The 15th Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition, is one of the prestigious mooting competitions among all National and International moots. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRS), Regional Delegation, New Delhi had conducted the National Rounds on International Humanitarian Law, in collaboration with the Indian Society of International Law (ISIL), from 17-20 September in New Delhi.
The 15th Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition aims to promote awareness and understanding of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) among law students and law faculties in India. This Moot Court competition has over the years been providing opportunities for law students to interact with theorists, practitioners and to become acquainted with the practical application and enforcement of this important area of law.
Participation in the competition involves thorough research and detailed study of IHL treaties, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, and the rules of customary law applicable to this area.
Team consisting of Jeydev C. S., Sarangan Rajesh Kumar, and Siddharth Bajpai from National Law School of India University has won the National Rounds and qualified for the final rounds.
Congratulations for your achievement!
LiveLaw: How do you feel after such a big achievement?
Team: We are extremely humbled and fortunate. It’s a relief after the hectic lead up to the moot.
LiveLaw: What was your motivation behind opting for the reason behind doing this moot? Why did you decide to do this moot?
Team:This is a fascinating area of law, particularly relevant today. We were advised that this is the best exposure one could get in this area of law.
LiveLaw: What difference did you find at Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition and other moots?
Team:This moot is unique in the diverse participation it attracts. The format of the moot, with arguments for both sides having to be advanced in each round, was a challenging experience.
LiveLaw: What is the most important thing you learnt while preparing and competing this moot?
Team:We learned how to seek out broad sources for international law, and analyzing various conventions within that broad framework.
LiveLaw: What was the toughest part while preparing and mooting?
Team: Keeping yourself motivated, and setting realistic deadlines.
LiveLaw: Did any one of you feel like giving up at any point of time? If yes, how did you guys motivate each other?
Team: We hit roadblocks throughout our preparation, but we realized that it is important to keep track of the bigger picture and take breaks when necessary.
LiveLaw: How did you guys come up with such a fantastic team?
Team: We think that the most important factor in team composition should be chemistry between the members. You have to spend a sizable amount of time with these individuals, and it’s easiest if you enjoy their company. It is also important at the same time to ensure that the pressures of a heavy college-mooting culture do not get to you when forming your ideal team.
LiveLaw: What pattern did you guys adopt for your preparation? How did you guys divide your work?
Team: We identified the relevant issues in the problem and distributed the same among the three members.
LiveLaw: What strategy the team made to prepare for the moot? Will you be changing the working strategy for the final rounds ?
Team: We were fortunate that our approach in the National Rounds paid off, and hope that the same will continue into the later rounds.
LiveLaw: Was drafting the memorial more hard or preparing for the orals rounds? How did you prepare for the oral rounds?
Team: Undoubtedly, drafting the memorial is the hardest part. After that, it is mostly a matter of practice oral rounds.
LiveLaw: How much contribution would you like to attribute to your professor/ college over this achievement?
Team: We are extremely fortunate to have a college administration that encourages co-curricular engagements like moot court competitions. Dr. VenkataRao, our vice-chancellor’s encouragement, and the appreciation by the faculty and administration of the great commitments required to mooting, have been most beneficial.
LiveLaw: How many National and International Moot Competition have you guys participated and won?
Team: Two members of this team were runners-up at the Sixth Leiden-Sarin Moot Court Competition, in Chandigarh. The third member was part of the runner-up team at Commonwealth Moot in Patna.
LiveLaw: What area of law would you guys like to gain expertise in? Has this moot changed your mind set regarding the area you would like to gain expertise in?
Team: All three of us are interested in entirely different areas of law. However, it is upon striking a common interest in humanitarian law that we, in fact, decided to take up this moot.
LiveLaw: How did you balance your academic performance or internship with the preparation of the moot?
Team: All three of us are in our third year, which is when courses are particularly hard here at NLS. However, the entire college is extremely supportive of students who take part in moots, allowing one to invest the necessary time and energy in such a difficult activity.
LiveLaw: How many months prior to the moot competition the team started its preparation?
Team: We began our preparation in July.
LiveLaw: What would you like to do after the law school?
Team: We each have diverse plans ranging from practicing in court to joining the civil services.
LiveLaw: How was it like working with the team? What were your team’s fortes? What roadblocks did you guys face?
Team: The biggest challenge we faced was when one of us caught dengue. It was extremely difficult for the other two of us to pick up the additional work.
LiveLaw: Which area of International Humanitarian Law apart of customary law does the moot question based on?
Team: The moot primarily expects you to argue based on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Nevertheless, it is also important to study the broader contours of International Law as well if one wishes to grasp the nuances of the problem.
LiveLaw: In your opinion what importance does customary guidelines/ law hold in international law?
Team: Customary international law is extremely important in any study of international law owing to the fact that it applies to all countries, unlike conventions, which are specific in their application.
LiveLaw: Does speaking/ oratory skill really matters or the research alone will suffice to get through the moot?
Team: The key to winning any moot lies in effective communication. Research alone is meaningless if you fail to convey it.
LiveLaw: How many teams were you up against in the competition? Which team would you consider to be your toughest competitor?
Team: The format of the competition meant that we faced a total of seven teams on our way to the finals. We think that the toughest competition we faced was against NLU-Delhi, the eventual runners-up.
LiveLaw: What do you think got you success to reach to finals?
Team:Hard work and preparation are undoubtedly key to any victory. We were also very lucky to be judged by an excellent pool of judges.
LiveLaw: A lot depends on the memorial when it comes to speaking. How well do you think this statement is justified in case your team’s perspective?
Team: In this competition, there was hardly a gap of three days between the memorial submission deadline and the oral rounds. Thus, our arguments were directly from the memorial and we kept improvisation to a minimum.
LiveLaw: Any tips you would like to give for the students who are planning to go Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition in the coming years?
Team: The moot is an enriching experience and any participant should seek to view it primarily for its educational value, and secondly the advocacy experience that one may gain from it.
LiveLaw: Refugees and Migrants are facing very tough time these days in Hungary, what is your opinion on the implementation of the International Humanitarian Law?
Team: The importance of International Humanitarian Law grows, as the world itself becomes a smaller place. It is particularly of relevance in those regions of the world that are conflict riddenand where it is necessary for the international community at large to ensure that the rights of citizens are never compromised.
LiveLaw: What message would you like to pass on to the mooters and the non-mooters out there? What is your advice to someone who has never mooted before?
Team: It’s never too late to start mooting, and perhaps more importantly, one shouldn’t let mooting getting in the way of exploring the plethora of opportunities law school has to offer.
We thank you for your time !!!