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An estimated 121-minute read

Live Blog: 9th HNMCC- Justice Hidayatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition

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Hidayatullah National Law University is pleased to host the 9th Justice Hidayatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition- HNMCC'17. The Justice Hidyatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition was started as a part of the centenary celebrations in memory of the stalwart of the Indian legal fraternity- Justice, Mohammad Hidayatullah.

Over the course of many years, HNMCC has established a stellar reputation as one of India’s foremost Moot Court Competitions. Post seven successful editions based on competition law, HNMCC switched from the subject of competition law to environmental law last year, in its 8th Edition. The transition was made to draw attention towards the rapidly deteriorating state of the environment and provide impetus to environmental protection. The moot is organized by the students and faculty of Hidayatullah National Law University under the supervision and able guidance of the Hon'ble Vice Chancellor Prof. (Dr.) Sukh Pal Singh.

HNMCC has always witnessed spirited participation from over 20 teams in all of its previous editions This year, 27 teams from various reputed Universities across the country will compete with each other for the coveted Justice Hidayatullah Memorial trophy, the title of the best speaker and the best researcher.

HNMCC will be conducted from 24th to the 26th of March at the University New Campus. The theme for this year's competition is based on "International Environmental Laws and Laws of the Sea".

In the previous editions, HNMCC has been fortunate to enjoy the expertise of a stellar panel consisting of eminent sitting judges of High Court of Chhattisgarh for the final rounds, Partners of reputed law firms, academicians, and experienced advocates from the Supreme Court and High Court of India as judges for the event. This year too, the event will witness an expert and able bench to adjudge the participating teams.

The event will officially begin on 24-03-2017 at 2:00PM with the registrations. Stay tuned to the blog for more updates!



24th March, Friday

Breakfast 09:00 AM- 10:00 AM
Lunch 01:00 PM- 02:00 PM
Registration of Teams 02:00 PM- 03:00 PM
Inaugural Session 04:00 PM – 05:00 PM
Tea Break 05:15 PM – 05:45 PM
Orientation & Draw of Lots/Exchange of Memorials 06:30 PM – 07:30 PM
Dinner 08:30 PM – 10:00 PM


25th March, Saturday

Breakfast 08:00 AM – 09:00 AM
Researcher Test 09:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Prelims Session I 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lunch 12:30 PM – 01:30 PM
Prelims Session II 02:00 PM – 03:30 PM
Tea Break 03:30 PM – 04:00 PM
Declaration of Prelims Result 04:30 PM
Quarterfinal Rounds 05:00 PM – 06:30 PM
Dinner 08:00 PM – 10:00 PM


26th March, Sunday

Semi-Finals 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lunch 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Finals 02:00 PM – 04:00 PM
Tea Break 04:00 PM – 04:30 PM
Declaration of Results and Valedictory Session 04:30 PM – 06:00 PM
Gala Dinner 08:00 PM - 09:30 PM
Lextronica 09:30 PM - 12:00 PM


23 Friday 2017

4:00 PM: The Registration formalities have just been completed. Armed with their moot kits, participants are making their way to the auditorium for the official inaugural of the 9th Justice Hidayatullah National Moot Court Competition!

4:45 PM: The dignitaries have arrived! Dr. S.S. Singh, Director, National Law Institute University, Bhopal is the Cheif Guest for the event; Dr. A.K Samantray, Presiding officer, Chattisgarh Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement authority; and Prof. Dr. Sukh Pal Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Hidayatullah National Law University.


4:50 PM: The event begins with the Hon'ble dignitaries lighting the traditional lamp. Three girls from Hidayatullah National Law University sing a hymn dedicated to the goddess of learning.

4:55 PM: The dignitaries on the dais are felicitated with a shawl and a memento.

5:00 PM: A bee, (perhaps hearing that the theme for this year's competition is environmental protection) attempts to join the gathering as a part of the audience. It is however sent back to disperse pollen, and make honey.

5:05 PM: The Vice Chancellor of HNLU, Prof. Dr. Sukh Pal Singh delivers an enlightening welcome address. He talks about the code of ethics that we followed in the past in ensuring the protection of nature, and how it has been lost over time. He also talks about the evils of poverty and colonization, and how they have contributed towards environmental degradation.


5:20 PM: Mr. Mohammed Atif Khan, Coordinator, HNMCC'17 talks about the Hidayatullah Legacy and reason behind conducting HNMCC. He also mentions that the reason for the transition of subject matter from competition law to environmental law is to draw attention to the rapidly degenerating state of the environment.

5:40 PM: The guest of Honour for HNMCC'17, Dr. A.K Samantray, Presiding officer, Chattisgarh Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement authority delivers his speech. Apart from explaining the dire predicament of earth in simple terms, he also talks about bio-diversity loss, depletion of the Ozone layer and global warming as pressing threats to human survival.

5:55 PM: Dr. S.S. Singh, Director, National Law Institute University, Bhopal addresses the gathering. He begins on a humorous note that immediately captures the attention of the audience. He talks about the various facets of mooting, and the importance of extra-curricular activities in law school life.

6:10 PM: Dr. Uttam Kumar Panda, Co-Coordinator, acknowledges and appreciates the hard work and efforts of all those involved in HNMCC'17 by delivering the vote of thanks.

6:20 PM: Post the National Anthem, all the participants leave for the 2nd floor where High Tea is served. Yummy Dhoklas, chutney, Chai and biscuits are awaiting the participants!

6:20 PM - 8:15 PM: Participants get time to relax, explore the campus and continue their research. Most teams are seen flocking to the library!

8:20 PM: It's dinner time! All the participants and students of HNLU enjoy a scrumptious dinner.

9:30 PM: Post-dinner, it's time for the draw of lots and the memorial exchange. The first chance to read what other team has written in their memos and scrutinize the opponents. The excitement of the competition is palpable in the air.


10:30 Post draw of lots, participants either head off to the library to do some more research or retire to their rooms to be fresh for the competition. The events of the day are at a close.


25th Saturday 2017

8:00AM: The participants begin their day with a healthy and nourishing meal of idlies, chutney, sambar and orange juice. Yummy!

9:15AM: The judges briefing and the researcher's test have begun simultaneously. The judges will be briefed on the compromis, the rules, clarifications and basic contentions that could be put forth by both teams. The researchers of the various teams are seen flipping through pages and pages of their extensive research before giving the test.


11:15AM: The preliminary rounds have started!

Preliminary Round 1- 11:15 AM-12:30 PM

Court Room - 1

C 12 (Applicant) v. C 01 (Respondent)

Speaker 1

The bench interjects the first speakers arguments in the very first minute of his speech. He tackles the first wave of questions with confidence. He is able to raise his issues without having to even glance at his notes, which was admired by the judges. However, the judges are often disagreeing with the speaker’s reasoning and ask the speaker to move over to the next argument. The Bench also ask the speaker to elaborate on the Sources of Law.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

Before the speaker could advance to his contentions, the bench raise many theoretical questions which are answered satisfactorily by him. He also mentions several laws which are centred around the environment. Clearly, the speaker is well-versed with the facts of the matter as he is able to tie them up effortlessly with his arguments. Most of the questioning is about Customary Laws. The bench also asks the speaker which book on International Law he has been referring to.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker’s well- structured arguments catch the attention of the judges. However, her excessive hand movements are looked down upon. Even after the bench repeats the question, the speaker is unable to give an answer that can satisfy the bench. She also tactfully avoids the next question regarding intention by re-stating the facts and giving examples where intention isn’t an important factor. However, the speaker makes up for it by citing a multitude of cases which impress the bench.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker isn’t able to match the confidence displayed by the other speakers. She fumbled with her words every now and then. She is unable to draw a connection between pertinent facts of the case. The bench then moves over to question the protection of migratory species and when the speaker doesn’t have an answer, the researcher is asked to answer it. The bench is still not satisfied, and the researcher from the applicant’s side is asked to answer it. The bench is pleased with his prompt response. As she is short on time, the other contentions fly away with the Red wattled Lapwing bird.


The question put forth by the applicant was crisp and concise. But, instead of answering the question, the respondent accused the applicant of not listening to their arguments at all.

Court Room - 2

TC 09 (Applicant) v. TC 24 (Respondent)

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The speaker starts by explaining the time distribution of his team and the judges are beginning to test the waters. One can just feel that the beat is about to drop soon. The speaker faces some difficulty in understanding the questions posed by the judges. Questions regarding ICJ and State Practice are probed on by the judges in detail. The speaker makes a submission to persuade the judges only to face questions regarding sources of international law. The judges slightly shake their heads as they suspect the speaker of presenting modified facts. Moving into the last few minutes, the judges still look entirely unconvinced by his arguments. The first speaker finished his address and it looks like the judges were unsatisfied with his words.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The second speaker takes some time to set his wrist watch on the dais and then begins his address. He starts off on a confident note, articulate in his speech, and manages to satisfactorily answer the initial questions of the judges. He seems a little more organised than his co-speaker. Questions regarding balance between preservation of wildlife and exploitation of natural resources are handled by the speaker with the judges looking somewhat unconvinced. It seems as if the speaker’s excessive use of inferred facts and assumptions weren’t to the liking of the bench. The bench finally looks satisfied with nods going around here and there, as the speaker moved to his next contention. The speaker tries to hurry with time running out and started fumbling on his words, only to stop and collect himself before continuing.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker starts by explaining the time distribution within his team and looks very confident and speaks in a fluent manner to start off his address. This speaker addresses himself as the ‘agent’, something which the other team failed to do. The bench asks questions regarding what is ‘fundamental’ and what is not, and the speaker seems to successfully answer the questions. The judges immediately catch up on a point of law in the next contention and the speaker evokes unconvinced responses from the bench. The bench has a laugh on an ancillary point which lightens the mood of the courtroom a little. The speaker wraps up his address with the judges looking somewhat satisfied by his replies.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker, introduces himself as the ‘agent’, and dives straight into his first issue. The bench, having listened to most of his first contention, put up their questions, and the speaker seemingly manages to clear their doubts. After going at an issue for some time, the speaker suddenly remembers that he had a case law to support his argument and quickly directs the attention of the bench to said case law. The speaker has some problem conveying the crux of his contention but quickly provides clarifications, drawing an affirmative nod from the judges. The bench seems satisfactorily convinced by the arguments given by the speaker and with time running out fast, he moves on to his last contention. The speaker concludes his submission and the judges nod as he takes his seat.

Rebuttal (Applicant)

The speaker from the applicants’ side starts by stating rebuttals to arguments by the respondents, point by point. He seems a little unorganised as he sets about his address and time runs out before he can complete his rebuttal speech.

Rebuttal (Respondent)

The speaker from the respondents’ side starts by first listing the rebuttals provided by the applicants and then proceeds to refute them one by one. Going about his speech in an organised manner, he elicits nods from the judges while winding up his address.

Court Room - 3

TC 07 Applicant vs TC 20 Respondent

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The speaker tries jumping to the issues of the case directly which is not appreciated by the bench. The speaker seems hesitant in stating the page numbers of the memorandum to which the judges object. However, he gathers himself and efficiently answers the questions. He isn’t convincing enough with regards to his first contention. Moving on to the second contention, the speaker fumbles while answering the initial questions. The counsel seems hesitant in stating the facts of the case which were asked by the judges. After the time limit expires, another set of questions were raised by the bench which the speaker has a hard time answering. The speaker pauses at several moments while answering the questions.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

This speaker dealt with the next two issues. The eloquence of speaker is commendable but her arguments are not accurate enough as stated by the bench. The voice of the speaker is too soft to be heard by the bench. As she moves on, her way of speaking and her eloquence is affected and so is the the volume of her voice. The speaker is ignorant in asking for extra- time to which the bench objects and has a hard time answering the facts of a particular case. Overall, the speaker is passive in her arguments and the bench seemed unconvinced.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

From the very beginning, the bench start asking questions which are easily answered by the speaker. The speaker is distinct and precise while advancing his arguments. The fluency of the speaker is appreciable and he is able to convince the bench by his answers. As the speaker proceeds he gets more and more confident while answering the questions. The speaker is able to make a mark in this case as he is efficiently speaking and answering the questions of the bench.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker is in a hurry but seems confident about what she was speaking. The speaker fumbles while answering the questions and tries to bluff the bench but is caught. The speaker is ignorant to some of the facts of the case as pointed out by the bench. Despite all this, the speaker does not lose her fluency as she proceeds further. This speaker fails to ask the permission of the bench for the extra time to which the bench object. However, the speaker does not lose her momentum and she kept putting forth her argument. During the prayer for relief, both the agents of the respondent stand up unlike the agents of the applicants.

Court Room 4

TC 04 (Applicant) v/s TC 26 ( Respondent)

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

After being invited from one of the judges, the first speaker comes up to the podium and starts with his facts and the issues presented. Certain clarifications raised, and addressed. But the answer doesn’t seem to have satisfied the judges too much. The arguments advanced by the speaker are flooded with queries from the bench, which seem to have startled the speaker. Clarifications are sought regarding the liability of the respondents, about the clean hands of the applicant, and how the applicant assumed that a notice had not been served. The Speaker attempted to answer the first two, but conceded to the third as a mistake of the party. Similar resistance from the bench is noticed regarding the second issue of the applicants as well. Some questions regarding definitions were cleverly twisted, not something that would fare well with the bench. Others were just blatantly faffed about. At this point, the speaker actually clashes with the judges regarding territorial waters. After getting a small extension, the speaker summarises his points and invites his co-counsel.


