-D v NLIU Bhopal, the Speakers of NLU-D made an impact on the Judge with their arguments. 

12:15 PM

University of Southampton v GNLU: Speaker 1 of the Applicant is extremely polite. He was unable to recall Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which was an extremely important Article in relation with the contention. 

 

12:05 PM

In GLC v NYU, Speaker 2 of GLC wrapped up the arguments. NYU's speaker succeeded in convincing the Judges that the information asked for, if given, would violate the Right to Privacy.

 

12:40 PM

Moscow State law University v NUJS: The Speaker 2 of NUJS was reminded by the judges that old case laws could not apply to the present matter as there was no internet available then. 

 

12:55 PM 

In ILS v National University of Singapore, Speaker of the the Respondents was not asked any questions in the beginning but was baffled when the Judge asked her about her interpretation of the treaty but she gave a smart reply. Speaker 2 of NUS seemed to satisfy the judges questions with her answers most of the times  and very good research to substantiate her points.

1:00 PM

The teams qualifying for the quarter finals are:

1) NLSIU

2) ILS

3) NYU

4) GNLU

5) NUS

6) Valparaiso University

7) NLU-J

8) NUJS

Congratulations! 

Quarters begin at 5:30 PM

The judges for the quarter final rounds are:

Mr Ameet Naik, Mr Anil Harish, Mr Ashish Ahuja, Mr Gautam Patel, Mr Mercy Pardiwala, Mr Pradeep Sancheti, Mr Pranay Bhatia, Mr Sanjay Asher, Mr Sharan Jagtiani, Mrs Shobha Jagtiani, Mr Vikram Nankani and Mr V. Sridharan. 

5:30 PM 

NLSIU v ILS: Speaker 1 of NLSIU was stressing on her point repeatedly. The judges raised relevant questions like " who is forcing the people of Jyotistan to read the post? If they're reading it, that means the things posted by them is attractive to you!" Such questions unnerved speaker 2 who took a little time to recompose herself. 

 

5:50 PM

In NUJS v NLU-J, The Speaker 1 of NUJS was asked to give a summary of facts. NUJS seems to be doing really well.

 

6:16 PM 

In NUS v Valparaiso University, the second speaker of the Applicants lost the flow of arguments when the bell rang. The Speaker 1 of the Respondents started off on a convincing note.

 

6:25 PM

Speaker 1 of NLU-J was questioned as to what measures are being taken by the Government of Naveta in this case.

 

6:40 PM

NYU v GNLU: The Speaker 2 of the Applicant was searching for a paragraph from the Respondent's memorial to quote during the round and the Respondent team helped them to find it. That's the spirit of DMH! 

Speaker 2 of the Respondent was well spoken and gave smart answers to the questions asked. She almost got the Bench to rule in her favour in course of her arguments.

 

7:05 PM 


In NLSIU v ILS, the second speaker of ILS raised a good point "The Applicants dragged us to the Court but are now asking us as to why we have not utilized our internal legal mechanism!?"

 

7:16 PM

During the Rejoinder of NLSIU, the speaker was asked by the judges to slow down a bit!! 

 

10:00 PM

The Exchange of memorials for the Semi Final Rounds was done post dinner at The Village, World Trade Center, Cuffe Parade. The International Teams had a gala time experiencing the Indian Traditional food and culture with Rajasthani Dance and Dandiya. 

The qualifying teams are:

1) NYU

2) ILS

3) NUJS

4) Valparaiso University

 

10th February 2013

09:00 AM

The Semi Finals will start at 10:00 AM

The Judges for the Semi Final Rounds are: 

Mr Haresh Jagtiani, Mr Iqbal Chagla, Mr J.P. Cama, Mr Janak Dwarkadas, Mr Kevic Setalvad and Mr T.N. Subramaniam

10:00 AM

Valparaiso University  v ILS: Speaker 1 of the Applicants spoke articulately and put forth her points well.  She also answered the Judges' questions with a lot of confidence and her arguments were accepted by them.

