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Hey everyone! We're the Moot Court Society of NLSIU and we're organizing the XII National Law School - Trilegal International Arbitration Moot, 2019 between 17th and 19th May 2019. With the rounds scheduled to commence from tomorrow, we're excited to bring you the live updates from the Moot! A busy day awaits the teams, we'll start posting when the first round commences. Follow this live blog for regular updates!

 

19/05/2019

SEMI FINAL ROUND 1- 1925C v 1904R (Live blog by Anshul Butani and Priyanshu Jain)

Respondent Speaker 1 (Live Blog by Priyanshu)

Judges address the two parties and give some general instructions like speak slowly. They ask the teams if they have any questions. The teams start:

Respondent 1:

11:37: The speaker starts confidently after telling the time distribution and giving a brief introduction. The speaker starts with her first issue. The judges are listening patiently to the speaker. The judge asks a series of questions regarding a point the speaker made. The speaker answers confidently and the judge seems to be satisfied and asks them to proceed.

11:48: The judges pose some more questions and the speaker seems to be confused. The Presiding Arbitrator clarifies the question since the speaker fails to understand the question properly. The speaker attempts at answering that question. The Presiding Arbitrator asks her to proceed since she doesn’t have much time left.

11:51: The speaker confuses the Clarification Number which she cites and takes a pause to clarify. The speaker starts again.

11:55: The judges continue to pose several questions and the speaker is doing her best to answer them satisfactorily. The Presiding Arbitrator asks the speaker to use the remaining time to summarize the rest of her arguments.

11:59: The questions continue to be thrown on the speaker and the speaker seems a bit baffled. The Presiding Arbitrator asks her not to be distracted when the judges ask her a question. The Speaker finishes her submission.

 

Claimant Speaker 1 (Live Blog by Anshul)

 

12:01- The Claimant’s response to the first two issues takes off. After a rather forceful tone of the first speaker, this speaker seems to bring more calm to the room.

 

12:03- Citing the same case that Side Respondent used as authority, the speaker leads the bench to a flag on his Compendium. A wrong flag, but he wasn’t too late to correct himself (hopefully).

 

12:04- Concerned about a larger public policy issue, the bench interrupts the speaker for the first time. Maintaining his composure, the speaker attempts to answer the question with just a pinch of faff and fumble.

 

12:07- After a three-minute-long answer to the question, the bench concedes their satisfaction with the answer. Or maybe they just want to proceed.

 

12:08- Playing the devil’s advocate, the bench now adopts a completely different stance as compared to the questions being shot at the first speaker. The speaker seems unable to fathom the bench’s indecision.

 

12:09- Piling the questions one on top of the other, the three judges have now chosen to attack the prey collectively.

 

12:10- The speaker attempts to cite authority, but is immediately shot down and asked to quote facts. Speaker seems flustered as the facts are silent. Or so he claims. I guess we’ll know in an hour.

 

12:13- After a (not so implicit) sigh, the judge lets go of the question and requests the speaker to proceed. The speaker couldn’t be happier.

 

12:16- The bench asks whether the speaker is concerned with this particular contract or contracts in general. The speaker’s words say, “Only the present contract”- but his expressions say, “Duh”.

 

12:18- After a tussle between the speaker and the bench over the price of the goods in question, the bench introduces a larger issue of “fairness” to the other side. The speaker attempts to introduce another stakeholder - the customers - but is asked not to evade.

 

12:19- After thrashing the speaker’s attempt to introduce the consumers as a valid stakeholder, the arbitrator now questions him on a hypothetical where the rights of the consumers are affected. Now confused over whether the judges want him to address the rights of consumers or not, coupled with the timekeeper’s adeptness at showing the speaker how little time he has left to seek redemption, the speaker restlessly interrupts the judge. His methods at redemption seem rather unconventional.

 

12:22- The timekeeper shows zero minutes left, and the speaker quickly summarizes and concludes. Just when he thought it’s all over, the judge shoots him with yet another question. Brutality at its best.

 

12:23- The speaker is finally permitted to conclude.

 

Procedure Rebuttal (Respondent) (Live Blog by Anshul)-

 

12:24- The Respondent speaker, quick to reintroduce the forceful atmosphere that was recently eliminated from the room, makes her argumentative rebuttals. In what sounded like a threat, she thanks the bench.