Speaker 2 (Applicant)

Starts by raising issue 3 and 4, she provides a two-fold argument regarding her issue developing a causal link in the process. The constant interruptions by the judges seems to have startled her, and she is now making arguments from the other side. Interesting approach. The judges remind the speaker about her affiliations in the present round, and then they go on to startle her a little more with their questions, which continue to receive frivolous answers and arbitrary assertions. Okay, this girl managed to wrongly define custom. Probably cursing herself now for not carrying a dictionary. “Does the bench need to direct the paras to be read here” came a snide comment. Seems fair. She anyways seems to be unaware what the ‘custom’ is. (get the pun? :P) Speaker needs extra time to explain how she didn’t waste the entire team she was originally given. The bench seems reluctant, but also really curious as to what exactly is she trying to say. By the time we got to her prayer, it seems as though she was praying for mercy.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

Composed speaker, begins by laying down the case for the respondents. Questions from the bench follow. Baffling answers. Judges seem completely unsatisfied. Asked to move on to the next contention. Keeps asserting the same argument. She seems to have all the time in the world. The bench has entirely rejected both her issues. Used a judgement to support the argument, Questioned about the judgement. Failed to satisfy.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Starts off by trying to prove the acts under which the appellant is liable. Tries to point out his cases with using the facts for his own benefit to which the judge raised further questions. Raises his contention on Article 25 and how there is a balance of interest in the particular scenario. Tries to shift the responsibility of making the report on the appellants. Judges raised contention on how the whole situation was not foreseen. Brings out ICJ case laws to back his contentions. This man seems armed. Establishes applicants’ obligations based on the goals of Sustainable development. Judges  raised questions on the liabilities of the parties. The judges sought clarification on defence of necessity which speaker contends would not stand in the present case. Also, the judges question on whether they are jointly liable or not. Tries to justify the use of pesticides and then pleads to the bench on why the case should lie on their favour.

Court Room 5

Applicant - Code 06 v. Respondent - Code 08

Speaker 1 (Applicants):

The judges seem very enthusiastic and a lot of cross questioning was witnessed. The first question is posed to her, which remained an important bone of contention throughout her speech was regarding the jurisdiction of the parties in this matter as the judges do not seem very happy with the argument and reasoning put forth by the speaker. The second issue she puts forth is regarding the removal of the pipelines by Boressia on their continental shelf and placing of sonic detection devices on it. The speaker goes slightly downhill with regards to both the arguments that she dealt with as the round progresses but is partially able to convince the judges regarding her issues.

Speaker 2 (Applicant):

The second speaker is very firm and articulate regarding her court manners and starts her speech by stating that the last two issues on this problem shall be dealt by her. The judges time and again question her on the long term measures that the applicants plan to undertake to curb the problem of bird burning in the country of Aressia. The bench is not convinced with her arguments and ask her to move to the next contention, where the appellants claim that Boressia has the obligation to compensate all the losses suffered to them; the answer to which also did not quite catch the judge’s attention. Half-hearted as it would seem, they are very encouraging towards the speaker giving her chances to bring forth the arguments the applicants have to offer.

Speaker 1 (Respondent):

The judges being well versed with the facts ask the respondents directly to deal with their issues, and question the speaker a lot about precautionary principles, that the respondents had repeatedly emphasised in their submissions. The speaker is also questioned on principles of international conventions and treaties both the countries were a part of, and the obligations it bought with itself. Questions regarding law of seas also remained an important question that the judges posed to the speaker throughout his speech. But, as the end approaches, the speaker is very confused and isn’t able to answer the questions he is posed although he does a commendable job trying.

Speaker 2 (Respondent):

Questions such as responsibility and liability are posed and this round was based more on practical approaches such as real life statistical data, in consonance with the moot problem are pin-pointed by the judges. They ask a lot of questions to the speakers on general applications, acronyms, basic points of difference, which are handled confidently by the speaker who tries to answer best to his knowledge, if not to the best of judges’ satisfaction. Treaties and relationship between the countries maintained an important question carried down from speaker 1 to speaker 2 in the respondent’s side. The speaker remains confused and asks for time from the judges’. He asks for extra time a lot during his course of speech to prove his arguments. The speaker is asked not to read out but just show his general understanding on the issue.

Court Room 6

Team Code 27 (Applicant) v, Team Code 16 (Respondent)

The judges enter the courtroom among the hassle of the first day of this competition. After a brief overview of the memos, they invite the first speaker to take the podium.

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The first Speaker seems quite confident with his conduct, delivering his part with minimal hand movement, albeit with slight stutters. The impressive part is how rarely the speaker seems to be referring to the memo. Okay, looks like the blogger judged too soon. As soon as he reached the arguments advanced, he started reading out the entire thing from the memo itself. The judges seem are well prepped on the problem and pose questions on basic legal basis. A factual question is posed to the speaker, followed by a conceptual one.The questions recieved an exhaustive and rather impressive answers from the counsel. Some things to note about the speech. Firstly, for some reason, it lacked any reference to any of the written submissions, including the memos and the compendiums. Secondly, the amount of random historical and scientific information it contains. Time’s up. No request for extension, just asked to conclude. Time management was appropriate.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The second speaker seems fluent with the language as well as knowledge of the submissions. He seemed to have been taken aback from a question by the bench, but he manages to confidently reply to the question after just a little pause. This speaker seems to be much more reliant on the memo than his teammate, and has been referring to the written submissions time and again. The answers clearly show how well versed the counsel is with the basics of international law. Okay, so apparently now the compromis passes from the bench to the speaker. And our reporter finds it really offensive. It’s okay Bhanu, it happens! This is an environmental law moot after all. ‘Excessive reference to the compendium’. Is this guy trying to make up for the mistakes of his co-counsel? Improper time management. An entire issue is left. The speed just escalated. 2 minutes extension given for dealing with compensation. Firstly, the judges were reluctant but the court clerk intervened to say that the bench may allow a maximum of 10 minutes extension. Hence, given. Pointing finger to make reference to the compendium. Wow, is this the ICJ or Tis Hazari?

Respondent Speaker 1.

Strong beginning. Okay, let’s change it to ‘loud’ beginning. Which is getting louder. Judges request her to be softer. Arguing with the judges about the law is one thing, asserting that the judges have the wrong knowledge of law is another. Her body language clearly shows how nervous she is.  Question. Embarrassing smile noticed on the speaker. Turns out the bench is kind of aware of the law. A lot of reference to the law. Logically answering the questions she knows the answers to. Stammering at the unexpected ones. Time over, proper time management.

Respondent (Speaker 2)

A confident speaker, with slight nervous stutters here and there. And we’re back to Tis Hazari with the counsel pointing fingers at the bench. No, not accusing them. Literally pointing a finger at them.  Using national judgements to justify a stance at the ICJ. Funny. Shuffling through his documents as to figure out what to speak. A question asked combining the factual timeline and the injury caused. Answered referring to the same paragraph the judge posed question from. Judges still unconvinced. 2 minutes pause for 1 minute answer. Is this guy aware of the concept of a clock? Referring to the questions posed by the bench to the applicants. Time over. The judges said thank you. Speaker still continuing. Do we now need bouncers to get the speakers off the podium?

Room 07

Team 03 (Applicant) v. Team 28 (Respondent)

Speaker 1, Applicant:

The round started with an absolute conundrum. Two speakers simultaneously approach the dais as both the teams thought they were the Applicants. Once settled, the Respondents could be seen trying to figure out their speeches, while the Applicants looked confident. This reflected in the calm and composed demeanour of Speaker 1. However, the confidence is tested quite early into his speech. Questions of jurisdiction arose in every contention. Speaker 1, though a little fazed initially, calmly tackled the questions from the Bench. The other team members and the Bench seemed to be deliberating parallel. The factual fabric being woven by the speaker was repeatedly hampered by questions being fired at the speaker. Extra time of 5 minutes was provided.

Speaker 2, Applicant:

The arguments of speaker 2 seemed hesitant initially. This hesitation later changes into confidence and the ‘uhs’ and ‘ums’ were replaced by a firm stance and a beaming face.
The Bench also has a warm smile while questioning the speaker on every line of her argument. Her contentions are equated to assumptions and there was a brief moment of absolute silence in the courtroom, while the Applicants and the Bench just looked at each other. The arguments proceeded along with the rise in the pitch of the speaker, till it reached its zenith in her final contention. The entry of the photographer in the room surely saw a change in the postures and demeanour of all those present.

Speaker 1, Respondent (Team 28- Dummy Team):

Speaker 1, surges ahead with his arguments as soon as he approached the dais. This energy is manifested in his war of words with the bench. Arguments are being shot from both sides, while jovial remarks re also supplemented to cut the heat of the situation. It seems as if the speaker’s favourite phrase, “facts are silent on this issue”, is being mirrored by his co-agent, who was also silent on all issues throughout the course of his speech. Speaker 1 did not let the questions affect him as he continued with the same energy and zest. His arguments proved to be more contentious than the issue itself. His arguments ended when his time did, no extra time was requested for.

Speaker 2, Respondent (Team 28- Dummy Team):

The speaker starts off on a great note. Being the last speaker of the round, it is safe to say that her speech is one of the most action packed speeches, quite literally. Her hand movements are in sync with the rise and fall in her pitch to elucidate every contention. There are various times that we think that speaking too much for too long will not make sense. Speaker 2 proved us wrong. Her contentions, as today’s lingo says, were on point. Citing almost 5 cases in 5 minutes of her speech, she paints a flowery picture for her arguments. Maintaining her cool in the face of constant questions from the bench, and answering each issue calmly seem like her forte.

No extra time was requested for.


Applicant TC 25 v. Respondent TC05

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

Speaker one has now proceeded with her arguments and structured them well. She seemed to pause for a while, but catches up soon. At the respondent’s desk, hasty scribbling ensues. An exchange of chits happens between the speaker and her team mate, and she subsequently appraises the Bench regarding the same. The loopholes in the Applicant’s arguments are pointed out by the Bench, and the speaker puts off the judge’s question for later. The Bench seem to be satisfied as they ask the speaker to proceed with her arguments. The speaker is urged to sum up her contentions in one minute and is given half a minute to enable to answer an important that the judges have come across.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The speaker proceeds with her arguments rather enthusiastically. The Respondent memo is cited and contrasts were drawn with the arguments in the Applicant memo, highlighting the conflict therein which seemed to be working in the speaker’s favour. A rather plausible trick.

The judges ask the speaker to substantiate her assertions with relevant authority and seem satisfied with the response. But the relief is short lived as the speaker was again faced with another barrage of questions. On a strong plea for extension of time, the speaker is allowed another minute to conclude her arguments.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker proceeded by structuring his arguments. The Bench question the speaker on an important point of the ongoing debate and the speaker’s reply elicits an approving response from the judges. The judges emphasise on the importance of a persuasive authority to the speaker and asked him to marshal the same to legitimise his claims.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker is questioned on the merits of the basis of her claims and after an intense round of debate is allowed to proceed further. She was questioned frequently by the judges over the course of her speech. The Bench entered into a stimulating enquiry about the intricacies of the consequences of application of the law that the respondent claims should apply. The judges concluded the rounds with appreciating the brilliant performances of both the teams.


Applicant (Team 23) and Respondent ( Team 15)

Speaker 1: (Applicant)

The speaker starts on a confident note but eventually seems to fumble since the judges were putting forward questions time and again, grilling even on the very basics of Court mannerism. When the speaker sought permission to move to the 2nd contention, the Bench asserts to not have been fully convinced with the 1st contention itself and ask the speaker to move to the next contention at his own risk. The grilling continues. Though by the end of his speech, the Bench seemed satisfied with the speaker.


Speaker 2 (Applicant):

The speaker seems to be in a hurry, racing while stating the contentions. The judges request her to slow down. There is a lot of questioning by the Bench. The speaker seems unable to aptly address the questions posed to her. It is alleged by one of the judges that the speaker was contradicting her arguments within 15 seconds of making them.The judges seemed to have scrutinised almost every word of the speaker and did not appear to be convinced.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

At the very beginning, one of the judges ask the speaker to state the prayers in accordance with the contentions being posed by the speaker. The speaker seems to be doubtful about a few pleadings in the beginning but eventually recovers. A notable glitch was the speaker referring to a specific Article to be present in the compendium whereas in reality it wasn’t. But the speaker spoke confidently and seems to have convinced the Bench.

Speaker 2 (Respondent):

This speaker starts off on a slightly hesitant note. The judges sense this lack of confidence and begin questioning on some basics. One of the judges dismissed the last contention of the speaker stating that it is not in accordance with basics of international law.

Court Room 11

Applicant TC 13 v. Respondent  TC. 22

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

It went off to an interesting start. Within one minute of commencing his argument, speaker is intervened by the judge. He answers with ease and keeps calm in the face of the follow up questions. Speaker is trying to establish his argument. Just as he attempts to wriggle his way out of the intricate questions posed by the Judge, the Judge corners him on the facts of the moot proposition. Speaker, who was encountered by a large number of questions, faced some difficulty in answering them but is extremely calm and his court manners are spot on!

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The Second Speaker lays down a brief structure of his arguments. A barrage of pointed questions has ensued from the bench and the speaker has to work hard in order to defend his stance. Speaker does not seem to be much confident with the questions posed and is facing difficulty. The judges don’t seem to be convinced by his arguments. He is attempting to answer to the best of his ability without losing his composure. The Judge asked the speaker to a legal basis for his arguments as he cannot merely argue on facts. After a series of questions and efforts put, Judges finally seemed to be pleased.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The Speaker exudes confidence as she begins her arguments. The Judges pose preliminary questions regarding the statement of jurisdiction. The Speaker proceeds to the substantive legal issues. The Speaker seems to be well versed with the issues and the law. She eloquently addresses the Judge’s questions by citing some very recent and relevant case laws regarding the concept of pacta sunt servanda. We are in the middle of an extremely interesting exchange regarding ratification and binding effect of treaties. This was again followed by a round of questions regarding interface between municipal laws and international laws. The questions of the Judges seem to have stumped the Speaker as she was not able to provide the legal basis of her argument but instead she tried to satisfy the Judges through facts and concepts.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The Second speaker relied on various conventions in support of his submissions. The Bench interrupted the speaker and questioned him about customary practices and conservation. He answered them in satisfactory manner as the Judges seem to be pleased. Through his arguments he pointed out a factual fallacy in the moot proposition. The judges kept him on his toes with off-hand questions and good natured heckling. He swiftly handles the Judge’s concern and is fairly consistent with his arguments. He concludes his arguments very carefully, clearly reiterating his stance while leaving no room open for the judges to ask any further clarifications.

