This article is written by Sanjana Tripathy, a lawyer working in Hyderabad. She has explained the concept of mooting and what courses are offered in it.
What is Mooting?
Mooting is an imitation of a court hearing wherein participants analyse a problem, research for relevant laws, prepare written submissions and present an oral argument. Moot problems are generally based on unsettled law or on recent developments.
The procedure is the same as in an actual court- the judge enters, mooters and the judge bow to each other, the clerk announces the matter, the mooters give their appearances and are then called on in turn to present their submissions, the judge asks questions of the mooters, the court adjourns, and the judge then returns to deliver a brief judgment and some feedback.
Mooting is different from public speaking or debating, although it is similar to them in some aspects. It is a specialised application of persuasive advocacy. (See Here)
Who should do a course on mooting?
Every graduate or undergraduate law student who is inexperienced in mooting or who has just started mooting should do a course on mooting as it will help them in enhancing their skills, make them confident enough to participate in reputed moot court competitions and also familiarise them with the working of an actual court.
Compulsory mooting in Indian law schools
In India, mooting started when the Bar Council of India organised Bar Council of India Moot Court in 1981. In 1985, moot court learning became a basic part of Indian legal education. Since that time, mooting is followed in Indian Law Institutes. (See Here)
Mooting culture varies in different law colleges. Some have mooting as an extra-curricular activity while some have it as a compulsory part in their academics. For selection in representing the college in national and international moot court competitions, there is an intra college competition where students compete against each other. The moot court societies of different law colleges plan, organise and conduct intra selection rounds.
The selection process for representation in national and international moot court competitions may either be held together or separately. Many National Law Schools and other law schools have moots as part of their academic curriculum but the best known mooters come from those colleges where mooting is an extracurricular activity.
What is taught in a Mooting Course?
The syllabus taught in a mooting course are as follows:-
1. Introduction- What is a moot?
2. Preparation of a moot speech
3. How to research in a given moot court case?
4. How to present yourself in the moot court?
5. What all to include in a memo and how to format it?
6. How to frame powerful arguments?
7. Handling the situation inside the court
8. How to make a good and reliable memo?
9. Moot court ethics.
What are the important skills that you learn in Mooting Course?
The important skills to be learnt in a mooting course are as follows:-
1. Reading a moot problem
The first and the most important part of a moot is to read the problem entirely. Read it as many times as you want till you understand the problem. You can also jot down important points or underline them in the problem itself. It may take a long time but eventually you will be familiar with the problem like the back of your hand. Understanding the facts of the case is very important as the judge might ask about it.
2. Identification of issues
After reading the problem, the next step is to identify the issues related to the problem. Sometimes the problem will be such that you will be able to pinpoint the issues easily but sometimes the problem will be such that issues are too difficult to trace. The only solution is careful reading of the problem as many times till the issues are found.
3. Research method
Research can be done from anywhere on the condition that the resources are reliable and trustworthy. You may have to spend many sleepless nights researching for your moot problem but to make a good memo you have to take such pains. Make sure your research is such that any question asked by the judge is answered.
4. Framing arguments
It is the most important part of writing a memo. The arguments must be such that the judges can’t pinpoint any fallacies and mistakes. The cases written in support of your argument must be related to the issue. Facts may not be similar but the issue must be the same otherwise you won’t be able to save yourself from the questions of the judges.
5. Moot court ethics
It is not enough if your memo is good, you must also learn moot court ethics. This includes treating your judges with respect, standing and addressing them when they enter, letting the judge speak and not interrupting them etc. If you don’t know this then the judge may stop you from speaking and point out these flaws which would be very embarrassing.
6. Practising before the moot
It is very important that you practise as much as you can before the moot court competition till you are confident to speak before the judges. Practise before a mirror to see your expressions. Ask some people to act as judges so that you speak before them and they can pinpoint your mistakes. And someone correctly said “Practise makes perfect.”
7. Delivery of moot speech
This includes presenting the facts, issues and arguments in the case. There are many hindrances to a perfect moot speech- judges will interrupt you while you speak, time limit for your speech gets over, questions may be asked to confuse you and sidetrack you from your argument. These problems can be overcome if you have a plan regarding your presentation of speech.
Courses provided in Mooting
LawSikho is an online legal education platform which provides various courses in law including mooting. It has students in over 20 countries and track record of delivering legal and compliance learning solutions to companies like Samsung, Microsoft and BCG, offers cutting-edge online courses focussed on practical aspects of law and business.
It provides diploma and certificate courses on drafting contracts, intellectual property rights, investment law etc., conducts workshops and career development programmes. On completion of a course, physical copies of certificates are awarded. The courses are managed by Addictive Learning Technologies Private Limited. With respect to mooting, 3 months’ certificate programme named Mooting School is provided.
They can be contacted through:-
1. Phone- +91 011-3959-5032
2. Email- [email protected]
For further information see here.
