The first day of the competition, Jarryd and I attended orientation where we would find out who our competitors were the preliminary rounds and Tori would take her Researcher’s test.
Jarryd and I found out we would be going up against Team B, an Indian Team, as the Respondent for the first preliminary round. Then for the second preliminary round we would face Team Y, as the Applicant that afternoon.
On Friday, during the first round, we learned that the mooting styles of the Indian students were quite different than that of back home. The Indian students moot very fast in a rather rant type style and the judges interrupt with questions in a rather hostile manner. It was very interesting and different than our mooting style. The other team also took many documents with them to the podium and made several references to them, all while drawing the judges attention to each one. Although the judges appeared hostile in their questioning, when it was our turn to moot, they changed their position to adapt to our mooting style. The judges were very nice and friendly, and were very excited to have an American team in the competition.
The second preliminary round was quite similar in style to the first round. I found the second team to be very passionate and admired their aggressive attempts to sway the judges in their favor.
After both rounds, we were treated to a lovely Indian dinner on the terrace of the Government Law College were we awaited the results. With a lost in the first round and a win in the second round we ascended to the Octo-Finals, that would begin the next day.
Until the next day!
We arrived Wednesday morning, February 11, 2015, at approximately 5:00am local time. Mumbai is 11.5 hours ahead of our time zone in Chicago, but the transition here has been a smooth one so far. A first year law student from the Government Law College greeted us at the airport. Our first challenge was fitting all of the luggage and ourselves into a small, four-door Honda Civic. We crammed into the little car with our luggage stacked high on our laps in the back seat. We learned that Tori is extremely claustrophobic in tight spaces, and I had to switch to the middle before we left the parking garage. It was a long drive from the airport to the Astoria Hotel, and we found out that driving in India is a mixed form of art that includes dodging and weaving in and out of traffic with horns beeping and blaring while pedestrians, bicyclists, scooters, and motorcycles enter and exit the roadways as they please. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Upon arrival at Astoria, two second-year students at the Government Law College assisted us with our accommodations. Everyone has been exceptionally hospitable. After settling in and taking a short rest we set out to take in the sites of the city. First, we went to the Gateway of India and then visited the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Afterwards, we wondered the markets and found a little place off a side street, Gokul Restaurant, for lunch. We ordered food tapas style with the assistance of Professor Murray. His selections were great! The food was phenomenal. We were given bowls with warm water and lemon to rinse our hands after our meal was finished. This was a first for me, and it was certainly a nice touch. After much exploring we decided to head back to Astoria and rest. In the evening we explored Chowpatty Beach. The cuisine continues to be nothing short of fantastic. On Thursday we have orientation and will find out which teams we face in prelims on Friday.
Until next time,
The International Moot Court is sending three of its members to Mumbai, India to compete in the D.M. Harish Memorial International Moot Court Competition from February 12th-15th. Coach Victoria Feddeler and competitors Delicia Zayas and Jarryd Morton have been preparing for this competition since early October, with the help of Professor Michael Murray, who will also be attending this competition.
This year’s competition fact scenario, called a Compromis in International Moot Court Competitions, has four very different subjects that they competitors will be addressing. The competitors have each researched and written a memorial based on the general admissibility and standing of a claim within the International Court of Justice; whether an intervention by one country into the dispute territory of another was a humanitarian intervention or a military intervention in violation of international law; whether a potential cyber-attack breaches the norms embodied in the UN Charter; and whether failure to compensate under the terms of an investment contract between countries violates international investment law. The competitors will present their cases before the court, advocating for their country.
Upon arrival in India, coach Victoria Feddeler will be tested on her knowledge of both objective and subjective questions based on the General Principles of International Law and the Compromis. This test will be graded against all of the other coaches, and the coach with the highest grade will be awarded the coveted Best Researcher award.
On the second day of the competition, the competitors will begin to argue their case against Indian and International teams. Based on the Round Total for the Preliminary Rounds, teams will advance to the Octo-Final, Quarter-Final, Semi-Final, and Final Rounds. Competitors Delicia Zayas and Jarryd Morton will be competing against all other competitors for the Best Team, Best Memorial, and Best Speaker Awards.
In the recent past, the Valparaiso University Law School has brought home several awards and this year’s team is looking to continue the tradition.