Court Room 12

Applicant TC 10 v. Respondent TC 02

Applicant (Speaker 1)

The Applicant exudes confidence as he proceeds with his arguments. The Judge is questioning extensively and the speaker is handling them well. As the judges question the speaker, the speaker quotes many provisions in order to establish his arguments. The speaker fumbles as he is questioned on general principles of international law. The researcher assists the speaker in cementing answers to the questions posed by the Judges. Judges are not convinced with the arguments being presented. Speaker presents his second argument. The speaker seems overwhelmed as more substance seems to be flowing from the bench rather than the speaker. The Speaker is unable to address the concerns of the judges and can only respond with silence. The Speaker concludes his arguments before his time runs out.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The Second Speaker is off to a confident start and proceeds with the third contention. The Judges ask the speaker to clarify their arguments and establish a legal basis for the same. The Speaker responds with silence. The Speaker counters the respondents arguments which they’re yet to make. It seems like the speaker has psychic abilities. The bench seems intrigued by the extensive arguments of the speaker. Speaker seems to have convinced the bench. The Speaker moves on to the last contention. The Bench asks the speaker to make relevant arguments. The Time lapses. Speaker asks permission from the Bench to continue with his submissions. Extra time has somehow given more confidence to the speaker. The Speaker is provided a second extension to sum up arguments. The Speaker concludes his arguments. The Judges have an internal discussion regarding the arguments posed by the applicants. The Applicant team seems unsure about the impact that they’ve had on the bench. The Judges briefly analyse the written submissions of the applicants..

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

Speaker seems confident in his argument. The Bench questions the technicalities of the respondent’s arguments. The Speaker quotes relevant provisions in order to build a legal basis for his arguments however the bench does not seem to be satisfied. The Bench asks the speaker to move on to the next argument. The Speaker concludes his arguments even though he had 5 more minutes to substantiate his submissions.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The Speaker begins with the 3rd contention. The bench extensively questions the speaker. The speaker responds with silence. A lot has been left unsaid in this particular proceeding, I believe both the sides believe that their eyes talk more than their lips. The speaker has been asked to move to his 4th Contention. The Bench poses a rather intricate question and the researcher comes to the speaker’s aid. The Bench is rather intrigued by the speaker’s submission and they ask the speaker to read from their own written submissions. The bench is not at all satisfied with the arguments made by the Respondents.

Court Room 13

Applicant TC 19 v. Respondent TC 18

Speaker 1 (Applicant):

Speaker one is off to a confident start. The judges pose some questions regarding the first contention submitted by the Applicants. The Speaker doesn’t seem to be able to satisfy the bench fully as the questions continue from the judges. Judges do not accept the speaker’s explanation and continue to intensively grill her with. The speaker gathers herself and tries to tackle the continuous stream of questions posed from the bench. The judges seem to be finally satisfied with the first question and ask the speaker to move on. The judges pose questions pertaining to basic concepts in International law to test the speaker’s knowledge. The speaker confidently cites relevant authorities and sails through. Because of the paucity of time, the speaker is not able to complete her contention and hence asks for an extension. The judges allow the same. The speaker rushes through her concluding statements as her time is over. Ends on a confident note.

Speaker 2 (Applicant):

The speaker starts off in an overly confident and loud manner. The judges pose certain questions regarding the statements made by the speaker causing him to fumble. He regains confidence and continues with his argument citing various relevant authorities. The judges do not seem to be satisfied with his explanation at all. The speaker is trying hard to explain his point but seems perplexed with the rapid fire of questions from the bench. The speaker struggles to answer. The judges finally find the explanation acceptable but ask the speaker to stick to the argument and explain his point through logic instead of repeatedly citing authorities. The judges seem concerned regarding the issues relating to compensation. The speaker seems to have satisfied the bench on the said issue. The speaker exceeds his time and asks leave from the court to continue his arguments. The judges allow the same. The judges route back to the issue of compensation. The speaker pleads to continue with his last contention but the judges only allow 30 seconds to conclude his arguments. The speaker rushes through his last contention. The judges ask the speaker to conclude. The speaker asks to proceed to his prayer but the judges decline his request.

Speaker 1 (Respondent):

The first speaker from the respondent side starts on a shaky note. The judges ask him to clarify certain factual points. A lot of time is wasted as there seems to be some misunderstanding between the speaker and the bench. The speaker fumbles and stops for a moment in order to gather himself. The judges pose certain questions regarding his submissions and the speaker tries to explain his points to which the judges seem to be satisfied. The speaker seems to have regained his confidence as he tackles the questions posed by the bench with relative ease. The speaker explains his argument using various authorities and illustrations which seems to have a positive impact on the bench. The judges are doubtful about the legal veracity of the speaker’s arguments. However, the speaker is able to confidently satisfy the judges. The Speaker asks for a second time extension which is denied by the judges as they ask him to conclude.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker is greeted by the bench with a question at the outset which throws him off his tracks. The speaker struggles to explain his point. The judges do not seem to be satisfied with the speaker’s explanation and continue to pose questions. The speaker struggles to make his way out of this rigorous grilling session. The judges point out that the speaker has conceded to a certain factual points which are contrary to his case. The judges do not seem to be buying his arguments. Finally, the judges ask the speaker to move on to his next contention. The judges seem to be dissatisfied and hence ask the speaker to conclude his arguments summarily because of the paucity of time. The speaker is vehemently trying to make his point get through but the judges are not satisfied about the legal basis of the same. The judges turn to the APPLICANT team in order to get a clarification regarding a certain point made by the present speaker. The researcher from the Applicant team asks to address the bench and very confidently explains the said point. The respondent speaker continues to struggle to move further with his explanation. The judges ask the speaker to conclude.

Court Room 14

Applicant TC 17 v. Respondent TC 14

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The Judges begin the proceedings by announcing the facts wouldn’t be counted into time. Team 17 commenced citation of facts but was interjected by one of the panelists in the second line. The first speaker, apparently not prepared for the question replied without losing his cool. The first speaker continued with the facts. However he is interrupted again by the jury on a question of fact. To which the speaker answers to the satisfaction of the jury. The jury further asks the role of the speaker in the case. To which, the speaker answers again to satisfaction of the jury. The jury asks the team to go on with the submission. The first speaker begins his first submission. The speaker is speaking with flow and confidence. Suddenly, the jury asks him a question on legal point citing various legislations and principles of international law. The speaker marshals the given data to his advantage.The court clerk’s pamphlet goes up. The jury again asked a question of authority after checking the memorial. To which the speaker looked into his memorial to speak the argument. The speaker asked for an extension which lasted for a long time as the jury pestered the speaker with questions on the applications of principles of international law. The speaker continue to give satisfactory answers while maintaining his cool.  The speaker went on to the second submission. He seems to have achieved a better flow with time and became more comfortable with the inquisitive jury. The speaker structured his arguments in an organized manner. The jury again questioned him if an action of the appellant should be accepted in the international law. To which the speaker replied with cleverness and satisfied the jury.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The Second speaker came to the podium. He started with his contentions. The jury asked him a question on definition of a term important in the environmental law. The speaker starts slowly explains it with ease. The jury refers to a famous cases and related its facts with the present case to ask him a question. The speaker started with an illustration and slowly proceeded with the facts of the present case to make his case. When asked about his own responsibility for a mishap in the facts, the speaker started listing the acts and omissions on the part of the respondents. All he lacked was a muffler and we would have seen an Arvind Kejriwal standing among us.The court clerk showed a pamphlet to show that the time is over. However the speaker asked for an extension to which the Jury instantly agreed. The Jury expressed surprise over the audacity of the appellant’s claim that their action could be ignored but the respondent’s action, which is of relatively less impactful, in the Jury’s view, than the former should not be. How is this guy not an AAP minister yet? The speaker moved to final arguments and rested his case.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The first speaker started with her contentions for her client. She speaks with ease to marshall facts to make her case. The Jury interjected with a question on legal point that why have not approached the court before. The speaker answers the question with the element of ‘immediate need’ of the situation. The Jury again asked the question what was the basis of the action committed by the country. The Jury drew a hypothetical situation to draw a parallel to ask the question. She cleverly hid behind the cover of ‘good faith’ and supported her case. Then she went on to forefront to fire the jury with the breaches committed by the appellant country. You could almost hear the trumpet announcing beginning of war go off somewhere.The speaker moved on to her second contention. The Jury interjected the team with a question on jurisdiction and then asked a hypothetical question based upon legal aspect of the question. The counsel tried dodging the question saying she is not acquainted with the case. Which was surprising, especially since it was a hypothetical case and did not exist. She moved on to summarize the arguments to rest her case.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The Second speaker approached the podium. The speaker started on a confident note. The bench interjected her pointing out a certain flaw in her submission as it did not match with the written submission. The Jury posed some tough questions to the speaker to which she responded by throwing some legal jargons and case-laws, which apparently didn’t help her. The bench then cited an Indian case to draw a parallel, which is something, the judges love to do. The speaker dealt with the issue accordingly. The speaker asks for an extension to her time as she has some important points to make. The bench agrees to grant the same. The judges pose some tough questions which follow a healthy interchange of points between the speaker and the bench. The judges finally ask the speaker to conclude.

12:30 PM: The Preliminary round 1 officially draws to a close in all 14 court rooms. 

1:00 PM: After an intense and gruelling round, the participants head over to the dining area to refuel! 

1:50 PM - 3:00 PM: Preliminary Round 2


Court Room 1

C 20 (Applicant) v. C 10 (Respondent) room

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

Is it a violation? Is it not? The first speaker isn’t too sure of this. As he tries to avoid a question by saying that it would be addressed later, the bench asks him to address it right away. His excessive use of hand gestures is starting to annoy the bench. The bench questions the speaker on the relevant authorities which the latter failed to answer. His confident tone, slowly, but surely started sounding more like a condescending one.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The speaker’s fast pace is very difficult to comprehend. Even after the bench asks her to slow down, it doesn’t make a difference. The bench even assures her that they will not be running away. After asking her a question, they prohibit her from accepting a chit from the researcher and insist that she answer it on her own. If the lapwing birds could fly as fast as she spoke, they would’ve migrated to a nation far, far away. The researcher now answers the question which the speaker was unable to. The only prayer made was one by the bench, pleading the speaker to go slower.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker is dumbfounded when he doesn’t have an answer to the simplest of questions about the preamble. He isn’t able to cite any cases to strengthen his case either. It looks as if the teams are playing a game of passing the question as no one, neither the speakers, nor the researchers are able to give a satisfactory answer. On being asked by the bench if there is anything else he’d like to add, he answers in the negative as he wipes a bead of sweat from his forehead.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Two minutes into the speech, the level of debate reaches the height of her heels. Her well- structured argumentation sets her apart from her co-agent. Unfortunately, when a question arises, she is unable to find the answer in the plethora of pages before her. But she quickly makes up for it by characterising her stance effectively. Her courteous nature got her an extra two minutes to put forth her relevant points.


The bench urges the applicant to consolidate his rebuttals, but in vain. The bench insisted that the researcher answer the question put forth by the applicant and on her being unable to do so, asks the applicant’s researcher another question.

Court Room 2

TC 26 (Applicant) v. TC 25 (Respondent)

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The speaker starts by stating the facts involved in the case. Initially, she seems nervous as she struggles with questions about her side’s stance but she has picked up now and starts answering the questions of the bench with aplomb. Mundane facial expressions fill the courtroom as the speaker goes on with her contentions in a matter-of-fact manner, tackling the judges with ease and, while nervousness does still seem to exist, her words are doing a good job of keeping it hidden. The speaker realises she is running out of time and speeds up her address. The judges shoot questions in a rapid-fire manner, and the speaker struggles a bit, as she seems unable to satisfactorily answer the bench. Time runs out for her, and she proceeds to her seat seemingly leaving the bench unconvinced of her arguments.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The speaker starts straight away with his issues and manages to speak quite a bit before the impending questions start arriving. He faces some difficulty on technical and legal definitions, and ends up apologising to the bench for a wrongly stated definition. The bench asks him to provide proof on a certain point, to which the speaker replies that he cannot indeed prove the same. As the speaker runs out of time, the bench concedes a few more minutes for him to finish his submission. The speaker is struggling to properly convey his side of the story, but somehow manages to gain an affirmative nod from the judges for one of his answers to a crucial point raised by the bench.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker introduces herself and starts with a spring in her step and a distinct roll in her R(s). She is very confident in her approach and gives an articulate and concise response to the first questions raised by the judges. She moves on with her contentions and the judges have a good time jesting about pipelines in general, before returning to the matter at hand. She quickly tries to conclude her arguments with time running out. Humour is abound as both, the speaker as well as the bench, indulge in a witty exchange of words with regard to extension of time. Struggling with technical terminology, she moves back to legal arguments to aid in her increased speed. The judges agree to one of her contentions after a submission is made to the bench, and she proceeds to summarise her last contention and conclude her address.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The second speaker seems even more confident than her co-speaker as she starts off wasting no time in coming to her contentions. The bench asks if the some of the general principles of public international law are absolute, which causes the speaker to stumble a little in her fluid speech. Nonetheless, she regains her composure and continues with her address, dealing with the points raised by the judges with clarity and precision. As was the case with her co-speaker, she has witty responses ready to get out of tight spots which the bench’s questions might put her into. Moving to the last contention for the respondents, the speaker continues with an unwaning vigour and energy. Running out of time, she is pushed to use an arguendo to satisfy the bench. Near the end, she struggles with a few questions, but regains a passionate approach, extensively using her hands and movements to convey her conviction in what she is speaking, and properly concludes her address.

