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NLS wins international Space Moot after one-year journey

A team from NLSIU Bangalore has won the international Manfred Lachs Space Moot 2009 finals in Korea, besting a team of mooters from Georgetown University in the US and picking up the best individual oralist award.

The NLSIU team comprised of students Abhimanyu George Jain, Raeesa Vakil, Shwetank Ginodia and was coached by Dr. Sairam Bhatt.

Vakil was also awarded the best oralist award for her advocacy.

NLSIU's Moot Court Society joint convenor Surya Kiran Banerjee told Legally India: "As far as this particular team goes they've been working really hard since October of last year. Some moots don't require too much work, whereas moots like this and Philip C Jessup require a much more sustained effort over a few months."

He explained that the school's Moot Court Society sees to it that mooters get whatever help they want, as well as assisting in the composition of the team and monitoring their progress. It also assists students by supplying strategists and coaches who are familiar with the area of law covered by the moot.

Every year the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot India Funding Round selects a team to be funded by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to attend the Manfred Lachs Moot.

As reported by Legally India in August, the NLSIU team won that national round and continued by winning the competition's Asia Pacific rounds in Sydney last season.

NLSIU had won the Asia Pacific rounds in 2004, having been the only Indian mooting team to do so, but the school has never won the world finals.

The problem in the final was a case concerning the "deployment and use of force in low earth orbit" between the fictional Prinipality of Fornjot and the Republic of Telesto.

In the complex problem that is set around the year 2018, Telesto is one of the world's largest economies and most advance military power. Fornjot is an island state with the world's largest economy but an inferior military capability to Telesto.

Both states indulged in a Star Wars scenario, attacking spaceships, bombing military bases and alleging the assassination of a head of state, eventually resulting in the UN Security Council stepping in and both countries agreeing to refer their dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Competition saw over 40 teams participating from across the world.

The final round was judged by sitting judges of the ICJ and included H.E. Judge Addul Koroma, H.E. Judge Peter Tomka and H.E. Judge Leonid Skotnikov.

The Lachs Moot world finals next year willl be held at in the Czech Republic, Prague.

The 2007 world finals of the Lachs Moot were held at NALSAR, Hyderabad.

This is a big international win for Indian mooting and particularly also NLSIU, which had earlier won Philip C. Jessup in 1999 and the Stetson international moot court in 2001.

NUJS Kolkata won the prestigious William C. Vis, Vienna competition in 2003 and Stetson in 2005.

The individual winning team members were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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