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The anatomy of mooting team success: Nalsar Hyderabad

Mooting Premier League sponsored by Clifford Chance
Mooting Premier League sponsored by Clifford Chance
After Nalsar's almost unrivalled lead throughout the first season of the Mooting Premier League (MPL) sponsored by Clifford Chance and its subsequent MPL victory with an astonishing 157 points, Legally India analysed the DNA of what made Nalsar's mooting teams so successful.  

Nalsar has this season managed to score in almost all tiers of moots, winning five and picking up citations in numerous others (see Nalsar mooting factbox). We are taking a closer look at how it was done behind the scenes.

Selection Procedure

"The annual selection to the Nalsar moot court competition is open to students from all the batches and entails two rigorous rounds of mooting," says Nalsar moot court committee convenor Naveen Rana. "The first on constitutional law and the second on international law."

The list of candidates for the second round is drawn after shortlisting of candidates from the first round which is dependent on the number of participants in that round and their scores.

Thereafter, the final Nalsar moot court team is selected on the basis of the individual scores attained during both rounds.
Nalsar mooting factbox

Number of participants in intra-college rounds.

Around 50-72 students.

For the open challenge it depends on the prestige of the moot.

Number of members in the final Nalsar moot court team.

Around 30 students with no cap on each batch.

The final number is decided on the basis of median score or the lowest cut-off score.

Some of Nalsar's 2009-10 MPL season achievements.

Moot Court Competitions  organised by Nalsar

Annual Justice Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Moot Court Competition on constitutional law in October.

NALSAR-NFCG Moot Court Competition on corporate governance in April.

National squad selection

In the case of team selections for the international mooting competitions Nalsar also conducts an open challenge that invites participation of students from all the batches. The teams face each other either on a knockout or wins basis in such an open challenge round.

"The competition is on the basis of individual participation and is adjudicated by external judges," explains Rana.

"More than anything, the experience of conducting a moot court competition is fun and akin to a prime event in Nalsar."

Budgets

Despite the fact that the university does not reserve fixed funds for the mooting competitions what keeps the motivation levels high is the overall support received from the college, according to students.

"The administration is extremely supportive of the moot court culture in terms of granting academic leave and granting reimbursements for almost all the expenses of every moot team representing Nalsar," says Rana.

Competitions and challenges     

Rana observed that the intra-university rounds are an intensive exercise in mooting both in terms of the written submissions and the oral rounds.

"The participants are marked on their comprehensive research skills, knowledge of law and facts, proper and articulate analysis, clarity, organisation, grammar and style in the written submissions."

These variants are further considered while evolving a definitive criterion for oral rounds, which tests the application of the law to given facts notes Rana.

"The ability and ingenuity to answer questions, demeanor in the court room, time management and organisation in the oral rounds are further given importance in the marking criteria."

A similar benchmark is adopted for open challenge rounds as well.

According to Rana, the moot court committee of Nalsar envisions to codify rules of conduct and participation for the selection moot court competition and open challenges through a committee of experienced mooters of the university.

Rana believes that mooting is tedious ritual entailing total commitment to the moot and almost a sacrifice of one's life for that time period.

However, he adds that it should be for the fun and love of mooting that students participate. "As long as mooting is fun in the course of preparation and in the moot court the objective of undertaking such an activity in law school is served."

CALLING NLU Jodhpur, SOEL Chennai, ILS Pune and NLIU Bhopal. Could representatives from each of the above moot court committees please get in touch with Legally India and supply college bank account details and a college posting address by email to


The MPL is sponsored by Clifford Chance and the top eight ranked law colleges share a generous prize fund of Rs 1.5 lakhs provided by the firm.
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