Rebuttal (Applicant)

The speaker speaks in a calm and collected manner and mentions a lot of authorities one by one to negate the arguments of the respondents. She takes some more time on a specific issue and time runs out quickly for her.

Sur-rebuttal (Respondent)

The bench specifically tells the speaker to calm down in a humorous light because of her excessive energy and calls for the other speaker to speak on an issue as time runs out.

Court Room 3

TC01 Applicant v. TC27 Respondent

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The speaker looks ready from the very beginning as she approaches the dais with a lot of documents in her hand. Being well versed with the facts, the bench asks her to proceed to her arguments. The speaker flawlessly puts forth the law points with respect to the case. She is able to convince the bench by her answers to the questions asked by the bench. The research done by the team is commendable as is evident from the speaker’s arguments.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The speaker presents her arguments efficiently. She is able to impresses the bench by her eloquence. However, she struggles to answer the questions raised by the bench. The speaker is unable to satisfy the bench with regards to a loophole in the research as pointed out by the bench and chooses to move forward. This catalyses the bench to ask more questions. She starts losing confidence as is evident from her stammering.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker apparently has a hard time and resorts to the use of vernacular language which was immediately objected to by the bench. Further, the bench refuses to grant him extra time to answer a particular question. The speaker has an unaccounted amount of love with the word “Your Excellency” as he states the term for a dozen times while speaking. The bench is having a gala time grilling the speaker.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker tries to impress the bench with his arguments but to no avail. He is vague while defining the key terms, giving the bench an opportunity to grill him. He is trying to make a rational comparison between facts pertinent to the case. He answers the questions but struggles when it comes to the accuracy of the answer. The speaker gets redundant when he starts reiterating his arguments again.

Court Room 4

TC-18(Applicant) vs TC-17 (Respondent)


Speaker 1 (Applicant)

Judges seem to be well aware of the facts, ask the speaker to state only what’s relevant to his issue, which were stated quite well by the speaker.

The speaker seems confident, enough to plead ignorance on a fact essential to laying down his case, as was pointed out by the bench. By the number of clarifications being sought by the judges, and the answers those clarifications are getting from the counsel, the submissions of the counsel do not seem to be in line with the opinion of the bench at all. The sheer volume of questions thrown at him left him a little dumbfounded and confused. In which state he concluded his case.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)              

Started off with responsibilities of state to which the bench asked a flurry of questions to which he couldn’t answer and looked at his friends to bail him out. The speaker seems quite nervous from the start and needed a bit of time to regain confidence. Constant passing of notes/chits by his teammates to help him. More questions from the judges, more fictional answers from the speaker. The speaker is trying to move further with his issues but the damage has already been done and the nervousness on his face shows he might have realised this. With cold feet and shaken confidence, the speaker tries to manipulate further questions by the judges, but the bench sees right through it. With his speech finally coming to an end, he moved to his prayer to end his speech.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

An impressive and quite systematic start to the pleadings. Compendium handed to the judges and referred to in order to establish an argument. The judges seem to be agreeing to the arguments against the applicants.The agreement was short lived, as the speaker failed to provide a scientific authority to back his argument. Some parallel analogies used by the speaker to justify his arguments are truly inspired, but the overall performance can only be judged by the bench.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

It seems like this speaker has planned a landslide for himself. First question - answered - gives rise to the second question - answered - gives rise to the third .. and so on. Cites a case, negated by the judges. Justifies the stand of the farmers as a reason of necessity. At this point, the speaker is slightly bit rude in his address as he gets so lost in his arguments, that he stops addressing the bench as Lordship/ Excellency and starts having a mano- a- mano conversation. The bench still seems to have considered their point and raised further questions on the issue which led further to the speaker reciting the prayer and concluding their argument.

Court Room 5

Appellant - Code 22 v. Respondent - Code 04

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The confidence with which the first speaker begins her speech is commendable. The judges, being already well versed with the facts, ask the speaker to move directly to her contentions, which she graciously follows. The judge poses questions on the jurisdictions of the ICJ, the court of appeal in the matter. Questions on principles of the international law pertinent to the problem are also asked. The speaker with utmost grace answers all the questions put forth taking help of judicial precedents and legal provisions. Validity of Statutes and their provisions, reasoning, how and why remain the focal topics in this round. The judges show no leniency and continuous cross questioning is happening, making this speech an interesting one.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The speaker after making his introduction moves directly to the two contentions that he pleads he will be dealing with. Cause and effect is an important part of his speech with regards to international law and its principles.The speaker is very persuasive and adamant in his submissions and stands by his speech, taking help of legal and judicial aspects. Necessity and validity of ILC is being questioned. The speaker brings out the sensitive issue of bird killing in his country and is expressing his opinions about the same. Generalised questions as regards types of categories of animals and birds are also being posed.

With confidence, the speaker is explaining why he demands compensation, trying to satisfy judges and finally is ending his speech with his prayer.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

‘Laws of the Sea’ is the beginning point of the speaker where he trying to establish the nexus between both the countries by bringing out different conventions and treaties both the countries are a part of. He is not only dependent on the conventions but also is applying a lot of legal and judicial provisions to solidify his arguments.He is able to answer all the questions put forth to him with consistent confidence even in times of serious grilling and adversity. The speaker is also putting forth laws of Bangladesh. Although pari materia to the countries mentioned in the moot problem, he is being questioned by the judges so as to why they should accept the same. After dealing with his two issues, to the best of his capabilities, the speaker asks departure, inviting the second speaker to deal with the rest of the issues.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker is picking up where the speaker one left. The judge is adamant on his question and is inquisitive about the conditions of customary law, and on being unable to receive answer from the speaker, makes it a general question for the whole team to answer. The judges are not too satisfied by the arguments of the speaker but are trying to revitalise the speech by bringing to the speaker’s notice different recent judgements. The speaker is maintaining calm and composure throughout the speech and is trying to obligingly answer all the questions put forth. Majorly non-convincing to the judges, yet a benevolent and a firm speaker, marks her depart, thanking the judges.

Court Room 6

Applicant TC 13. v. Respondent TC14

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

It’s post lunch now. The participants seem to be ready to get into the battle, and the judges seem relaxed enough to monitor this battle. The first speaker comes to the podium and requested the Jury to directly proceed to submissions. To which, the jury agreed instantly.

The lady speaker begin her first contention with ease. The Jury questioned her on the point of sovereignty and pointed a clause in their memorial and asked her if it is just an arguendo.

The speaker managed to make their case using facts. The bench throws more questions at the poor speaker, whose confidence has taken a bigger dip than America’s reputation since Trump. The clerk showed the judges that only five minutes are left. The speaker increased her pace and raised issues upon principles of International law. The speaker rests her case, seemingly not entirely sure what her case was.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

A slow start to the remaining two issues of the pleadings. A question on basic international law was handled with ease. Upon assertion by the jury that the client of the present team was also responsible for the damage in question, the speaker very confidently conceded, saying that the same is not being denied by the Counsel, which was interesting. The court turned to the speaker in anticipation, expecting her to explain. But to their disappointment, she continued with her submissions.  Confidence takes her down. Messed up a basic definition. The modest bench gave her a chance, but her confidence made her reply with a louder volume, but repeat the wrong answer. The bench was left smiling. The speaker then rested her case with the prayer.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The first speaker came upon the floor and begin his contentions in full swing. The swing seems to have broken pretty soon, as the judges pointed out he probably shouldn’t read out the memo. The speaker seems confused at this request. Funny. He then continued his contentions till he was interjected by the jury upon a differentiation between two terms of the international law. He managed to answer, but not successful in convincing the bench. Moving on, he went on with arguments making a disabled case for his side. The speaker concedes he is not ‘prepared to answer this question’. Because of course, honesty is the best policy. This guy is lit.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The second speaker approached the podium to begin his contentions. With an intention to reclaim the losing battle, the speaker tried to revert the claims by appellants back to them by saying that the appellants are originally responsible for the crisis. This surprised the judges following which they pestered him with questions on point of facts. The Jury again asked him a question which left him silent for a couple of minutes. The bench understood his plight and asked him to follow with his contention. The counsel impressively came back from the horror of this grilling, and presented the rest of his part confidently.


Team 11 (Applicant) v. Team 19 (Respondent)

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

Full stomachs reflect in the energy of both the teams who seem ready to take on Round 2. Their fervour is manifested into constructive deliberations on the part of Speaker 1. Though he started quite confidently, the cross-questioning of the judges takes him by surprise. His teammates are also seem perplexed by the sudden charge of questions. The speaker, after taking a deep breath, is trying to answer them. There is a constant exchange of questions and answers which the Agent is taking in his stride.There seems to be a lack of information on the part of the Applicants, which is leading to more questioning. The speaker is visibly fazed, unable to respond to the grilling.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The judges are asking the speaker to present her case without reading from the memorandum. While it seems a daunting task in the beginning, the speaker is taking the challenge, and is moving on with her arguments with grace. Questions asked by the Bench, are being answered by them only, due to miscommunication on part of the team. Thereafter, the speaker is moving on the last issue, which has been further characterised by her into sub-contentions. The Bench is asking for her to tie the loose ends of her arguments to her previous contentions. They are appreciating the research of the team into the technicalities of the issue, but also voice their concerns that the team’s research can unfortunately not be taken into consideration. Extra time is asked for, in which there is some sort of a ‘rapid-fire’ round of questions which the Agent is answering in a very structured manner.


Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The Bench is giving 20 seconds to the speaker to outline the main facts of the case, which she seems to not be able to do. The speaker is being very respectful towards the Bench, even while being fired with questions. The speaker is speaking with such fluency that the frequency of questions from the bench is decreasing, but their intensity is increasing. This fluency is broken by a consultation between the speaker and her teammates, and the document that is submitted to the Bench is blatantly disregarded by them since it does not have any authority. The Bench starts counting down time, till the speaker runs out of it.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Speaker 2 approaches the dais, and contrary to common conventions, asks for permission to go the washroom. Coming back in, he’s instantly informed by the bench to leave the pleasantries, and get straight to his contentions. In an attempt to cover his arguments in time, the speaker is going too fast, which is affecting his clarity, as pointed by the Bench. Speaker seems to be dodging the question that is being asked, and the Bench takes note. He is presenting quite myriad colours during his speech. While he started off on an enthusiastic note, judges' grilling is bringing out the blues in his speech. The speaker requests for extra time repeatedly, but the request is denied. Judges advise the teams that brevity is the key to a good moot. And that one should not keep arguing when one doesn’t know the answer since it reflects badly on them. They also mention that it is a very close round.

Room 7

Applicant TC 15. V. Respondent TC 12

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The speaker begins on a confident and self-assured note to be met with a volley of questions from the judges. His demeanor looks slightly shaken post the question, but he answers them all to the satisfaction of the bench and recovers wonderfully.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

In a light hearted moment amidst the intense debating, when asked to procure a copy of the legislation he is citing, the speaker simply claims “this is true”, exciting laughter in the courtroom from the bench and the audience alike.

The bench obliges the speaker with an extra minute to let him close his arguments.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker has listed the division of contentions and provided a brief summary of the arguments, requesting to reserve 2 minutes for rebuttals. The Bench is questioning the speaker repeatedly but the speaker is exuding calm in his responses, eventually satisfying the Bench with his arguments.

In another volley of questions by the judges, speaker’s response seems to have quite impressed the judges as their approving gestures suggest the same.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Speaker sub-divides his contention into more specific arguments, separately detailing each part of the main contention that he is dealing with. Judge questions the speaker over the seemingly hypocritical stance of the Respondents and is joined in by his colleague who has also raised eyebrows over the same matter. The speaker seems to have adequately illustrated why his stance is justified. . .or not. The Bench doesn’t seem to entirely buy his arguments, and highlights a bunch of issues the Respondents still needs to amply address.

The Bench requests the speaker to quickly sum up his submissions and it’s ambiguous whether or not they got what they were looking to extract out of the arguments of the Respondents.The judges commend the performances of both sides while maintaining that there is scope for improvement.

Court Room 8

Applicant TC08 v. Respondent TC09

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The speaker begins by making the mistake of not greeting the Bench and is grilled by the Bench for the same. The judges then begin to ask the speaker questions about the basic court mannerisms which he is unable to give answers to. The speaker is trying hard to answer the questions but is perplexed by the fast pace of the questions. Apart from the initial questions, the judges are not posing any more questions and the speaker has completed his speech with 7 minutes to spare.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The speaker begins with the 3rd contention and is greeted with an enormous lot of questions. International law seems to be the favourite grill-bank for the Bench, and surprisingly none of the speakers are able to give satisfactory answers to the same. The speaker is also being grilled by the Bench for not keeping all the documents that he’s referring to within his reach. Apart from this the speaker is rather enthusiastic and dramatic, complete with hand movements.  And towards the end, he seems to have convinced the judges.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speakers starts off on a very confident note but is thrown off track when the bench asks him a rather intriguing question. The Bench refuses to let him proceed until the speaker answers this question and this takes almost 3 minutes of the speaker’s time. The speaker still maintains his calm and moves ahead with his contentions. The judges seem to doubt the legal veracity of the speaker’s contentions.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Despite being the last speaker, the speaker seems to not really be sure of the facts of the case. Therefore a lot of time is wasted and the speaker begins with his written submissions with only 7 mins to spare. After the time runs out, the speaker is given 4 mins of extra time to complete his arguments.