Procedure Rebuttal (Claimant) (Live Blog by Anshul)-

 

12:26- Taking barely a minute to address the rebuttals, the speaker hands the floor to his co-counsel.



Claimant Speaker  2 (Live Blog by Anshul)-

 

12:26- The second Respondent speaker begins with her introduction and summarizes the crux of her submissions, in a composure similar to that of her co-counsel.

 

12:29: The bench asks a question on a provision cited by the Speaker. The speaker responds saying that the provision is self-explanatory. Ouch.

 

12:30- It now seems like ‘self-explanatory’ is the speaker’s word of the day.

 

12:33- Seeming a little perplexed about the speaker’s submissions, the judge asks her about a hypothetical relating to consumer rights. Not so satisfied with the speaker’s rather confident answer, the judge asks for further clarification.

 

12:34- The judge now moves to the basics, asking for the definition of the smart contract. A little confused about why the judges are moving to the bare basics, the speaker answers the question nonetheless, and is quick to lead the bench to the factsheet too.

 

12:37- The speaker, calm as a cucumber, seeks permission to let her help the bench understand the issue. The bench happily obliges.

 

12:39- The judges are dissatisfied with the facts and clarifications cited by the speaker, and ask her to further clarify how these authorities support her claim. The speaker’s composure doesn’t seem sufficient anymore. They want substance.

 

12:41- Constantly reminding the speaker that they mean business, the judges urge speaker to be more convincing. Calm outside but seemingly panicking inside, the speaker is now seen swinging back and forth.

 

12:43- As the timekeeper shows 5 minutes to go, the speaker immediately proceeds with the next submission with the permission of the bench. After only half a minute of the submission though, the judges feel it appropriate to interrupt again. The speaker now seems a little confused as to whether the 20 designated minutes were for her or for the judges.

 

12:46- Still attempting to satisfy the judges, the speaker makes a further argument. The judge, rather surprised at this submission, warns the speaker to tread carefully. The speaker’s swinging amplifies.

 

12:47- Catching on this sadistic brutality, the timekeeper also gets up without further ado, to show that the speaker has no more time for her submissions. Or for her swinging.

 

12:48- Ignoring the lapse of time, the judges continue shooting their questions at the speaker. Maybe she’s so good that the judges don’t want the round to end. Or maybe they’re just having some fun.

 

12:50- The speaker seeks permission to make a final submission, to which the judges refuse citing the time lapse. The speaker seems slightly frustrated, while still maintaining her pleasant expression. Her expression is clearly complaining that if the judges did not take 25 of her 20 minutes, maybe she wouldn’t have had to rely on extra time.

 

12:51- Nonetheless, the speaker quickly summarizes the submission and concludes. Before proceeding with the next speaker, the judges clarify that any extra time in submissions will be deducted from time allotted for rebuttals. The speaker, though nodding in agreement, is clearly irritated with this ex-post facto decision-making to which the team’s consent was absent. But realizing that the judge-participant relationship has never been an equal one, the round proceeds.

 

 

Respondent Speaker 2 (Live Blog by Priyanshu)

 

12:51: Starting softly but confidently, the second speaker lays down her structure and proceeds with the arguments on merits. The Judge poses the question even before she starts with her arguments. It seems to be an indication of tough grilling.

 

12:53: The speaker goes on with her arguments. A series of questions on facts are posed to the speaker. The presiding arbitrator joins in, posing a follow-up questions. The speaker calmly and slowly answers all the questions posed. The questions don’t seem to stop giving the speaker a tough time.

 

12:57: The Presiding Arbitrator asks if the speaker is with the bench the facts. The bench has already gone all out. The presiding arbitrator even goes on to say that please take care of your time management in light of these large number of questions. Quite brutal for the speaker.

 

1:00: The speaker is doing her best to satisfy the bench but maybe the bench is determined to give the speaker a tough time.

 

1:03: Huge number of questions seem to have created a problem of time management for the speaker. She seeks the permission to submit her other arguments. The bench permits and listens to her for some seconds when the brutality begins again.

 

1:08: The grilling is going on, especially on the facts. The bench points out the facts which make the case in the claimant’s favour and seeks her explanation on that. The bench has now got bored of the arguments on facts and asks the speaker to move to the law-part. The bench seems to leave no stone unturned.

 

1:10: The speaker summarizes her issue. The presiding arbitrator asks the speaker to move to a particular argument. Her submission along with the question-answer goes on and on.

