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An estimated 12-minute read

Mooting Premier League Super Sunday: Live blog from Mumbai DM Harish finals & 3 more

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15:53 GNLU International Moot Court Competition finals have just kicked off before a 7-strong bench – Nalsar Hyderabad faces off against last year’s winners George Washington University. Nalsarites Anusha Simha, Mandavi Singh and Chitra Rentala battle it out against Americans Jeremiah Newhall and Sean C Williamson, beating NLSIU Bangalore and NLU Jodhpur respectively in the semi-finals.

15:56 Other moots today are ULC Bangalore and Surana & Surana corporate law moot. If you’re present of either of those two, please SMS us updates to +91 900 405 6651 or send a tweet to @legallyindia or leave a comment below…

16:10 DM Harish of course is one of India’s most prestigious domestic moots, organised by the ever excellent GLC Mumbai. The MPL classes it as a Tier 3 Elite Class moot alongside the BCI moot, Jessups North and South rounds, Henry Dunant and Stetson qualifiers. 20 points are awarded for best team, with 10 for the runners-up and each individual citation. Semi-finalists too bag 5 points each. A win without any citations here would put RGNUL or GNLU into fifth place ahead of NLIU Bhopal in the MPL.

16:14 Over in Gandhinagar GIMC, George Washington University (GWU) have finished their applicant arguments. The Nalsar respondents, and particularly their second speaker, is now getting grilled by a WTO director and the judges, struggling to hold ground. The topic of the moot is International Trade Law and Public International Law, this year focusing on trade, with aspects of space, investment and migration law (check out the moot problem here).

16:21 At GIMC, GWU is now giving its rebuttals after Nalsar second speaker just closed.

16:30 Submissions are over, judges are scribbling avidly and will deliberate. Results to be announced after tea. The WTO director development division, Shishir Priyadarshi, is having informal conversation with Nalsar team. The other judges are Ms. Krista, Professor from University of Basel, Switzerland, Dr. Christian Haberli, Senior Research Fellow, NCCR Trade Regulation, WTI, Hon’ble Justice M.B. Shah, Retired Supreme Court judge, Dr. S.K. Verma from Indian Society of International Law, Delhi, Ms. Moushami Joshi, Partner, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, New Delhi and Mr. Bimal Patel, Director, GNLU.

16:36 At GIMC, the VC and Ms Krista from Switzerland have now cornered the Washington team and are chatting away. At this tier 4 National Challenger moot Nalsar could bag 15 points as best team and is guaranteed at least 8 for the runner-up spot, so a change in the MPL lead is certain with NUJS only one point ahead of Nalsar.

16:39 In a picture of harmony which would seldom be seen between Indian mooting rivals (kidding!), GWU and Nalsar are now chatting amiably and leaving to take tea together. How civilised!

17:12 Team MPL Live Mumbai is just about to head to the Mumbai University convocation hall, where the DMH moot will start at 6. The GIMC results should be out just before then and we’ll be sure update.

17:47 Team MPL just settled in at DMH – RGNUL speakers Sourabh Rath and Sukriti Slehria are facing off against GNLU’s speakers Preseedha Premnath and Prerana Chaudhari and researcher Prajwala Lagali. 3 versus 2 but RGNUL don’t seem unsettled despite frantic last minute finishing touches. GNLU’s Prerana tells Legally India that she’s very excited about the judging – 5 Bombay High Court judges will be grilling them on surrogacy law.

At GIMC the results are just about to be announced – apparently it was very tough making a call, says the WTO’s Pryadarshi (but don’t judges always say that?).

17:51 According to a comment just in RMLNLU is up against NLU Jodhpur in the finals of the Surana Corporate moot this MPL Super Sunday. Both teams are waiting for results there – not sure about ULC Bangalore though – any update on who has a chance of winning there?

17:54 At GIMC the dignitaries are waxing about pet subjects: ISRO’s Shashank Navalgund talks about technical space law details, while Verma from the Indian Society of International Law is apparently telling national law schoolites to go to join the bar. Has there been a single moot or event at a national law school where someone does not beg the students to join the bar?

17:59 GLC DMH is kicking off. Bombay HC judges DY Chandrachud, BR Gavai, RS Dalvi, Ranjit More and RY Ganoo step up to the bench, everyone else stands. 28 teams participated from across the world, according to a handy GLC press release.

The Mumbai Univ convocation hall is gorgeous by the way – anyone been here? Will try to upload some photos in a bit…

18:02 RGNUL’s Rath starts his submission. Chandrachud smiles, in his present role as head honcho  of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

18:04 “There is no treaty governing surrogacy as such,” complains Chandrachud to Rath who successfully convinces “His Excellency” that there is a case under some European treaties on this – acoustics get lost a little in the back of a hall alas.