Mylaw Learning Resources Private Limited provides for online mooting skills for junior law students to help them to obtain the essential skills to take part in and exceed expectations in domestic and international moot court competitions. This course will set you up to work in groups and contend with others with a well-ordered way to deal with perusing moot problems, looking into with reason, drafting written submissions, and planning for oral arguments. It additionally includes useful knowledge from experienced mooters Bhabna Das (NLSIU, 2010) and Uday Joshi (NUJS, 2010). For further information see here.
The University of Adelaide provides mooting course named Law 3516- International Law Moot wherein students can participate by application and competitive selection only. This course offers students the chance to work on unpredictable and forefront questions of global law through preparation for, and participation in, a recognized international law moot competition. All the while, students will create and refine progressed lawful research and advocacy aptitudes. The moot court competitions will, as a rule, incorporate the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the pre-famous worldwide mooting competition in international law. Groups may likewise be entered in different international law moots, including the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot. Students will be required to go to induction and moot training courses, and afterward to concentrated research in international law, get ready written submissions and create oral submissions which are then refined through mooting practice. (See Here)
The University of South Australia provides mooting course named LAWS 3069- Mooting for undergraduate students which will enable them to participate in international advocacy competitions including Jessup International Law Moot and the VIS Arbitration Competition. Students will develop excellent skills in teamwork, legal research, advocacy and written & oral submissions. The content of each course will be according to rules of each international competition but will generally include a detailed academic content and skills in legal research, advocacy, teamwork and writing. This course is taught through workshops and moot court for 8 weeks wherein per day will be of 2 hours as per the timetable provided. For further information please refer to their website “https://study.unisa.edu.au/courses/105249/2018.”
The University of Canberra provides a course named Mooting (8685.2) at Undergraduate Fourth Year Level held ON-CAMPUS. This unit will build up the students’ analytical and oral advocacy aptitudes, enable them to ace structuring aptitudes in sorting out written presentations, enhance their utilization of experts with the help of their arguments, and in the meantime will build up their teamwork capacities. It will likewise help the moot team members to propel their performance in particular territories of private and public law, contingent upon the field of every competition, offering a pragmatic training in light of genuine case situations, performing tasks they will perform in a legal position after graduation. This unit will be taught along with unit Mooting PG. (See Here)
The University of Newcastle offers a Competitive Mooting course (LAWS6097) which will help students who are eligible and willing to participate in national and international legal skills competitions, to have their skills assessed and acknowledged. This course promotes and develops students’ advocacy, mooting and associated communication skills through preparation in a recognised mooting competition. Students are eligible for the subject by application and section only, as the students placed in this course are limited.
However, selection for participation in this course does not automatically qualify a student for participation as a member of a team in an external competition. Available competitions will be determined at the discretion of the course coordinator in conjunction with the Dean and Head of School. For further information see here.
The Mooting Society of University of Nottingham Students’ Union Provide crash courses in mooting to prepare new mooters for their first moo by teaching them how to read a moot problem and advancing through all facets of preparation to how to present an oral submission. People having no experience in mooting can apply for this course. Experienced mooters in the second and final year can apply for a shorter Refresher Course which is run for 1 hour aimed at guiding new mooters and providing fresh techniques to experienced mooters. For further information, please contact them at their email “[email protected].” (See Here)
King’s College London offers International Mooting Module (IMM), a 20 credit module to LLM students of all pathways at Dickson Poon School of Law. The IMM is essentially a unique mode of delivery of principle substantive knowledge areas in international dispute resolution and relevant advocacy skills. The IMM syllabus covers key skills in oral and written advocacy in international and transnational arbitration and adjudication while adopting a holistic approach to the analysis of international and transnational dispute resolution. (See Here)
The City Law School, London offers workshops for students who are new to mooting which is run by City Law School alumni who excelled in mooting. News Section must be checked for this.
The University of Hong Kong offers International Mooting and Advocacy (LW5649) course which intends to give chances to students to participate in mooting competitions with different colleges and establishments both in and outside Hong Kong. The focus will be on integration of the information and abilities effectively obtained on substantive law courses and to apply that learning and aptitudes in a court setting. The course intends to develop research, systematic, hierarchical and advocacy abilities by standing up to students with complex issues of both Act and law in a courtroom situation.
Inside the organized setting provided, the course students can plan for, and partake in, such global mooting rivalries as the Philip C. Jessup International law Moot, the Willem C. Vis Commercial Arbitration Moot, the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot, the Manfred Lachs International Space Law Moot, Human Rights Law Moots, Foreign Direct Investment Moot, WTO Law Moots, the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot and different moots in which the School participates.
This course has not been offered for the current academic year. The offering term is subject to change without prior notice. For further information please refer here.
India has to introduce more courses on mooting as it will greatly help students in becoming experienced mooters and also learning various aspects of law which they did not know about previously.