 

1:16: The speaker is finally allowed to conclude. The bench says that since the time is already over, do the teams have anything new to add in the rebuttals sur-rebuttals. The teams answer in the affirmative and the bench gives each team 1 min for the same.



Rebuttals for merits- Claimant Speaker (Blog by Priyanshu):

 

1:16: The speaker 1 submits two rebuttals quickly and concisely.

 

Sur-rebuttals for merits- Respondent Speaker (Blog by Priyanshu):

 

1:17: The judge reminds the speaker to speak only if they have anything to add.

 

 

Preliminary Round 1

Court Room 11

Team 1906C v Team 1928R

Respondent Speaker 1

12.45: The Panel clarify if the parties have agreed on a procedure. The answer is in affirmative. The speaker begins her speech with some trepidation and hesitation. After slowly gaining confidence the speaker lays down the road map of her speech. 

12.48: The Panel asks for a brief clarification of the factual matrix of the case. The speaker succinctly answers her. The Judges, however, grill her repeatedly on the facts of the case. 

12.52: The speaker is now grilled on the genesis of the dispute between the parties.

12.54: The panelists are unhappy with the first submission of the counsel. The counsel, however, sticks to her guns and it seems that she has managed to convince the judges. 

12.56: Also, the counsel's luck runs out and now she is getting bombarded by the judges. Viscerion had a better chance against the Iron Fleet than this particular argument has in the face of the questions asked. 

12.58: To save face, the counsel quickly moves on to the next submission. Here too she is quickly questioned by the panelists. The counsel is unable to answer the questions or clarify the doubts raised by them. 

13.00: Mercifully the counsel's time is up. She has also not asked for any extra time, leaving a nebulous atmosphere in this courtroom. 

Claimant Speaker 1

13.01: The speaker smartly and confidently lays down the time division and the roadmap of his speech. Within the first 30 seconds, he has already significantly improved the quality of the round. 

13.03; The Panel grills the counsel on the subject matter of the dispute. The counsel is doing a much better job of explaining the same to the Judges. 

13.06: The panellists dismiss the usage of case laws made by the speaker saying that the factual matrix of the cases does not match.

13.11: A barrage of questions is posed and the speaker confidently and animatedly responds to them.

13.12: The speaker requests for an extra minute due to the paucity of time and the same is granted. 

Claimant Speaker 2

13.15: The speaker picks up the issue from the point where her teammate left it at. 

13.18: The arbitrators have begun questioning the counsel. The counsel manoeuvres through them and moves on with her argument.

13.22: The arbitrators postulate a hypothetical - but not really a hypothetical (the arbitrator's words) to the counsel. The counsel is understandably unable to comprehend the factual hypothetical matrix laid down by the panellist. 

13.24: After a confusing flurry of clarifications the counsel effectively lays down the questions raised by the arbitrators in the hypothetical. 

13.28: The arbitrators want the counsel to substantiate her arguments with case law. The counsel promptly complies. The arbitrators seem satisfied. The counsel moves on to the next submission. 

13.31: The arbitrators begin grilling her on the substance of her arguments. The arbitrator is on a bit of a monologue wasting the precious time of the speaker. 

13.33: The arbitrators do not seem to agree with the submissions made by the counsel. The counsel is trying to repackage the same argument and sell it to the panel. The latter is not buying it. 

13.36: The speaker has run out of time and quickly wraps up her submissions. 

Respondent Speaker 2

13.37: The speaker is speaking too fast to be understood. It is either a strategy to not be understood by the judges or it betrays the lack of confidence that the speaker has in his submissions. 

13.38: The strategy has failed. The arbitrators have pounced on him like a pack of hungry wolves on a terrified rabbit. 

13.40: The counsel attempts to submit his compendium, but the panel refuses to accept it, choosing to question him on first principles instead. 

13.42: The speed of the counsel's speech shows no signs of slowing. Coincidently, the quality of his answers to the judges has significantly dropped. 

13.45: The panel asks the counsel to supplement his arguments with legal authority. The counsel manages to filibuster the same and starts off on an unrelated tangent. The judges have either let the lack of answer pass or do not expect one from the counsel. 

13.47: The diversion created by the counsel has backfired on his face hard. The judges are relentlessly grilling him. Finally, the speed of the speech of the counsel reduces significantly and is reduced to a stammer. The judges mercilessly continue grilling the counsel. 