Court Room 10

TC 21 Applicant v. TC 10 Respondent

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

Off to a rough start, the speaker takes quite a time explaining basic facts, and on the request of the bench to summarize, ends abruptly. The bench, almost instantaneously starts grilling on the facts leaving the speaker bamboozled. Following a series of questions and confusion with regards to the articles that were intended to be referred, the speaker seems to be losing the hold gradually. Also, having a hard time answering few questions, the speaker continues hastily, yet finishes with almost 7 minutes to spare.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

Posed with the same question as was asked to speaker 1 on the applicability of a convention, speaker 2 fails to satisfy the bench. Upon being asked one more prompt question on facts, the speaker continues the arguments leaving the query unanswered. Speaker now is almost put the screws to by the bench one after the other and with the help of co-agents, answers the questions to quite a bit. However, she is seen losing her calm and finishes by clearly reading out the memo, again with close to 5 minutes remaining. Also, the speaker referred to themselves as counsels quite a number of times.  

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

Inlaying the court-room with his emphatic voice, the speaker starts on a positive note, propitiously answering the questions. Here we can see a stern effort to impress the bench, as the speaker cites a landmark judgement, much to the satisfaction of the bench. Following a confusion regarding facts, an active discussion takes place and the speaker manages to hold his ground pretty nice. He wraps up his next contention within the last two minutes, to which the bench seems quite convinced.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The Bench seems to be extremely astir in this round, by posing tricky questions and the speaker seems to be a little baffled. However she reiterates back without much fumbling. On being asked further more questions, the speaker turns to become kind of repetitive with her reasoning but at last succeeds in availing the answer to the satisfaction of the bench. A stretch of 3 minutes is given to summarize her arguments which she sticks to and concludes.

Court Room 11

Applicant TC 05 v. Respondent TC 06

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The Speaker narrates the facts with ease. He details a road map through which he will guide the discourse.. He begins with the contentions, and cites authorities to back arguments he put forth. The Speaker is facing some intense questioning regarding general principles of international law. But the Speaker is not backing down and trying to answer each and every question smartly. The Speaker is questioned by the Judges incessantly, to which he maintains his calmness. He refers cited various authorities and attempts to argue their applicability to the facts at hand. The Judge further asked questions regarding the definitions and terms used in their written submission. The Speaker tried his best and maintained his stance.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The Speaker tried to characterise the atmosphere of the mythical country that this fictional dispute has come up in. She seems calm and confident as she brings down the facts to her advantage and cites authorities to support her arguments. However, she was questioned upon the propriety of her word selections. She carefully dealt with the critique. The Speaker commenced with her written submissions but soon faced another round of questions in reply to which she cited certain authorities. The Judges finally seemed to be satisfied and asked her to move further. Her submissions were very precise and contained reference to all the case laws and arguments advanced.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The Speaker had made a shaky start to her speech. However, an encouraging smile from the bench instilled confidence in the speaker. She answered the questions of the bench in a smart manner by making substantive arguments which were backed by facts and relevant legal authorities. The Speaker is trying to establish her contentions with the help of legal authorities related with the facts mentioned in the moot proposition. She is extremely calm and did well to keep her cool despite having questions fired at her. The Judges with their pistol like tongues fired questions which could only be dodged. The Judges are proving to be a tough panel, as they’re continuously grilling her. However, her arguments were substantive enough to establish a prima facie case.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Speaker started with her contentions and brought attention of the Bench to her substantive arguments. As the Speaker continues with her arguments, she is interrupted by the Bench regarding the issues raised. The Speaker seems slightly baffled by the questions, but she regains her composure and attempts to answer them. The Speaker is now met with the barrage of questions, and she is attempting to answer the questions to the best of her ability. However, Judges are again back with a round of questions and the Speaker is finding it difficult to answer them appropriately. Despite all this, she is not backing down and seems to be firm on her feet. And her Court manners are spot on.      

Court Room 12

Applicant TC 16 v. Applicant TC 23

1:54  Judges have arrived. Let the games begin.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The bench raises preliminary questions on jurisdiction at a very preliminary stage. The speaker had no time to build up as he has been immediately put to test. He began narrating the factual scenario through which the dispute arose. The bench is listening enthusiastically. The speaker seems successful in engaging the judges with her arguments. The speaker is very confident about their contentions. The bench have started putting the Applicant’s arguments to test. The speaker is not being very convincing. The bench does not agree to the arguments. Sad. The bench is unable to accept the legal basis of the Applicant’s arguments as they’ve not been able to provide credible authorities backing their claims. The judges feel that the arguments are as fictional as chemical weapons in Iraq. The judge grants the speaker a time extension. The speaker is unable to defend his arguments and he only stays mum.  seems unable to answer the questions. He is granted another minute. The speaker is unable to conclude his arguments and has to stop mid-way. The 2nd speaker comes in.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The counsel seems nervous. The court asks him to loosen up the tie. The counsel opens up his arguments with the 3rd contention. The Counsel is unable to adequately and confidently address the questions of the bench. The speaker is unable to understand the questions posed by the bench. The Bench is forced to rephrase the question for the speaker. The speaker takes a gulp of water in order to gather his thoughts. More substance seems to be flowing from the bench rather than the speaker. The Speaker is allowed a time extension. And the speaker is allowed another time extension. And then he gets another time extension because time doesn't matter in HNMCC. What matters is understanding the substance and the quality of the legal arguments. There shall be no time restrictions during intellectual discourse. However unfortunately such intellectual discourse was not found and the bench appeared to be annoyed. The Speaker comes to an end of his final time extension, the Bench poses one more question. The speaker concludes his arguments.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker has an interesting accent. It has the monotous clarity of an animal planet narrator. The bench seems quite interested. The speaker is citing a lot of authorities. The speaker is guiding the bench through the written submissions in order to satisfy them about the veracity of his claims. The Bench makes its first interjection and the interaction between the Bench and the Speaker flows through more of like a conversation. The speaker is going on with their arguments in a smooth and fluent manner. The speaker is able to satisfy the bench. The  bell rings. Extra time given. If this were a real proceeding another date of hearing might also have been granted. The pith and substance of the Counsel’s submissions was full of such intricate detail. (I don't actually believe this). The counsel concludes their submission.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The counsel begins with their contention in a soft musical voice. The bench is quick to question the counsel. The counsel is trying hard to engage the bench. The counsel moves on to the final submission. The counsel goes on with their argument quite confidently and smoothly. The Speaker’s time ends. But what is time but a human construct? It may be late according to the Indian Standard Time but according to the GMT the Speaker might have 5 more hours. The bench does not seem satisfied with the answer given by the counsel to the question posed. The counsel manages to satisfy the bench somehow. By the legitimate display of legal arguments. Not anything more not anything less.

Court Room 13

Applicant TC 28 (Dummy Team) vs. Respondent TC 07

Speaker 1 (Applicant):

Speaker one begins on a much composed and calm note. The judges start firing questions towards the speaker. Jesus keeps his calm. He is so calm and composed.. Maybe that is why the actual name of the buddha was “siddhartha”. Judges seem to be satisfied with the explanation given by the speaker though they continue to test the speaker on various intricate points of law and fact. The speaker sails through the grilling session. The speaker is a casanova. He enthralls the judges with his charm. He seems to have the answer to all the questions in the world. I reckon he must be a voracious reader and popular on tinder. The judges are mostly satisfied with the speaker’s response. He concludes his arguments in time and on a very cold note.

Speaker 2 (Applicant):

The second speaker for the Applicant starts off on a much confident and loud manner. There is great chemistry between the two speakers. The speaker explains her argument in a much structured and organised manner which seem to impress the judges. Though they continue to grill her posing tough questions in an attempt to throw her off. The bench succeeds to do so to a great extent as the speaker seems perplexed. She regains her confidence and comes back on track connecting her arguments and explaining her point further. She is unable to complete her argument as the judges ask her to conclude. She begs for more time but is denied to have any. But it does seem that she was dull compared to Jesus.

Speaker 1 (Respondent):

The first speaker for the Respondent seems confident and well versed with the facts and issues involved. The judges discuss a certain point of  fact at length and pose some tough questions to which the speaker replies accurately citing authorities and the relevant statutes involved. The Counsel is unable to satisfy the judges and they continue grilling the speaker with an obvious expression of dissatisfaction. The speaker continues his arguments keeping his temper. Instead of the rigorous grilling session, the speaker does not lose his ground and stays confident and firm on his submission. He asks the bench for an extension which is granted to him. He concludes his arguments confidently without too many questions from the bench.

Speaker 2 (Respondent):

The second speaker for the respondent is off to a slow and shaky start. She tries to gather herself but is bombarded with a lot of questions which startle her. The Speaker keeps her calm and try to tackle the questions. The speaker is not able to explain herself properly as the judges seem to have many doubts and ask the speaker questions pertaining to various points of law and fact. The judges seem very dissatisfied with the speaker’s response. The  bench poses questions regarding the issue of compensation to which the speaker has no answer whatsoever. The speaker finally concludes her submission and ends on a much dull note.

Court Room 14

Applicant TC24. v. Respondent TC21

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

Receiving the permission of the judges, the counsel, quite visibly happy for some reason, begins with his submissions. He seems confident, and doesn’t feel the need to refer to his memo. Questions asked. Answered after a slight pause. Composure maintained. Judges are very very alert to every mention made to the compromis and memo. The argument stuck on this one point, where despite great efforts of the speaker the bench doesn’t seem convinced. ‘Trying to ask for other alternatives for the problem. I should say that the applicant is very prompt in answering that.’ My reporter seems to have a massive crush on this guy. Following are some more excerpts where he proves his infatuation: The judges are very active. Again asking for better alternatives going outside the moot problem. The speaker is very well aware of his arguments and the law. Further, the judges are doing a good job of letting him expound it properly . Answered a question referring to the clarifications. Judges are giving the speaker lucrative choices, as to if I give you this argument, would to agree to concede the other showing there is an inconsistency. Despite one retraction, the speaker is very convincing and articulate. The judges are picking words out of the speaker’s speech and pinning him on those. The counsel has sought the permission to leave the dias, but the judges asked him to wait and answer a few more questions.The speaker is perplexed and is trying to answer the questions in the best possible manner. So yeah, you get the idea how this went.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

A sip of water before starting off. Seems experienced. Or was it just because of the spicy bhindi? The speaker is very expressive with his hand gestures as well as his eye contact. Confidence level enough to scare off any opposition. Asked to lower his speed, complied. Asked the speaker to guide the judges through the memorandum while speaking. He is guiding them through all the proper treaties and his arguments. He seems very clear and organized. There’s a lot of discussion going on between the speaker and the bench. Seems they both see eye to eye on the issues, which seems to be working well for this team. Is trying to skip a part of a provision. The bench objects and he thereafter reads the entire provision. Questioning the jurisdictional competence in response to a question posed by the judges. Very quick and creative thinking. He’s asking the agent to come to the court with proper instructions, asking for a guarantee to which the speaker didn’t particularly agree. The judges pointed out a statement made by the speaker which he was unclear about. Again the judges pointed out a provision not invoked by the applicants in their memo. The speaker is trying to bring it again to his arguments. He is again giving the same argument to which the judges are not willing to agree. Moved on to next contention.  It’s an almost flawless argument, delivered just as flawlessly. However, the bench was successful in finding a problem in logic. Superman reference by Ishan Khanna. We miss this man in our college. 

Respondent (Speaker 1)

An organised speaker with just the right gestures, looking at the applicants when addressing their points, this speaker seems confident. Even when differing, she is respectful. Arguments are very logical but lack practical facts in the compromis as pointed out by the bench. The bench is posing a question with reference to the practical application of International Law regarding right of passage. Smiled while answering a question, due to failure to remember a particular term. The judges smiled too. Trying to appeal to the conscience and duty towards environment. Maneka Gandhi on the floor, ladies and gentlemen. A lot of smiles seem to be passing around between the teams and the judges. The reporter seems to be enjoying himself way too much. We had to text him to keep him from flowing into the mood of the courtroom. Failure to answer a couple of questions, reluctance to move to the next contention without satisfying this. Apologizing, took the compromis from the judges. The judges offered her this. Just to be clear, the PR Reporter is not offended this time. There was a dispute regarding the interpretation of facts and the judges took  a different view from that of the speaker. The dispute was left unresolved. The judges are getting strict with regard to time limit now. Probably they think it’s getting boring. Isn’t willing to leave the floor at all. The judges somehow sent her back. Why didn’t someone get those bouncers yet?

Respondent (Speaker 2)

Teams sharing water with each other. True spirit of an environmental law moot. The speaker is stuttering, seems underconfident and making little hand gestures. The second judge is getting more active now.  The speaker is pretty composed but there is little emphasis on important words or provisions. There is just one pitch and it’s getting boring. There are no points of clash either.  Time extension allowed but asked to be quicker. A considerable increase in speed after warning. Asked her to conclude. She’s still moving among the substantive provisions. In a gesture of sportsmanship, the opponent offered her a directory of some provisions which she already had. Help rightly declined. But goes on to show that they are not hostile towards each other. This proceeding is getting longer, and longer, and longer.The judges are getting dormant now, giving the speaker a lot more time to speak than they gave to the other two. To the immense relief of about 20 volunteers just waiting for this to end, the speaker was made to rest her case.

4:15 PM: The participants have anxiously gathered in the auditorum to find out who's made it to the quarterfinals. In no particular order, the quarterfinalist teams of the 9th HNMCC are:-

  1. University of Law and Legal Studies, GGS Indraprastha University 
  2. Christ Law School, Bangalore 
  3. National Law School of India University
  4. WB-National University of Juridical Sciences
  5. Symbiosis Law School, Pune 
  6. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University 
  7. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law
  8. Jindal Global Law School

5:00 PM: The quarterfinal rounds have begun! 


