What is Moot Court?
The concept of moot courts
A moot court is like simulating a real court, where students are made to participate in the staged court proceedings that are related to a fictional dispute between parties. Mostly, moot courts are conducted in law schools where the students are expected to pursue their careers in the field of law as lawyers, arbitrators and judges; hence they’re made to practice to be trained for future along with development of the required skills.
Why are moot courts organized
Generally, moot courts are organized in the form of competitions where the areas covered are the Public International Law, Human Rights, Arbitration, International Criminal Law, Law of the Sea Convention etc. A moot court competition provides the students with a basic platform for facing the professional rivalry qualifying which requires a few steps.
Initially the students are given a moot problem which comprises a dispute based on fictional states, characters and unreal facts. Sometimes, real global scenarios and incidents are simulated by changing the names of states keeping the facts intact.
With the problem given, the students are expected to prepare the written memorials which are sets of pleadings on behalf of all the parties to the dispute. Yes, all the teams are required to prepare both the sides. By preparing the pleadings from the prosecution as well as the defense side they get to develop their thinking process. For a good quality memorial, the teams spend hours in research followed by sessions of collective discussions and over all team work. They seek the help of the sample memorials available online following the blueprint of which they come up with highly competitive pleadings.
Once submitting the written memorials the real work begins. It’s time when the preparation for the oral pleadings start. The teams follow the mooting videos that are available on Vimeo, YouTube etc. from where they learn the tips related to presentation of arguments, gestures they need to make before the judges along with their overall body language and ways of communicating etc. They seek the help of all the experienced professors and teachers at school and even those whom they know outside the school, for they leave no stone unturned to make sure their preparation is the best of all their competitors.
Importance of moot courts
After the competition ends, which normally takes about 4-5 days, the transformation in the participants is evident from their level of confidence to their communication skills. The learning process during the period of these 5 days is immensely rapid. The teams learn professional tactics from dressing to professionally tackling the international matters. By the end of their mooting journey their skills and legal knowledge is fully boosted and enhanced.
Moot is one of the very helpful initiatives for the students who are looking forward to becoming the lawyers. Their mooting experiences make a great difference in their CVs and resumes. All students should be encouraged by the teachers and parents to participate in the moot competitions. The schools should have mooting societies that should be responsible for organizing competitions involving the national and domestic laws as well.
Famous moots of the world
Some of the biggest moot court competitions that take place on international level are Phillip C. Jessup, Nuremberg, Asia Cup, Jean Pictet, Red Cross International Humanitarian Law and Henry Dunant Moot Court Competitions. Most of them are sponsored by their conducting organizations to encourage the students into participating so that they’re not left behind merely for financial reasons.
Key Facts about Moot Court:
- The learner has to read the moot problem carefully and thoroughly to have a clear understanding of the facts.
- Any participant’s ability to manipulate the facts in a moot court is very often virtually nil.
- A participant should be focused on the relevant facts of the moot problem and remove the irrelevant facts.
- Generally, a moot court gives 20 minutes to each participant for presenting the case. From that 20 minutes, the judge will take 3-4 minutes for questioning.
- A participant shouldn’t take more than 2 or 3 minutes to narrate the facts.
- The opening statement should be well thought.
- The framing of issues should be careful.