13.50: The counsel has decided to wrap up his arguments, after telling the judges that he would engage with their questions later. His time has run out and is allowed an additional 30 seconds to finish the same. 

13.52: The panel does not seem impressed by the submissions of the counsel. They ask him to submit his prayer. 

Claimant Speaker 1 Rebuttal

13.54: The speaker has categorically shown as to why the cases cited by the opposition are not applicable to the current case. 

Claimant Speaker 2 Rebuttal

13.55: The speaker clarifies certain points of facts.

Respondent Speaker 2 Rebuttal

13.56: The speaker is refuting the points made by the previous speaker, and is giving a different interpretation of the facts. 

 

 

 

Round 2

Court Room1:

1912 v 1908

Respondent

Speaker 1

15: 22: She begins her submissions confidently and lays a roadmap of her submissions. 

15:25:  The judge has launched a barrage of questions towards the speaker. However, the speaker seems very well versed with the facts and the law. She maintains imppeccable structure throughout her argument. 

15:29: The Judge seems satisfied with the arguments. Or maybe they are just tired with the 2 minute long unpunctuated sentence she just uttered.

15:30:The speaker cleverly tried to get into the substance of her second argument but she is caught in her tracks by the judge.

15:32: The judges are clearly trying to test her knowledge by using a series of hypotheticals. The speaker seems a bit flustered and had to resort to an ‘as far as I know’ argument. 

15:34:She seems to have caught on to the judge’s tricks and is breaking the veil of the worst case scenario that was present on his questions. Maybe she learnt that from Petyr Baelish (..I like to play a little game, I ask myself what is the worst reason for someone to do this?’

15:35: The Judge on the right seems to have gone Bran Stark mode. The Speaker is now being asked the last few questions by the judges as only 2 minutes of her time remain.

15:37: The judge on the right has finally moved. The timekeeper has signalled that her time is up and that she took an extremely long 7 seconds over the allotted time.

Claimant

Speaker 1 

15:39: The speaker has begun. She introduces herself and her co counsel. She roadmaps her submissions and arguments within her submissions. The judge on the left is nodding his head. The speaker continues with her first argument. The judge on the left is still nodding his head.

15:42: The judge on the left has stopped nodding and has brought up the arguments made by the opposite team to counter the speaker’s argument.

15:45: The judge has asked the speaker to provide an example in order to support her argument. In a pretty impressive manner, she comes up with a rathe complicated example, complete with legal backing in the span of 12 seconds.

15:47: The Judge asks the speaker to move on to her next submission. The speaker says she still has two arguments under this submission left (and she reeeally wants to make them). The judge, recognizing her need to show her hard work in an actual round, allows her to summarize those. Oops. The judges now have started questioning her rather vehemently on the argument she was supposed to summarize. Even the judge on the right is now asking questions!! 

15:50: The judge suggests that she agree to moving on to the next submission. And she swiftly takes that chance. The judge says he’s going to ask her the same questions that he did the other team. It doesn’t look like she is able to address those questions effectively. She seems to be facing a lack of legal backing. The judge himself suggests that maybe she could find some in ‘The Lord of The Rings’. 

15:53: The speaker has now moved on to her next submission. However, the judge jumps in and tries to explain to her the import of the questions that he has put. Meanwhile, the judge on the right is having a buddy moment with the timekeeper, who shows him a thumbs up when he poses a question to the timekeeper (probably whether anyone noticed him going Bran Stark mode).

15:56: The speaker is now concluding her submissions. But somehow, she is bringing new arguments in at the very end. The judge notices this and asks her to not step into her co counsel’s submissions (#hogthespotlight).

Speaker 2 (Claimant)

15:57: She begins by giving a roadmap of her submissions in a succinct fashion and moves on to her first submission. 

16:00: The judge has started asking her questions but the speaker seems unfazed. There is a rather impressive back and forth of arguments happening between the judge and counsel. The judge now quotes something out of a volume (probably the Lord of the rings). The counsel directs him to another set of sheets in order to make her point clear.

16:03: The judge does not seem very keen on accepting the arguments of the counsel. She is getting a bit flustered and clearly is not a fond of the judge’s devil’s advocate tendencies. She asks her co counsel to pass her a set of sheets from the huge stack in front of her (#hogthesheetstoo??).