Court Room 1

TC 05 (Applicant) v. TC 23 (Respondent)

Jindal Global Law School v. West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

Fervor and enthusiasm looms around the speaker’s words as he enlightens the bench of the facts, for the third time today. He eloquently maneuvers around a question by saying that he will address it while discussing the next contention. The bench seems to have found a loophole in their interpretation of a legal provision and continues to interrogate him on the same. The then prevailing enthusiasm of the speaker, seems to have died down due to this. His attempt to substantiate his two-fold issue, unfortunately, remains an attempt. He follows a very well-structured line of argumentation throughout his submission, without losing his cool at any point of time. However, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the contention, the speaker is at a loss of words.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

Arguing two sides of a matter, back to back does take a toll on your brain. This can be seen when the applicant makes a statement which is in favour of the respondent. Her apology comes as promptly as the grin on the judges’ faces. Questions are being raised by the bench on laws as well as facts which aren’t answered satisfactorily by her. However, she doesn’t give up and shoots glances at her researcher, hoping she’d have some answers, but in vain. The questioning steadily steers towards the facts which form the crux of the contention. As she is unable to articulate her answers, she starts moving anxiously about the podium. After a point, she gives up and moves over to the prayer for relief, which is delivered with a new-found confidence.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The team’s memorial which is donned with a multitude of highlighters, doesn’t even miss one colour of the rainbow. The dramatic reading of the speaker amuses the judges. As he moves over to his first contention, with everything but pace, he is interjected by the bench on certain scientific facts. The speaker answers the question to the satisfaction of the bench. The poise and perfection displayed by the speaker is highly commendable. However, if the speaker had spent just a little lesser time harping on what was already established, he would've had more than four minutes left for his second contention. Fortunately, for the team, the bench gives him an extra three minutes to complete his contention. The analogy drawn by him, in the last few minutes, cracks up the judges.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker, with her soothing voice, dexterously avoids the questions raised by the bench by moving over to the ‘essential’ issues. But the bench clearly sees through this as the same question is raised for the second time. Their meticulous memorial comes to their rescue, yet again. The speaker characterises their stand on the issue effectively while making a strong case for the respondents. However, things start to go downhill when she starts with the fourth contention and the bench identifies a loophole in her argument. This hinders the parallel she drew in the previous contention. The keen bench continues to question her on a particular report mentioned in the memorial, to which the speaker continues to give equivocal answers. Like the droppings of the lapwing bird over the Republic of Aressia, the speaker silently wishes that the bench drops this interrogation.


Halfway through her rebuttal, the agent for the applicant took a long pause and regained her composure. Her concise statements were rebutted by the agent for the respondent for an even more concise reply.

Court Room 12

Team 26: Applicant v. Team 06: Respondent

School of Christ, Bangalore v. NLSIU

Speaker 1 (Applicants)

As soon as Speaker 1 approaches the dais she is bombarded with questions by the judges. Even though she isn’t able to answer some of these question, she doesn’t seem fazed and proceeds. The clock hasn’t even started ticking, and the Agent already has had to answer a plethora of questions, which she manages to do confidently, if not satisfactorily. Her composure is acting as a panacea to all the questions, suggestions and cross-firing from the Bench. While she is being questioned on her factual accuracy, the pressure building on her is visible. She seems to be dodging imperative questions with frivolous answers and the Bench is quick to spot and address the lacunae in her submissions. A few contentions are being raised repeatedly in her speech. Unfortunately, the questions by the Bench remain unanswered till the end of speaking time.

The judges have, thence, decided that no rebuttals will be entertained. This time is being used by the speaker to complete her arguments, in one last attempt to satisfy the judges with her contentions.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The second Speaker seems to possess a demeanour of confidence, poise  and ease. However, this initial picture begins to get distorted as the Bench begins to fire questions. Talking of the grave and eminent threat on the Applicant country, the Speaker himself takes a sudden grave tone. The dramatic effect a well as his contentions is still further being questioned by the Bench.

The judges ask the team to justify their stance and refuse to entertain a mere stating of facts. The question are being tackled with calmness, as the speaker is answering it in a two-fold manner. His structured way of answering is only proving to be a facade to the lack of substantive arguments. The dwindling in the number of birds being addressed by the speaker is getting mirrored in his dwindling confidence.

Going into the extra time provided, and wiping a bead of sweat off his forehead, he is taking onto his 4th contention. Putting a good fight against nervousness, he seems to be ‘citing’ and ‘referencing’ his way to statutes and a decent presentation of arguments.

The speaker has answered the questions of the Bench, while demonstrating his points with constant gesticulation, and elaborating on those pertinent to his case. He is finally concluding his contentions, after which the court will be taking a break for a few minutes.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

After a much needed break, the Speaker is approaching the dais seeming slightly hesitant. But she is eventually sailing through on a much more confident note, which is appearing to have satisfied the Bench.

While her co-agent seems uneasy, and the Applicant team can be seen indulging in serious deliberations, the speaker is moving on to put forth her second contention, with composure. Her simple explanations, and calm demeanour is quite appeasing.

Without any interjections by the Bench, the speaker has concluded her arguments with a lot of time to spare. The Bench has permitted the 2nd speaker to utilise the left over time.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

At the very outset Speaker 2 is being asked by the Bench to outline her arguments. The judges are questioning her about the accuracy of facts, and the Respondents’ interpretation of them. Her articulation is impeccable and her clarity of thought is quite impressive.

A series of questions are being targetted towards the speaker, which she is answers confidently, and her responses are being positively accepted by the judges. \

With 7 minutes left, she is quite evidently attempting to make concise arguments. The Bench acknowledging the effort is now posing questions only on the facet of law or fact that is especially pertinent to the instant case.

A difference in the arguments forwarded by the bench as well as those put forth by the speaker is stimulating a bilateral dialogue, which is taking up a substantial amount of time. Running out of time, Speaker 2 is requesting to conclude her arguments, but she has been granted 6 more minutes, as was granted to the Applicants. This time extension seems to be a relief, as the speaker is proceeding to her next contention. Finally after summarising her arguments, Speaker 2 has moved on to her prayer for relief. The Court is adjourned. While the judges seem content, the team members seem to be in the anticipation for the result.

Feedback session:

The judges are giving a very positive feedback to the teams. They are applauding the efforts that have been made on both sides, emphasising on the fact that they handled the questions on points of law exceptionally well. They are further highlighting the weaknesses that the teams should work on. The judges seem highly impressed by the advocacy skills of the members, and wish them well for their future endeavours.

Court Room 2

TC-24 : Applicant v. TC-14 : Respondent

Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law v. Symbiosis Law School, Pune

The judges have arrived. A lot of tension and anxiety in the air as the stakes are high now. The quarter final rounds are about to begin. The team which loses this round will be knocked out of the competition. We have a fair amount of audience witnessing the proceedings too. And we are live.

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The first speaker approaches the podium. Taking his time to settle. The speaker confidently lays down the structure with which he is going to approach his submissions. The speaker is cut in the middle of his arguments as the judges sought to clarify certain doubts regarding the facts enumerated. The speaker confidently deals with the same. The judges pose a stream of continuous questions towards the speaker assessing the speaker’s knowledge and clarity regarding the issues. The bench questions a certain sub-contention as they feel that the same is contradictory to their other submissions. Surprisingly, the speaker concedes and pleads to retract the whole sub-contention. The judge questions the speaker as to the propriety of amending the written submissions during the oral arguments. The speaker seems perplexed but somehow manages to answer the question. The speaker moves on with his submissions. The bench demands the speaker to establish the legal basis of his arguments however the speaker is unable to provide the same. Despite the constant grilling, the speaker seems to hold his composure. The judges continue to pose tough questions to the speaker and it seems that they are finally succeeding to break the speaker’s flow. The speaker is running out of time and asks for an extension. The judges disagree with the speaker on a certain point of law and ask for an authority to support his stand. The speaker fails to provide any. The speaker makes his final statements and concludes.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

The second speaker follows his teammate’s scheme and lays down the structure of his arguments. The judges have certain doubts regarding the speaker’s interpretation of a certain law and ask him to reiterate the said provision. A stream of questions follow and the bench questions the speaker’s knowledge of the law and its relevance to the factual scenario. The speaker is able to answer the queries posed by the bench. The judges seem to be mostly satisfied with the speakers explanations. The bench seems to be concerned about a certain point of law and considerably grills the speaker regarding the same. The judges attempt to throw the speaker off his track by vehemently posing questions. The Speaker seems to have lost his flow in the face of a barrage of pointed questions. However, he gathers himself and continues with his submissions.. Heated discussions follow. The bench continues to bombard the speaker with numerous questions. The speaker somehow manages to make his way through and the judges finally seem satisfied and ask the speaker to proceed to the prayer. The speaker concludes. This has truly been a roller coaster ride for the audience.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The first speaker from the respondent’s side is off to a shaky start and is greeted with a number of questions from the bench. The speaker struggles to answer. A stream of questions follow which leave the speaker confused and perplexed. The judges point out inherent flaws in her arguments. The speaker somehow manages to gather herself and tries to elaborate her arguments. The judges are either too satisfied with the argumentation or they have given up on the speaker as the bench is too quet by HNMCC standards.

The speaker struggles to answer the  questions posed by the bench.  The Bench questions her upon a particular precedent but she is unable  to adequately explain the factual context which gave rise to the said precedent. The speaker runs out of time and asks for an extension of two minutes. The bench graciously grants her three minutes instead in order to provide her with ample opportunity to substantiate her case.The speaker seems relatively more confident and concludes on a good note.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The speaker starts on a confident note but is soon bombarded with a plethora of questions from the bench which break her flow. The speaker regains her pace and makes her way answers the questions with relative ease. The grilling gets tougher as the bench starts to delve into the submissions in detail. The speaker struggles a bit at first but later she gains her confidence and succeeds in addressing the concerns of the bench. But the judges are not that easy to please. They pose tougher question which confuses the speaker. Still she somehow manages to make her way out of it. The judges seem to be concerned on a particular point of fact and pose questions to the speaker regarding the same. The speaker tries to clarify the point but the judges do not seem to be satisfied with her reasoning and ask her to proceed to the next contention. The speaker seems perplexed at the question posed by the judges. She takes a long pause and attempts to answer the question, but the judges are still not buying her argument. The judges point out a flaw in the speaker’s argument. A stream of questions follow. The bench finally asks the speaker to conclude her submission.


Speaker 1 approaches the podium for rebuttals. He seems confident from the beginning. He categorically rebuts the Respondent’s arguments by citing relevant authorities which support his  reasoning.


Speaker 1 approaches the podium for rebuttals. She concisely concludes her statement and the judges don't question her further.

Moot Court Hall 05

TC 12 (Applicants) v. TC 22 (Respondents)

Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University v. University of Law and Legal Studies, GGS IP

Speaker 1 (Applicants)

With hands at the back and fingers slightly moving, the first speaker of the applicants took the floor. A fluent and a composed speaker, albeit occasionally a little shaky; which is funny given his unusually still body language. An expected question on jurisdiction fired, fails to move him. The speaker looks well-rehearsed with his delivery. The speaker read for a while from a reference book and then answered one of the questions posed by the bench. The bench doesn’t seem to mind. The way he’s answering the questions shows his proper knowledge and understanding of the facts, made all the more effective  by his measured articulation.  The speaker seems to have an in-depth understanding of general international environmental law beyond the moot problem.

Questions posed from beyond the ambit of the submissions, perhaps to test the knowledge of law in the counsel, which failed to move him. Answered satisfactorily, continues with the submissions. Another expected question, another straight answer, and an authority. The bench look satisfied and allowed him to move to the next contention. The submissions of the speaker clearly show the reason why this team made it through the quarter finals. The sheer amount of authorities and ratio being cited show how well prepared this team is with their submissions. The placard showing ‘Time Over’ fails to budge the speaker and, surprisingly, the bench. Quite as confidently, he moved on with his arguments and ended with a respectful bow.

Speaker 2 (Applicants)

Unlike the first speaker, this speaker is showing certain signs of nervousness. Asked to be a little loud. He is stuttering in between and is also looking at the memo in between. He’s also going a little quicker. He is honest with his submissions in the sense that he did agree to the fact that deaths of some lapwings were due to the actions of his own client. Well, that’s a  first.

Reference to national decisions was made, which was justified taking into account the particular nature of the problem. At this point the judges do not look as enthusiastic as the beginning of the day, but still do not fail to grab every opportunity of poking holes in the speaker’s arguments. This speaker seems equally well aware of the facts as well as the ratio decidendi of international judicial decisions and frequently invokes them to put across his point.

Question pertaining to the contentious case, answered confidently. Maybe a little too respectfully, even to his opponents. All questions fail to budge him. The judges are equally aware of the facts of the judicial decisions invoked by the applicant and are posing questions to unsettle him, This is followed by the co-judges asking consecutive questions as well. He was still confident in answering all of them and the judges didn’t pry further. The bench is posing questions with regard to the expectant submission by the respondent. They fail to budge him. Respectfully ends the submission. (I hate how many times I had to use the word ‘respectfully’ in this submission. Remove random ‘respectfullys’)

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

Very stable with hands on the podium, the speaker started in the usual manner asking for the permission to state facts. The judges declined and asked her to move straightaway to the arguments.  She is referring to the memo even after two exhaustive rounds. Her emphasis on important phrases is evident, as is her stutter. She is practically reading from the memo. Another conceptual question, another well rehearsed answer. It would seem she has already faced this question in the previous rounds. The questions posed by the bench are good enough to displace her confidence and she is trying to get past the questions logically.  The follow up questions themselves show how unconvinced the judges are towards her arguments. She’s stumbling quite a bit while answering as if to recall the facts of the decisions she wishes to state. Moved on to the next issue. The courtroom has gone boring and the mood is reflective of the tiredness on the face of the participants, the judges and the live bloggers. The judges are prying the plain assertions of the speaker so as to grasp the depth of her knowledge. Her response is satisfying. Apologizes for not being able to answer a question pertaining to the Rio Declaration.  Invoked violation of fundamental human rights under Constitution, UDHR and ICCPR.  