10:12 AM

In NUJS v NYU, the first speaker of the Applicants was asked a lot of questions like "Can the obligation to co-operate prevail over right to freedom of religion?" and "How can a person posting from a personal computer amount to the application of the territorial clause?". The speaker was able to answer them quite well and the Judges complimented him by saying "well done!" 

10:21 AM

Speaker 2 of Valparaiso was to the point and maintained eye contact with the Bench. She also answered the questions with precision. Her points were well researched. Good going!

10:37 AM

Speaker 1 of ILS raised good points related to Law.

10:41 AM

The second speaker from NUJS put forth the point that equality is not absolute but it is relative. He added that the Tax authorities in Jyotistan were competent to get the information about the domestic transactions but not the international transactions. Hence Naveta must provide the information regarding the same. The Speaker said "I plead my ignorance for using lame and vague terms". Intelligent....

11:01 AM
Speaker 2 of ILS was very passionate in her arguments and kept referring to the Applicants' Memorial. She fumbled in response to the retrospective amendment by quoting vodafone but managed to regain composure to give a brilliant finish in the closing argument.

Speaker 1 of NYU dealt with the contentions regarding the Freedom of Speech and Expression. He drew analogies to support his points which were accepted by the Judges. 

 

12:00 PM

The teams facing each other at the Finals today are:

Valparaiso University v New York University (its U.S.A v U.S.A!!) 

 

LIVE COVERAGE OF THE FINALS FROM THE CONVOCATION HALL OF THE MUMBAI UNIVERSITY STARTING AT 5:00 PM 

5:08 PM

The Finals of the 14th D.M. Harish Memorial Government Law College International Moot Court Competition, 2013 will start in sometime. The ambiance of the Mumbai University Convocation Hall, adds to the glory of this well known Competition. 

The Finalists have arrived. This is going to be a memorable event for everyone.

5:28 PM
The Judges presiding the Finals have arrived. The Bench will be headed by Hon'ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Judge, Bombay High Court.

The Bench shall also consist of

Hon'ble Mr. Justice Naresh Patil, Judge, Bombay High Court; Hon'ble Mr. Justice R.M. Savant, Judge, Bombay High Court; Hon'ble Smt. Justice M. Bhatkar, Judge, Bombay High Court and Hon'ble Mr. Justice N.M. Jamdar, Judge, Bombay High Court.

05:30 PM

Yuvraj Choksy and Komal Modi have begun compering for the Finals.

05:35 PM

The final round of arguments have begun with Speaker 1 of Valparaiso University addressing the Bench. 

05:37 PM

Submission 1 of the applicants is that Naveta has violated the good faith obligations under the JD 545.

05:45 PM

Judge is asking as to how social media updates about spreading of one's religious beliefs amount to defamation.

05:49 PM

Speaker 1 has moved onto the second submission which is about restriction on freedom of speech and expression.

05:51 PM 

"Right to equality is not absolute, it is relative and therefore restrictions can be imposed." Speaker 1- Applicant

05:56 PM

"We have the right to protect the rights of our citizens. Also, international law is the immediate remedy for us." Speaker 1 of Applicants is granted time to finish her arguments. Speaker 2 to begin.

05:58 PM

Speaker 2 begins by stating the brief summary of her submissions. The main submission is that " Naveta violated its good faith obligations under JD 545 by failing to cooperate with Jyotistan's economic policies." 

06:04 PM

Justice Chandrachud asked, "If a foreign corporation doesn't supply information, how has the State violated any International Laws or treaties?"

06:10

Justice Chandrachud also asked, "Can a state sue another state for acts/omissions by an individuals or private entity of the foreign state?" The answer came that the private entity plays an important role in the economy of Jyotistan hence not providing information by the same amounts to violation of the Joint Declaration 545.

6:15 PM

Speaker 2 submitted that Banking information is not protected by the Right to Privacy. The OECD model says that if the request for information by one state is proportionate, then the other state must provide information.