18:08 The case, explains Rath, is about a surrogacy contract entered into between Garundian citizen Janet to deliver the a child Robert - to the surrogate parents - her sister Jane and her husband John Botisa. They all live in Bolita, it seems. Politics got involved and Janet came under pressure not to hand over Robert, who was born in Garundi. [Download GLC DM Harish moot problem. Republic of Bolita (where the couple is based) is the applicant (RGNUL) and Garundi (where the birth mother is based) is the respondent (GNLU).]

The husband John the filed for specific performance of the surrogacy contract in a Bolita court. The court ruled ex parte in favour of the couple. Janet counterfiled in Garunda and Bolita that she could not be compelled to travel and hand over the child, that was a Garundan citizen. John, just for good measure, then threw in a kidnapping criminal charge too for the mooters.

18:06 After two judges throw a spanner into the work – What about the best interests of the child? - Rath argues to strong head-nodding from the bench that the ICJ hearing the case is in the best interests of the child.

18:18 Breaking at GIMC in Gujarat: RMLNLU Lucknow wins best memorial, Rs 6,000 cash prize, law dictionary and Luthra internship. Best speaker goes to GWU’s Jeremiah Newhall, who wins a hefty tome on finance law.

18:23 GIMC results: Nalsar beaten by Washingtonians but still takes 8 points in MPL and the lead.  Nalsar gets 20,000 bucks for its efforts, not bad, plus books, Luthra internship. GWU on the other hand gets 35k. NLSIU and NLU Jodhpur both get 4 points in the MPL for making it to the semis. This would put Nalsar seven points ahead of former MPL leader NUJS. NLSIU would still be in fourth after this, behind NLU Delhi which has quite a chunky lead…

18:32 Sorry for the RMLNLU typo – but does anyone else think there are too many acronyms in India law school life these days (or is India just too fond of making everything into an acronym?). LI MPL, out.

18:35 I have completely lost the thread of arguments at DMH Mumbai meanwhile – RGNUL’s second speaker Slehria has started speaking – good delivery and I think female voices carry a little better in this cavernous Mumbai Univ hall than a deeper male voice. Possible advantage for the all-female GNLU team?

18:38 The birth mother, argues RGNUL, is using local pressures as an excuse not to deliver child. Chandrachud not impressed – asks whether there’s a treaty obligation under int law to deliver the child. In the absence of a bilateral treaty, extradition is only applied to crimes, not to children or surrogacy. Wham – how will RGNUL react?

18:41 Slehria back on track although Justice Dalvi also doubts applicability of criminal law here.

18:46 Innovative line of argument by Slehria, arguing criminal theft of the biological parents’ genetic materials therefore warranting extradition, if I follow correctly.

image 18:47 Here’s a picture of the Mumbai Univ convocation hall. Sorry about the bad mobile phone quality, real camera is having some connectivity issues at the moment.

18:49 RGNUL is done with arguments, cut short of time. Judges take a couple of minutes deliberating – and seem to be sharing a bit of a joke.

18:52 GNLU’s Premnath starts submissions, wanting to argue that the respondent state courts have jurisdiction. But the bench interjects: They want to know, says Chandrachud, does the ICJ really have any role to play at all? This is really an area that is only private national law – how do you define the extent of our jurisdiction on something that is essentially private or criminal law?

Premnath has clearly prepared for this challenge and seems to satisfy the bench with a Swiss case citation. Good delivery.

19:00 Should have probably linked to this earlier: GLC DM Harish moot problem. Republic of Bolita (where the couple is based) is the applicant (RGNUL) and Garundi (where the birth mother is based) is the respondent (GNLU).

19:05 Premnath submits that jurisdiction should be granted to the national laws because the ICJ making a decision would be against public policy, which stems out of the basic bond between mother and child.

19:08 GNLU second speaker Chaudhari starts, focusing on the principle of the best interest of the child. She relies on the UN declaration of the rights of the child, to which 192 countries are signatories. She will set out to prove that the best interest of the child would best be served by staying in Garundi. Chaudhuri’s argument, on emotive lines, is that the gestation period of the mother bearing the child is much more important than the genetic parents, citing medical academic journal evidence.

19:14 The bench wants to know: If a woman enters into an agreement with another to hand over child, then goes against it, how is it in the best interest? Chaudhari’s first answer, Chandrachud says, “is very theoretical”. Take two by Chaudhari. Argues that it is natural for a mother to change her feelings towards the child and could not possibly know what type of agreement she was entering into.

image 19:17 Over in Gujarat, the Washington Uni winners seem very happy at having won GIMC (see pic right, and thanks to Rohan Lavkumar for sending in!).

