Mooting is an extremely beneficial experience for aspiring lawyers as it assists students in learning about the practical side of the law. A Moot court is intended to simulate the conditions of actual litigation as precisely as feasible
Every art has a technique that must be learned by its practitioners. The Art of Advocacy is no exception. By studying the fundamentals of the art of advocacy via practice and patience, any law student can become a competent advocate. The experience of conducting research is beneficial, and the practice of presenting difficult legal arguments orally is beneficial training. The experience of being interrogated by a tough presiding Judge will prepare you well for much more terrifying situations later in your career. Law students have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the experience of mooting.
This article covers information regarding moot court practise and procedures that a law student should be familiar with to compete efficiently and successfully in moot court competitions.
A moot is an oral argument on a legal topic of contention. It is intended to simulate the conditions of actual litigation as precisely as feasible. It assists students in learning about the practical side of the law, it not only helps them learn about court procedures, but also helps them improve their mannerisms, presenting, and oratory skills.
Students serve as advocates and argue on a hypothetical or decided/undecided case, or on a specific legal matter, civil or criminal (or a petition), much as they would in a real court. They are judged by someone who is knowledgeable about the law. This individual does not have to be a current or former judge of any court.
First and foremost, a student should thoroughly review the moot proposition. It establishes the legal framework within which one must argue and lays out the entire case in detail; the more one reads it, the more one learns.
Going over the proposition will inspire a student to consider problems pertinent to the case. Nevertheless, it is vital to realise that the proposition will contain points supporting and opposing the cause of both; the plaintiff/complainant and the defendant/accused.
You might begin this research by examining documents after placing them in chronological order. In a debate, it is best to come up with 3-5 facts that summarise each side's arguments. This serves as a model for the memorial/file that will be presented to the court. An excessive number of facts in question would be a superfluous addition and one would not be able to present their points fully and properly in the time allotted. Only relevant facts should be included in the file, minor details can be omitted or used as subheadings inside the primary topic.
You may be interested in: The Best Resources To Prepare For Law Entrance Examinations
Researching the facts at hand should be a focus, else, the information will be dispersed and never-ending. A student should try to argue around a key theme in order to give the judge a sense of what the student expects from the case or what the student wants the court's decision to be based upon.
The theme should be derived from the case's jurisprudence. As a result, research preparation begins with a search for appropriate 'jurisprudence' that could be used to support the student's position.
Students should then look into applicable legislation that could be utilised to support their arguments once they have the required facts and a theme. You must be well-versed in the law of evidence, as well as the Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Civil Procedure. They are the areas of law that establish the normative framework for the application of facts and procedures to reach legal conclusions.
This procedure is the implementation of research planning and should take up the majority of your time for preparation. In light of the moot argument and circumstances at hand, one must choose which laws should be applied.
The following topics are to be studied during research:
1. Moot Proposition
The statement mentions certain facts, laws, and acts that can be utilised in arguments. Both parties to the lawsuit could benefit from the information presented. However, as you examine the facts, you will be able to tell which facts support you and which facts contradict you. It's a good idea to start with two questions in mind.
- What has to be proved?
- How to prove your case and disprove your opponent’s?
As a result, after going over the case several times, you will be able to identify the facts that support you and dispute those that contradict you. After gathering all of the information for your case, you must make inferences from the major facts and construct a hypothesis that will allow you to fully comprehend the situation.
2. Bare Acts
Many acts will be encountered by the pupils, which can be used in their favour or against the other party. The bare acts make it simple to access legal provisions, and a thorough evaluation will help in the discovery of other sections/laws that will strengthen the case.
The law and additional facts that could be employed in the moot court may not be articulated by bare acts alone. To gain a good understanding of the law, one needs to read a few books, not many, and also compile some leading or notable instances that can be mentioned to support the argument. In turn, the commentators make recommendations for additional publications that could be mentioned and used in the case.
4. Legal Research Portal
With easy access to the internet, reading printed copies of legal publications is no longer necessary. Accessing online legal research portals such as Westlaw, SCC online, Manupatra, and others can assist in locating relevant or different cases to the case discussed in the commentaries. These websites allow access to legal notes, research papers, various acts, and other law-related data in addition to case and case law records. The majority of them include both Indian and international case law.
Case laws cited in well-known portals also state if they have been overruled or whether they are res judicata. As a result, selecting essential cases from a large number of options becomes simple.
When preparing the brief, keep in mind that a smart lawyer's experience is based on his ability to use precedents to his advantage while simultaneously challenging those that are unfavourable. For citations, the Bluebook format (19th edition) is widely recommended. This is a legal obligation, and the format for citing cases is normally specified in the moot court's rulebook. Different books/publications utilise different citations, but the memorial must employ the needed and universal structure.
