D.M. Harish Memorial Government Law College International Moot Court Competition 2014
Hannah Fry, LLB Law Student: We arrived in Mumbai, India on the 12th February whereby we were introduced to the other teams and the Government Law College itself. Darren Low Jun Jie, Queen Mary’s Researcher, took the one-hour researcher test focusing on various areas of the moot and international public law. We are very proud to note that he went on to win the Best Researcher Award scoring the highest mark in the test.
9 March 2015
In the evening, there was a very interesting panel discussion from some of the top intellectuals in the field of use and misuse of information by governments. The right of privacy of citizens balanced with freedom of expression, and also security issues was at the centre of the discussion. I found the discussion extremely interesting, especially in light of my UK Human Rights Module where we discuss the balance of these two competing rights, and it was particularly interesting to note the Indian response to this question.
Prior to going to India we had prepared two 40 page memorials concerning the moot problem, one for the Respondent and one for the Applicant regarding issues of International Public Law. My grounds specifically focused on cyber warfare and international bilateral investment treaties. As I had not personally studied International Public Law before, this allowed me to independently broaden my awareness of the subject area and I was very much looking forward to putting my arguments to the test in the Moot Court.
We begun the preliminary rounds of the D.M.Harish Moot on Friday 13th February. After reading through the opposing teams’ memorials, we went on to win both of our preliminary rounds, placing Queen Mary 6th out of 24 teams in the preliminary rounds. The first two moots were very much an interesting learning experience for us, whereby we learnt about the formalities of the International Court of Justice and the Indian Courts, such as the concept of a sur-joinder, and also we began to adapt to the different advocacy styles of the other teams.
Due to our success in the previous rounds, we were through to the Octo-Final Rounds which were on Saturday 14th February. These rounds allowed us to consolidate our knowledge in the area whilst developing our advocacy skills in an international setting. We won our first round, and narrowly lost our second, which due to the high score of our points total; we went through to the Quarter-Finals which took place late Saturday evening. Despite being extremely jet-lagged, tired (and on my part repeatedly bitten by a mosquito in the course of my moot) we delivered a strong performance, but we unfortunately lost. We were extremely proud to come this far and it was our highest score of the competition and this led to us being the Highest Scoring Western Team, and, on a personal note, the Highest Scoring Western Individual Speaker. The experience I gained from this competition was invaluable. I really was able to improve my skills concerning interjections, whilst generally becoming a more confident advocate. It also taught me a lot about endurance and determination, whilst learning extensively a completely new area of law, especially international investment law which I hope to focus on next year in my Masters Degree at Queen Mary. We then went on to enjoy the Indian culture and food for the remaining day, which rounded off a very insightful and enjoyable trip. It was an experience I will never forget.