19:20 Back at GLC, Justice Dalvi and the rest of the bench are proving tenacious and really want to know how the gestation mother could go against the contractual arrangement. Chaudhuri keeps her cool and throws citations and evidence at the bench but are the judges impressed? If the interjections are any indications, perhaps not but you never can tell.

19:30 RGNUL’s turn now, Rath re-examines the issues…

19:36: GNLU’s Chaudhari wants a rebuttal of five minutes to RGNUL’s “accusations”. Chandrachud agrees to 30 seconds for a rebuttal. Time is ticking.

19:38 Ok, all done, submissions over, the judges will have to take their call, winners will presumably be announced after tea in a little while…

19:40 The GNLU team is relieved it’s over but it ain’t over yet: It could go either way and RGNUL had been doing really well, the two GNLU speakers say.

19:44 Time for the obligatory statements of thanks and other niceties… Could take a while…

19:51 Am getting calls to hurry up and write the results of DMH. I’d be happy to take bets on how long the thanking will take. I think another 15 minutes… Anil Harish of the DM Harish memorial trust just promised the students a night on the town, with champagne and cigars. Nice.

19:57 Prof Sanay Kadam, chairman of the moot court association said this year 13 international teams participated in DMH GLC Moot this year – next year, he wants it to be 30 international teams! Wow, if that does happen the MPL may have to upgrade DMH to Tier 1! (please send abuse and complaints about this to the usual email addresses)

20:02 Ok, all bets are off and I revise my estimate – full CVs of every judge being read out now, results could still be a half-hour and judges wearing pokerfaces, impossible to tell who they picked. Chandrachud now giving valedictory address – he’s been a judge for 11 years in a row now at DMH.

20:12 Guess what Chandrachud is talking about: a) Lawyers are not getting paid enough, b) More people should be joining law firms, or c)? Come on everyone, listen to the judge and join the bar! It’s fun!

20:17 Chandrachud says he can’t accept cigars and champagne from Mr Harish! Certificates of participation now being handed out – the moment of truth is almost here.

20:19 Teams walking up to collect their certificates, very international. So I’ll add an earlier soundbite from semi-finalists Georgia Boyce and Eamonn Kelly, two Juris Doctors from the University of Melbourne, who lost to GNLU in the semis. Boyce said it was her first time in India and first time at an international moot and it was “fabulous – really amazing” and phenomenal organisation. Plus, Indian mooting teams inspire fear. “India certainly has the reputation to be very excellent speakers and very good at mooting, we were a bit intimidated,” she added, having told some friends she was to be mooting in India.

20:28 All teams have collected their certificates. First announcement: First and second-best research papers go to four students from GNLU – S Harish and Arunima getting the top prize. ILS Pune was third-best.

20:33 Now for the moot prizes: Best researcher, NLSIU Bangalore, runner-up RGNUL. 10 MPL points for NLSIU…

20:34 GLC wins best memorial! 10 points.

20:36 Harvard Howard University Washington bags best speaker – massive applause, one audience member shouts “he was awesome!”.

20:37 Breaking: GNLU’s won DM Harish, RGNUL got the runner-up prize! The trophy is HUUUGE! Plus the winners get Rs 30,000…

image20:42 Photo of GNLU winning speakers.

20:45 Premnath tells Legally India that she is speechless about the win (unusual for a mooter, surely?) and Chaudhuri adds that she is very very excited. Premnath says: “We weren't really expecting this. We were expecting to fight really hard and we did, but we thought there were so many other better teams. And winning it amongst so many international teams is great.”

21:19 Everyone’s now eating at GLC (with an afterparty soon to move onto nearby nightclub Redlight) but other results are now coming in too…

21:20 Breaking: Surana Corporate Moot held at JSS Law College Mysore, NLU Jodhpur bags the win for best team! RMLNLU Lucknow gets the runner-up position, with ILS Pune and School of law, Christ University as semi-finalists. Best speaker was Karnisingh Rajora from NUALS Kochi and best memorial went to ILS Pune. Results confirmed by JSS student convenor Himendra Karantik Simha. More updates soon.

22:10 Breaking: ULC Bangalore results: UILS Punjab best team, followed by CMR Law College Bangalore. NLIUimage Bhopal and GLC Ernakulam were in the semi-finals. HNLU Raipur won best researcher, Bishen Jeswant from NLIU Bhopal won best speaker and Shagun from ILS Pune bagged best female speaker. HNLU also won best memorial.

23:12 MPL Live blog for the day almost done, just uploading some pictures from DMH.

Photos from GLC Mumbai uploaded in photo album (see photo right of GNLU and RGNUL teams).

Mooting Premier League 2 season standings

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