16:06: The judge has put the counsel in a tough spot. But she battles on and directs him to another set of sheets. The judge can see that the counsel is struggling. He sympathizes with her and admits that the area of law she is dealing with is tough and suggests that she move on to her next argument. 

16:09: The judge on the right asks the counsel a question which leaves her speechless (or maybe just the fact that he spoke leaves her speechless). He asks her to think deeply and answer (I doubt the counsel has a Bran Stark mode as effective as the judge’s). She is forced to move on to her next submission. She seems much more confident with this submission and her arguments seems to flow much more.

16:10: The timekeeper raises the zero and the speaker concludes her submissions.

Respondent (Speaker 2)

16:11: She starts with roadmapping her submissions and the arguments within those submissions within the record time of 0.00003 seconds.

16:12: She has finished with her first submission, receiving nothing but nods from the judges. She took a total time of 0.00566 seconds for this submission.

16:14: She is now delving into the nitty gritty of her second submission. She asks the judges to refer to a certain document. But the judges seem dissatisfied and ask the counsel address a few questions. Meanwhile, the timekeeper plays with his lush beard.

16:18: The counsel is making the judges skim through document after document in order to bolster her argument. But the judges seem a little unsure of whether to accept it. The judge on the right asks her a couple of questions, which she answers without skipping a beat. 

16:21: The counsel has now being speaking non stop, without taking a breath for, 454738 minutes and she seems very well versed and comfortable with her issue.

16:24: The judge now gives her an example of certain aspects and asks her to tell him whether any of those will be applicable. She does not mention any of these in her reply. 

16:27: The judge says she can address those concerns in the rebuttal and asks her one last question before she concludes.

Claimant rebuttal:

The claimant succinctly lays down the points in her rebuttal. One by one she addresses the submissions made by the respondent. She says ‘Moreover’ a total of 15 times during her rebuttal. Towards the end of her rebuttal, the judge says ‘but what’s your point’ which she explains clearly.

Respondent Rebuttal:

The respondent is equally confident with her rebuttal statement and tries and pinpoints holes in the arguments of the claimants. Her co-counsel takes over from her and also makes an equally crisp statement.

The Round is now over.

 

DAY 2: Preliminary Round

Court Room 3:

1925C v 1918R

11.50: The timings were divided by the speakers among themselves.

Speaker 1 (Respondent)

12.00 - The respondents seek compensation. Has 14 minutes to establish the issues. Starts with structuring his arguments by arguing on by way of a two-pronged strategy.

12.03 - The judge asks what the dispute is on IP or is it commercial? 

12.06 - One Judge seems unconvinced on a point on whether there exists a right in rem or right in personam

12.09 - Judge asks a question with regard to the definition of to types of contracts and askes the respondents to define it. 

12. 12 - Respondent unable to distinguish between the two types of contracts.

12.15 - Judge requests to know the stance of the respondent wrt the jurisdiction of the tribunal they are appearing before.

Speaker 1 (Claimant)

12.18 - The claimant lists out the grounds of the respondents. She starts off by attempting to dismantle the second argument. Unfortunately, the judge requests the claimant to respond to the arguments of the respondents in the sequence it was presented.

12.21 - Judges maintain poker face as claimant moves on to her second argument. 

12.24 - The claimant is wrapping up her last argument.

12.27 - Judges still unconvinced that respondent not liable. ('How can a person benefit from their own wrong?')

Speaker 2 (Respondent)

12.30 - Judge seeks to verify the authorities as the respondent reads the same out.

12.33 -  The judges ask him a couple of questions in quick succession, which he answers but even this side cannot make a difference between the two types of contracts asked to respondent 

12.36 - Judges turn up the heat, ask for case laws to put onus on claimants.

12.39 - Judges are still unmoved as to why the onus should not be on respondents. 

 Speaker 2 (Claimant)

12.42 - Claimant 2 begins by giving a blueprint of her submissions. She moves on to her first submission. 

12.45 - Judges further ask claimants to clarify the clarifications offered.

12. 48 - Claimants start with their final issue.

12. 51 - Claimants questioned by the judge, claimant stutters but gathers herself fairly quickly and comes back with a satisfying reply that judges seem to agree to.

Claimant Rebuttal:

12.54 - Starts by fighting for the 'right to rebut first'

12.57 - The claimant lays down the points in his rebuttal. However, fails to answer as per the questions asked by the judges.

 

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