A reference is required since it is impossible to name all of the sources in the arguments; for example, if a fact is derived from a research paper, the student may not mention the source until it is specifically requested.
You may be interested in: 8 Tips for A Lawyer That Will Ensure Success in the Courtroom
It is vital to read this act because it regulates the behaviour of legal professionals. It explains how to conduct in front of a judge and court, and hence is a crucial aspect of the oral submission.
The purpose of a pleading is to facilitate a trial by clarifying the grounds of contention and providing a decision on them; it also establishes what relief a party is entitled to based on law and fact. As a result, after acquiring the necessary data, it must be organised in a specific manner, either as specified in the rules or as the industry standard. The written contribution is the memorial, whereas the oral submission is debated in the moot court.
It must be created by a single team for both sides, i.e., plaintiff/appellant and defendant/respondent. As it is to be submitted to the moot court judges and the opposing team, the guidelines for its creation must be properly observed. For reference, the teams can bring one of their own. They can also carry physical copies of judgments, bare acts, sections, various statutes, and other materials that need to be brought to the attention of judges or used as source evidence.
The moot court's rulebook specifies the word limit, alignment, spacing, and other features, and the file should be organised accordingly:
1. Cover page
It must include the name of the forum in front of which the proceedings are being held, the case name, the memorial title, the team code, and other required text. The cover page for the appellant/petitioner/plaintiff is blue, whereas the defendant/respondents have red. Students should not mention their name or the name of their university on the cover page or in the memorial.
2. Table of Contents
It establishes the file's structure. It serves as a file index, with chapter numbers and page numbers shown next to them. Subheadings can also be mentioned under the table of contents for easy access to the file since argument advanced forms the largest chapter.
3. Abbreviations List
A student will come across several abbreviations while creating the memorial, which should be discussed in this chapter. It helps in the reduction of word count and the avoidance of the frequent citation of superfluous lengthy texts. The use of abbreviations should be consistent throughout the memorial, meaning that the abbreviation for each word should be the same.
4. Authorities Index
This chapter should have a citation for every piece of information utilised to support the points. Cases, case laws, literature, parliamentary debates, and everything else mentioned should be referenced using the proper citation format. It serves as a reference if the judges question a specific fact. The matching page numbers might also be supplied in front of the citation in this case.
5. Statement of Jurisdiction
It is critical to select the proper jurisdiction in which the matter was brought before the court, and it is the most frequently asked question by judges. There will be no acceptance of the matter if the court does not have jurisdiction to hear it. It's only a paragraph noting which jurisdiction the attorney used to bring the case to the attention of the court.
6. Statement of Facts
It's a synopsis of the moot proposition. It should be concise and no longer than two pages. Out of all the facts provided in the proposition, the relevant facts are included here. One must not make assumptions about the existence of facts and must rely solely on the information presented.
7. Statement of Issues
This is an introductory chapter that discusses the subjects that will be debated. It's only a single statement that's asking a question. It should begin with the word 'whether,' and state clearly what problem will be discussed. It could also include subheadings if they were used in the arguments presented.
8. Summary of Arguments
It's a condensed version of the arguments made. It helps in conveying the main points of the arguments.
9. Arguments Advanced
This is the most essential element of the memorial, as it will represent how much research has been done. It is not necessary to mention everything connected to the case; nonetheless, all legal publications, case laws, commentaries, and other sources must be cited. It should be focused on the theme, concise, straightforward, and communicate the counsel's goal.
Subheadings could be added to the issues at hand to help justify the information and make it more readable. If the team has two speakers, the issues must be shared between them. You can also preserve separate physical copies of bare acts, commentaries, and judgments with the researcher to bring to the judge's attention as needed. To reinforce the arguments, one can use natural justice principles, but one should never assume anything that isn't stated explicitly in the proposition.
The cases referenced should be those that have been decided by a higher court than the one in which the case is being heard. If they are relevant to the case, even foreign case laws can be included in this chapter.
The reliefs sought by the counsel are contained in this section of the memorial. It should have a spot for the attorney's signature.
It is possible to seek more than one type of relief; however, the case and reasoning must be clear and justified.
When the teams argue in front of the judges, this is known as oral submission. The arguments are identical to those stated in the memorial. Students should follow the advocates' act and should never talk back or be nasty to the judges. The argument's tone should be formal and compelling, and the presentation should be confident and convincing.
The foundation of the memorial is research. There will be no problems in creating the memorial if the study is done properly. Oral presentations can be practised to improve communication; the speaker should be familiar with the memorial and should respond graciously and wittily if an adverse question is asked.
A moot court does educate students for litigation and is both cooperative and competitive. Although it is a replica, it comes as near as possible to a real courtroom. This hands-on activity also assists in determining whether or not one should pursue a career as an advocate.
As the saying goes for every case, “Each is Unique”, and so is every Moot Court.