The European Court of Human Rights has held that the sharing of banking information is not violative of Right to Privacy.- Speaker 2

6:17 PM

Justice Patil questioned that "The Right to Privacy is enshrined in the Constitution of Naveta. How can you still ask for the information?" The answer came that as per the UDHR, these Rights are applicable to individuals only and not to private corporations. 

The Speaker summed up.

 

6:18 PM

Speaker 1 of NYU has now began with the arguments. He starts off with freedom of expression, specifically religious beliefs. He says Naveta did not have any international obligation to restrict the freedom of expression of its own citizens.

6:21 PM

The Speaker further says that the UDHR and ICCPR enshrine the freedom of speech and expression and religion as a fundamental right.

6:24 PM

The Speaker 1 of NYU says " the Applicants have alleged that Naveta is using domestic law to NOT follow international law. In fact, your excellency, it is the opposite. International law prevents Naveta from restricting freedom of speech expression and religion."

6:29 PM

The Speaker added that Jyotistan could have used sophisticated filters which would direct social media sites to filter posts. However, they've asked the State of Naveta to restrict the posts.

6:31 PM

Speaker 1 submitted that use of force is not  valid under Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter. 

6:36 PM

Speaker 1 wraps up the arguments.

6:39 PM

Speaker 2 begins. Justice Sawant asked that is it their sovereign right to implement retrospective tax laws. The Speaker replied that it is wrong under article 11 of the UDHR and also stated that the applicants hope to apply criminal liability to the corporations that avoid tax which is not true.

6:44 PM

The Speaker states that the tax ordinance fails the similar enterprises test as given in OECD as it discriminates only on the basis of nationality. 

6:47 PM

The Speaker submits that relying on common sense one can easily make out that the tax ordinance is discriminatory.  The Shome Committee report on retrospective tax amendments had analysed that retrospectivity should apply only in the rarest of the rare case and Jyotistan has failed to show how this case is the rarest of the rare.

6:49 PM

The speaker says that JD 545 does not provide for any provision regarding exchange of banking information.

6:52 PM

Justice Patil questioned whether the challenge raised by the Respondents with regard to the Tax Ordinance is maintainable in the International Court of Justice. 

6:55 PM

The Speaker said that the Compromis provides the acceptance of the fact that the Tax ordinance is discriminatory by the Finance Minister of Jyotistan.

7:03 PM

The Speaker 2 of the Applicants has started with the Rejoinder. The Speaker said that the Respondents had submitted that under Article 19 of ICCPR provides a three tier test. She submitted that the three tier test is provided for in the UN Charter and not the ICCPR.

7:05 PM

"Jyotistan requested for co-operation from Naveta but as they refused, Jyotistan has hence approached the Hon'ble Court." - Speaker 2 of Applicants

7:07 PM

The Speaker said that "It is explicitly stated in the Compromis paragraph 4(b) that the tax ordinance applies to all corporations and not just foreign corporations. "

7:09 PM

The Respondents are submitting their sur-Rejoinder. Speaker 1 of the Respondents starts by saying that article 4 of the UN Charter says that all members shall refrain from the threat or use of force. 

7:11 PM

The submissions are over. 

08:00 PM

Results announced. And the Best Team is Valparaiso University.Hearty Congratulations to the team. Ms. Lakshmi from the same team also won the Best Speaker among the Final Teams. New York University were the 2nd Best Team.

 Best Speaker: Zubin Dash, NUJS

2nd Best Speaker: Sri Lanka Law College

Best Memorial: RGNLU

2nd Best Memorial: Aristotle University, Greece

Best Researcher: NLSIU

2nd Best Researcher: HNLU

Congratulations to all the winners!

 

As regards the various comments that our blog was not updated regularly/minute to minute basis, we wish to cite the reasons for the same:

1) We follow the protocol and do not carry laptops/cell phones into the courtrooms. Hence we note the points down and update it once all the courtrooms are done with the round.

2) We do NOT reveal the arguments of the Teams, (with the Finals being an exception).

Thanks!

Authors:

Pooja Natarajan and Sagarika Unnikrishnan (Members of the Moot Court Association)

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