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Not unlike the previous speaker, this speaker also continues to read out the submissions instead of presenting them. He, however, is doing it particularly slow. The speaker asserts that the applicants have wasted the time of the ICJ by coming to the court. The bench doesn’t seem to have taken it well. The statements made are vague. Using disability laws under Human Rights System to argue about the rule of exhaustion of local remedies. That’s brave. Did he just cite Justice Mishra about inalienability of human rights? The speaker seems to have lost any relevance or links to the moot compromis. He is evading questions and consistently pleading apology for not being able to produce documents or to even name them or using excuses like ‘facts are silent.’ His answers as well as arguments are very general and do not pertain directly to the questions asked. There is lack of precision in arguments. Standing in a position with legs crossed. He is also not clear on the facts and the judges are able to dispute him on the basis of the moot compromis. Okay, this guy just interrupted the judges, not once but almost thrice. But who are we to care? :P


He pointed out the actual dispute instead of the one argued by the respondent and clarifies on several points of law including negation of human rights such as right to privacy as invoked by the respondents. Very precise and stuck to the errors made by the respondent in their arguments. Finished in time.


Did not stick to the rebuttals made by the applicants. Justifying everything. Trying to make up for the damage done by her co-speaker.  

7:30 PM: The quarter-final rounds now draw to a close and the teams head back to catch up on some much needed rest. 

9:30 PM: Everyone makes their way to the new guest house for the Vice Chancellor's Gala Dinner. The spread looks inviting, but the anxious quarterfinalsts are more keen on the break results than the food! 

9:40 PM: The semi final results are declared by the Hon'ble Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Sukh Pal Singh. The semi final breaks, in no particular order are:-

  1. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law 
  2. School of Law Christ University
  3. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University 
  4. WB National University of Juridical Sciences 

12:00 PM: The long, exciting and action-packed day finally draws to a close. 


26th Sunday 2017

9:00 AM: The semi-final teams arrive at the auditorium for the draw of lots and the judges briefing for the semi final rounds go on simeltaneously. 

10:00 AM: The semi Final rounds have begun. 

Semi Finals


Team 26 v. Team 23

School of Law, Christ University v. National University of Juridical Sciences

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

It’s the Semi-Finals Round and the court has been set. The teams are ready for the round to start, and the atmosphere in the room is electric, but slightly tensed. The judges have just arrived, and the court is set in order. Speaker 1 is approaching the dais and outlining her arguments. She seems quite confident as she addresses the preliminary questions of the bench. The clarity of her concepts is visibly seen in the way she is articulating and laying down her points in great detail.

Leafing through her documents, the Speaker is trying to answer the questions of the bench in a satisfactory manner. There is a constant exchange of arguments between the speaker and the bench.

Ornamenting her arguments with gesticulations, she is now conceding to the fact that she is unaware of certain protocols, however this lacunae is covered up in her further arguments when she backs them with concrete facts.

The speaker, while arguing about the ‘due diligence that ought to be carried out,’ is also taking due care when addressing the bench, and her mannerisms are properly illuminating the court etiquette that ought to be maintained. She is now moving on to her second contention. Her arguments are structured, her manner is sharp, and her expression is crystal clear.

A few questions from the judges seem to stall her speech as she is looking for an appropriate answer to give. Simultaneously, her team members are also going through their notes for the same. Glancing at her team members, with her hand movement stopped in mid-air due to the charge of questions from the judges, she seems quite overwhelmed. On her inability to answer the said question, the question is passed on to the Respondent Team, who return the question with a crisp answer. The response by the team leaves her speechless for some seconds, but she regains her composure as she is now moving on to her further contentions.

The time runs out and she asks for no extra time and makes way for the second speaker with utmost grace.

Speaker 2 (Applicant)

Speaker 2 is approaching the dais with confidence and his manner seems calm and composed, supplementing that of his co-agent. Giving a blind eye to the discussions going on the Respondent’s table, the Speaker is continuing with his speech, substantiating his arguments with citations and backing the citations by relating them to the instant case. The Speaker is now addressing the questions by the bench. A certain document is being asked of them, which is then provided by the Respondents.

The speaker’s voice is resonating in the room, but is being frequently cut by the chain of questions that are being put forth at him. He seems to be losing his calm, which can be noticed in the change in his tone and temperament. Despite his repeated attempts at convincing the judges to accept his argument, the judges do not seem to be satisfied and continue posing questions. The bench is quick to note that the examples being submitted by the speaker are all restricted to a very narrow scope. The Speaker’s confidence seems to be dropping, like the drop in number of Red Wattled Lapwings.

A contention put forth by the speaker turns heads, as the bench seems quite unsatisfied. Unable to back his arguments with proper scientific research, he is bombarded with basic questions by the bench. A bilateral dialogue then ensued, which takes on a major portion of the speaker’s time.

The time is up, and the speaker is asked to conclude his arguments, which he does in a concise manner.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker’s mannerisms depicts not only his confidence, but also the clarity of his thoughts. Emphasising on every word, his eloquence is quite dramatic. His approach is quite structured and his initial submissions are being accepted by the bench without any interjections.

However, as soon as he moves on to his next contention, it is looking as if the judges have opened a pandora’s box of questions. However, he is able to handle all of them easily.

The calm and composure of one the judges is strikingly contrasted by the loud, albeit energy of the speaker. The question of ‘Reasonableness of Actions’ is being intensely discussed and the same seems to be exciting the speaker, as his gestures are becoming more frequent.

The speaker seems to well- versed with his facts, and he substantiates his arguments with requisite statutory provisions. This garners him appreciation in the way of nods from the judges.

Seeking permission to move on to his next contention, he is contesting the points of the applicants by highlighting that the respondents have focused on issues that are more pertinent in the instant case. The Speaker is substantiating his arguments by citing various authorities and judicial precedents and is drawing the attention towards the compendium he continuously supplies to the bench.

The judges seem impressed and satisfied with his submission as he concludes his speech on a confident note.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

The Speaker begins on a much softer and mellower tone, pretty much in contrast  to her fellow teammate. The judges continue to pose questions pertaining to both fact and law. The speaker calmly handles the same with confidence keeping her cool temperament.

The bench seems to be satisfied with the speaker’s submission as the frequency of questions coming from the bench has substantially decreased. She confidently sails through her arguments in a structured manner citing authorities and connecting the same to her arguments. The judges seem to have figured out a flaw in the speaker’s submissions. They start throwing continuous questions at the speaker which breaks the flow of the speaker and now she is trying hard to convince the judges to accept her understanding of the provisions.

This discussion goes on for a long time as the judges do not seem to be willing to move away from this point and continue to grill the speaker on the same. Finally the judges ask the speaker to move over to her next point.

The judges pose some more questions to the speaker which are dealt with by the speaker with utmost ease.

The speaker regains her flow and finally concludes her arguments in time. The judges seem to be satisfied.

Rebuttals, Sur-Rebuttals:

Speaker for the applicant team points out the various instances that the respondent mentioned in their speeches, and she is going on to elaborate reasons as to the applicants believe that the opponent’s contentions were fallacious. Her arguments are in supplemented with statutory authorities.

The speaker for the respondents disregards the contentions raised by the applicants in her rebuttals. In a very brief and concise manner, he addresses the bench, with the aim to satisfy them.



TC 12 (Applicants) v. TC 24 (Respondents)

Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University v. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law

The judges are respectfully ushered to their seats.

The Bench enquires about the time distribution allocated to these court proceedings. They begin perusing the written submissions of the applicant’s with much interest.

The court clerk took the prior permission from the bench and initiated the proceedings.

Speaker 1 (Applicant)

The speaker exudes confidence as he begins his substantive arguments. The speaker is faced with a barrage of questions which he is able to answer exhaustively. However, pertinent conceptual issues are being raised. Like are you an agent or a counsel?

The bench is not giving room to the speaker as they’re continuously questioning the speaker on general principles of Public International Law and even specific technical aspects of the written submissions.

The judge has taken control of the proceedings; the court proceedings seem like a regular viva voce examination.

Irrespective of such detailed questioning by the bench, the speaker retains his composure.

The judge is linking other provisions of UNCLOS and asking the speaker to satisfy his case with reference to those provisions. It seems like the speaker had more or less anticipated these questions. The Bench is dictating the flow of the discourse.  

The bench raises doubts regarding the depiction of facts as stated by the speaker. The bench enquires the specific paragraph in the moot compromis which has been relied on.

After the bell was rung by the court clerk signifying that time’s up, the judges gave an extension of 3 minutes. It’s very unlikely that this will get over in 3 minutes.

The Applicant cites a landmark judgment in support of his claims however the bench questions the applicability of the judgment to the relevant factual scenario. The bench believes that the judgment is contrary to the arguments of the speaker.

The judges didn’t allow any more extension although the other issues weren’t over. The judge stated that even if the speakers are unable to address some of the issues, the bench has already assessed them depending on their previous submissions.

Speaker 2 (Applicant).

The judges’ questions have slightly shaken the confidence of the speaker, which is ascertainable from how the agent has increased the pace and reduced the substance of his arguments.

The bench called one of the arguments ‘iffy’ stating that the act of non-state actors is attributable to the state since the state had positive obligations to ensure observance of international obligations, which it failed to do.

The agent is addressing the entire bench and is not focusing on only one of them. Looks like he is very well versed with basic rules of mooting.

The lady judge just asked a very basic question about the moot problem, which is a preparation for the next question. She is trying to dismiss the speaker's arguments and the agent is facing certain difficulties in establishing his contentions.

The bench is strictly asking the speaker to only stick to very specific legal arguments.

The Bench questions the applicability of VCLT when invoked by the speaker.

The bench has shook the confidence of the speaker by seeking to entrap him into a mess of circular arguments.

The lady judge interfered and asked a question regarding the time span of the kite flying festival.

The judge is interpreting the facts in a manner, different from the speaker and then asking hypothetical question. The speaker’s time lapses.


Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The speaker gears up and prepares himself for the onslaught that is about to follow as he steps up to the dias, after just having witnessed the bench’s intricate understanding of the matter at hand. As the speaker starts his address, he is caught by the judges on a particular point after having only spoken two sentences. He is still trying to get out of the cage he created for himself, as the judge keeps on raising questions to which all the speaker can do is make a poker face.

The bench looks like a 3 barrel gun, of which only one is being reloaded often. The active participant of the bench has asked the agent to quote the relevant law, however, not having access to Mike Ross’ photographic memory, the speaker is left to follow a simple trial and error method, most of the times ending up as an error.

A rare satisfactory nod from the bench can be seen as the speaker tries to move quickly to the next contention to avoid another barrage of questions, but is stopped abruptly by another question, to which the speaker seems to be unable to find the correct answer, having already tried multiple times. The judge asks the speaker to stop beating around the bush, in a euphemistic manner, and give the answer to the point raised. A rare reload for the other judges leads to the speaker turning his eyes to the other side of the bench, and still find himself unable to tackle the problems in his argument pointed out by the bench. Facing a basic question with regard to the meaning of the word ‘intention’, the speaker regains some of the confidence which had passed on to neverland long ago.

The lady judge has started taking over the questioning, and right now, it looks like a version of The Expendables, with a female character calling the shots, complete with the cool dialogue. The speaker is asked to move on to his next contention as a look of unconvinced disappointment passes through the bench.

The heat is rising as the speaker gets a rare uninterrupted spell and tries to get across as much as possible before being stopped by yet another question. The judges keep on pointing out the loopholes in the speaker’s contentions and, from the frequency of such questions, it looks like there may well be more loopholes than actual matter.

Speaking about technicalities involving ‘Sonic Detection Devices’ and the ‘Pipelines’ the agent runs out of time as the bell of inevitability goes off. He is granted a further 2 minutes to conclude his arguments, and looks a little flustered as he tries to finish his address, all the while answering the questions that the judges keep shooting at him. He must have some form of Wolverine’s regenerative abilities, as one can doubt how it might be possible to take so many shots and still reach the finish line!

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Before the address begins, the judge clears up the issue of time allotment going right down to the minute to ensure that the respondent side does not get any more time than the applicant side. The speaker looks confident and starts in an articulate manner laying down the road-map that he would follow in his address.

As the first words he speaks are ‘The Doctrine of Necessity…’, he is stopped right on that point by the active judge as he questions the very relevance of the doctrine to this case. However, the speaker is able to convince the judges of his contention very quickly and the bench indicates its affirmation on the matter. The speaker is told to move on to his next contention. The whole of his first contention took about 2 minutes, which cannot help but make one think if this was merely a trailer of what is yet to come.

As the arguments move on to dealing with ‘what should have been…’ or ‘what could have been…’, the judges quickly catch the speaker on the said point, and ask him to make concrete submissions which are not purely based on conjecture. The speakers arguendo is being questioned as the judges feel that the alternative arguments fail to provide a viable solution to the matter at hand. As the speaker tries to prove a point with respect to his side’s contention on the culling of birds, he is faced with a question about a certain ‘virus’. This is giving off an ‘I am Legend’ vibe as the discussion goes deep into the topic of the virus and the timeline regarding the same.

The speaker tries to get some time to collect his thoughts by diverting the attention of the judges to the compromis, and can be seen looking down and taking a deep breath, continuing his speech without any reference to the page he invited the judges to look at. This tactic is caught on with by the bench almost immediately and they jump into the ring and play their hand in this game. We reach economical points of discussion as the bench questions the viability of the actions proposed by the speaker with reference to the economy of the nations in question. The speaker instantly tries to lead the bench to certain exceptions, which the bench clearly feels do not apply to the issue at hand.

The speaker gives up on the line of argument, and adopts an alternative range of reasoning to get his point across to the bench. This tactic finally results in one gesture of acceptance by one of the judges, though the clarification sought by the judge is seemingly not satisfactorily dealt with by the speaker. The speaker introduces the concept of ‘Acts done by a private citizen’ to further strengthen his contention, and tries to direct the attention of the bench to certain clauses in the compromise. The judges seem to be satisfied with the method of using the clauses and facts as the base of the argument without many assumptions.

The speaker is asked to proceed to his last contention which gives rise to a compelling discussion with regard to the balance between the ‘Precautionary Principle’ and the ‘Principle of Objective Responsibility’. The speaker tries to subtly indicate the incompetence of the Court in certain matters that they lead the questioning to. The speaker expresses that he is almost finished with his contentions, and asks the judges for permission to go back to his first contention, to which one of the judges reminds him that they had already agreed to that contention, but he can deal with it if so wishes. The speaker chooses to deal with the contention, and runs out of time right in the middle, prompting one to think if he should have left it alone altogether. The bell goes and the speaker proceeds to his seat as the judges ask the participants to step out of the Courtroom for a few minutes.

12:30 PM: Lunch is served! Post the completion of the semi-final rounds, teams make their way to the dining area.  

1:00 PM: The semi final results are annouced at the mini theatre. Everyone waits with bated breath to find out which two teams have made it to the finals. The finals will be held between WB National University of Juridical Sciences and Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law. 

2:00 PM: The judges for the final round arrive and the are briefed prior to the rounds. 

2:32 PM: The court is in motion! The final rounds for the 9th HNMCC have begun. Exciting!!


Final Rounds

We are live blogging from the auditorium! 


2:32 PM The judges for the final event have arrived. The participants for the final are seated in anticipation of the rounds. Excitement is palpable on everyone’s face.

2:36PM: The court has been declared in motion by the court clerk. The agent takes the permission of the bench and says that he will be dealing with the first two contentions and will take 20 minutes.

He brings forth an argument under 79(1) empowering the state of Aressia to lay pipelines. Confusion on which country, as the speaker fumbles on whether to say Aressia or Boressia.  He refers to a clarification issued on whether or not an EIA was conducted and states that the maintenance of the pipelines was conducted by a British Company. The speaker then continues explaining Art. 79. He  Concedes and agrees that marine organisms have died, but says that it is irrelevant to the permission granted to lay transit pipelines. Fumbles a little with tiny ‘ahns’ and ‘uhs’ but then continues with his emphatic submissions.

The agent attempts to establish the fact that a legal relationship existed between Boressia and Aressia, and that withdrawal of permission would be a violation of the principle of Pacta Sunt Servanda.

2:42 PM: The agent moves on to the second contention, whether placement of the sonic detection devices was a violation of International Law.

He contends that the sonic detection devices were placed in furtherance of due-dilligence and that that Aressia does not require to explicitly obtain the consent from the state of Boressia.

2:44PM: First question! The bench wishes to know what absolves Aressia from the legal responsibility for the loss of marine life caused due to the liquification of natural gas, and its subsequent leaks.

The agent attempts to answer it by citing a case, and talks about a nexus between rights and obligations. Gets the name of the third country (Burmessia) wrong. The agent then goes on to talk about the strategic importance of this pipeline to the country of Aressia.

The speaker talks about UNCLOS Articles 2 and 3 and talks about the word ‘devices’, and whether consent is mandatory for their placement. He continues harping on the fact that placement of sonic devices is just prevention in nature, quotes gapchiko (Hungary v. Slovakia) case.

2:50: At 2:50 PM, the first speaker concludes with 5 minutes to spare.

2nd Speaker (Applicant)


2:51PM: The speaker starts off on a confident note and has a very basal and interesting voice. He begins with the issue of the kite-flying festival. That is causing the death of numerous Red Wattled Lapwings. The agent talks about Article.1 of the  ICESCR, to stress upon the cultural importance of the kite flying festival. Maybe the judges didn’t look too interested because he got the article wrong.

2:54: Two minutes have elapsed and the speaker finally moves on to the ‘massacre’ of the birds and eventually cites the Corfu Channel Case.

2:57: The agent frantically attempts to look for something in his memo, but the judges interject and ask to remember it without the memo eliciting laughs from the audience.

2:59: He moves on to the second sub-contention and talks about the Articles of State Responsibility. He talks about violation of primary obligations which lead to the deaths of numerous people (and cattle, but he didn’t mention it- whatever happened to crusading for animal rights?) in Boressia. He then distinguishes between the actions of individual parties and state parties, or those acting under the authority of the state. The clerk informs the room they have ten minutes left.

3:07: The agent attempts to complete his speech and asks for permission to move on to the prayer. The judge interrupts him and asks him to justify Aressia blaming deaths on the insecticide.

3:10: The speaker explains the facts to the judges with a slight (Not really, tremendous) bias towards the applicant state. He talks about the use of fertilizers indiscriminately by the state of Boressia and says that they have failed in EVERY DEGREE and EVERY ARGUMENT. The judge asks under which law or acts are the applicants in the present case demanding compensation. The agent responds but the judge refuses to buy his explanation stating that his law point only covers domestic law and not international law. As he attempts to complete answers to his question, the time runs out. The PR Committee wonders why he didn’t ask for an extension, but perhaps the bell saved him as he didn’t seem to have an answer. His submissions were put forth wonderfully, and the agents certainly did a fine job representing the state of Aressia.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

The rumours have it at HNMCC that the first speaker of the respondent team is an utterly eloquent speaker. He starts off by greeting the bench and spaces his words very precisely. He says he will speak for 22 minutes, and cover issue I and II.

He takes permission to skip the facts and move directly to arguments. Permission granted. He says that the Boressia has not violated any international obligations by withdrawing the permission to lay the pipelines and quotes someone whose name sounded like a Chinese rapper to our bloggers.  He draws the attention of the Bench to page for the respondent compendium which quotes Article 79, and says that the state of Boressia has the responsibility and the right to protect the marine environment as per the very same Article that the applicants were arguing upon.

The speaker seems to like quoting from a variety of documents. The bloggers will now be counting the number of times he says ‘I quote’. Three as of now.

He explains that the release of the liquefied natural gas into the high seas led to the death of a lot of marine organisms and calls it an ‘utterly negligent act’. He then says he’ll read out Article 196 for the benefit of the entire court. Thanks agent.

He seems genuinely angry by the submissions made by the applicant and starts emphatically appealing to the bench as to why his side is better; Reducing his voice to dramatic loud whispers at times, he says that they ABUSED (read in a dramatic voice) the right to lay pipelines by causing pollution in the high seas.

He also talks about a British ship having better capability than the ships of Aressia. Oh god, when will we get rid of this colonial attitude? Not cool.

The agent now moves to the standards required under the due diligence principle and says that the standards haven’t been met by the applicant state. He asserts very vehemently that they have been negligent and careless in their conduct.

3:25: The bench rightly points out that the leak wasn’t caused due to negligence. He therefore asks for a legal provision under the UNCLOS to prove strict liability.

The speaker attempts to answer this question with what seems to be his favorite catchphrase for the entire speech- ‘The applicant state has been NEGLIGENT’.  The speaker attempts to refer the bench to the compendium, but they ask him to explain it himself, perhaps realizing that he’s trying to evade the question. The PR committee will also now count the number of times that the speaker uses the word negligent.

‘Subsequent to this pumping incident’ starts off the speaker’s second contention. He rightly points out that Aressia did not seek the consent of the coastal state before laying sonic detection devices and refers the bench to the compendium with regards to this. He also refers to the respondent memo as the ‘file with the red paper’. Great description, we must say.

The speaker now moves on to explain that sonic detection devices amount to military devices. Goes on to talk about placement of SDDs and says something about bubbles which the committee does not follow. Harps on the consent point. This is probably a winning point, because it was pretty random on the part of Aressia to install whatever they felt like without bothering to inform Boressia.

The speaker is also concerned with the cause of Dolphins. He says that the sonic detection devices interfere with their communication. Apparently, he spoke to a dolphin about it before he got here (through sonic waves). At the PR Committee, we wish we could speak to dolphins too. Maybe we’ll enlist his help.

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

Speaker 2 starts off by taking the permission of the bench before approaching. Her voice is surreal and it feels almost automated. She asks if the bench has any queries for the team. The judge jovially replies that they would have questions only after she’s made her submissions.

The speaker starts off by explaining state responsibility and international obligation. She quotes the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the conservation of migratory species. She says that states are required to take steps to ensure that threatened species do not dwindle further in numbers.

The compendium of the respondent apparently has over 200 pages. No wonder they want to refer to it so much.

She compares the cultural right to hold the kite festival and the right of the Boressian farmers. Even though the kite flying festival is a cultural right, she says that Boressia merely has a problem with the glass coated strings of the kites. Question arises whether the dwindling number of Lapwings due to the kite-flying festival is an admitted fact or a disputed fact?

The bench asks the respondent side to substantiate the claim that the kite-flying festival has led to a significant decline in the Lapwing population. The judge rightly points out that the kite-flying happens only twice a year, once in April and once in May.  She says that the number of birds dying have been exponentially increased due to the kite-flying festival.

The researcher is sitting silently and listening to her teammate. She seems to agree with all of the arguments put forth by the team.

The speaker very smartly makes a distinction between occurrences prior to the spread of H6N2. This is a winning move as she manages to pin responsibility on Aressia even prior to the spread of the H6N2 virus.

3:50 The speaker moves to her second submission about Ramu Stunt Disease. She attempts to make a distinction between farmers conduct and state actions. She rightly points out the benezelene is used commonly in all pesticides and while there may be a causal link in the present case, the state of Boressia could not have possibly foreseen it. She provides a WHO scientific report on the transmission of avian influenza to state that Boressia cannot be possibly held liable for the events that occurred. How authoritative is this report?

The speaker moves on to explain the standards of due-diligence towards trans-boundary harm and quotes the Corfu Channel case and says that benezelene per se isn’t a harmful substance and correctly points out the lack of the analysis from the side of the applicants about it.

She says that the avian flu spreads only during certain activities such as butchering and de-feathering, multiple times. Why does she hate butchers so much? The judge asks her a question and she answers by saying that she understands his concern and refers to the bench to the nature of benezelene, but fumbles a little on the question. We don’t blame her, no one reads about benezelene or collects facts on it for fun.

4:02: The speaker wraps up her arguments beautifully and presents the prayer.

4:02: Applicants present their rebuttal. The speaker states that the decision has to be given on facts and law. He says that he has two primary rebuttals.

Applicant Rebuttal

The applicant states that the respondents read the facts superficially and explains why he thinks so. He requests a small extension to complete the rebuttal as time has run out and he is granted the same. The judges are seen nodding at the rebuttals of the applicant in agreement.

The speaker also talks about benezelene being evaporated on air. He disagrees and states that it will cause harm to the environment as an active ingredient in the pesticide. The judges ask the teams to stop talking about benezelene.

4:04 Respondent Rebuttal: Not backing down on the point of benezelene, the speaker says that the causation link is broken because avian flu cannot be transmitted to people except in extremely specific circumstances. She is unfazed by the judge telling her that the benezelene point is irrelevant, replies with ‘I understand your concern’ and continues with grace. Finally, the rebuttals come to an end concluding the final rounds of HNMCC’17.   

5:00 PM: The stage is all set for the valedictory ceremony of HNMCC 2017. The packed audience is waiting for the arrival of the dignitaries, and the hosts request everyone to place their mobiles on the silent mode.  

5:06 PM: The dignitaries have arrived. The hosts begin the valediction by requesting everyone to rise for the National Anthem played by a live band. Listening to it is absolutely surreal. 

5:10 PM: The Hon'ble dignitaries on the dias are felicitated. The guests for the Valedictory function are:-

  1. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, Cheif Justice, High Court of Chhattisgarh 

  2. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, Judge, High Court of Chhattisgarh 

  3. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, Judge, High Court of Chhattisgarh 

  4. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Chandra Bhushan Bajpai, Judge, High Court of Chhattisgarh 

  5. Hon'ble Vice Chancellor of HNLU, Prof. (Dr.) Sukh Pal Singh 


5:20 PM: The Hon'ble Vice Chancellor delivers a welcome address and enumerates the need to conserve and protect the environment. 

5:40 PM: Student Coordinator of HNMCC'17, Mr. Gokul Gopakumar presents the report of HNMCC. 

5:47 PM: The Cheif Guest for the function, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, High Court of Chhattisgarh delivers his speech to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Everyone enjoyed every moment of his thought-provoking and humorous speech. 

6:05 PM: Dr. Kaumudhi Challa, Advisory Committee, 9th HNMCC goes on stage to declare the results. Everyone watches excitedly. 


Winners of the 9th Justice Hidayatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition: WB National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS). The team comprising of Rashika Narain, Manjari Rathore and Vinayak Chawla is awarded certificates, individual trophies, a team trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 25,000. 

Runners up of the 9th Justice Hidayatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition: Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL).  The team comprising of Abhishek Misra, Dilraj Bhinder and Vijay Mishra is awarded certificates, individual trophies, a team trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 15,000. 

Best Speaker goes to Anjali Agarwal from University of Law and Legal Studies, GGS Indraprastha University. She is awarded a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 7,500.

Best Memorial goes to Symbiosis Law School, Pune. The team comprising of Sanyukta Saraf Sunanda Reddy and Aashima Bhatia is awarded certificates and a cash prize of Rs. 7,500.

Best Researcher goes to Aashima Bhatia from Symbiosis Law School, Pune. She is awarded a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 7,500.


6:10 PM: Mr. Mohammed Atif Khan, Faculty Coordinator, 9th HNMCC presents the vote of thanks. 

6:14 PM: The national anthem is played by the band once again and the valedictory ceremony is concluded. 

8:30 PM: Dinner is served! 

9:30: The DJ stand is set up and everyone is ready for a good party after three days of hard work! Everyone puts on their dancing shoes and fancy clothes to head out for HNMCC's after party, Lextronica. 


12:30 AM: HNMCC'17 concludes. 

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