Interview with winners of 5th NLIU Justice RK Tankha International Investment Arbitration Moot

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My name is Kaustubh Srivastava, a third year student, along with my team mates Ravi Shankar Pandey (2nd year), Devansh Rathi (3rd year) and Siddhant Ahuja (3rd year) studying law at Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow.

What inspire you to moot and what was the reason behind choosing the concerned moot?

Personally, Mooting has always been an opportunity for me to take it to the stage and excercise public speaking which I am genuinely passionate about. Speaking for my team mates, passion for law and reading the research for the concerned law has always been an incentive. Siddhant, who is co-speaker in the team, share the same love for debating.

5th NLIU Justice RK Tankha International Investment Arbitration Moot, 2020 gave us the opportunity to read the latest development in the arena of international commercial Arbitration and various aspects of Insolvency Laws.

Tell us about the brief of moot problem and issue involved?

The Moot Case involved two international companies, namely, Arcebor Power Private Limited and Renvindora National Power Company Limited, incorporated in two different countries entered into a parts supply agreement for the supply and maintenance of parts of power plant. Post restructuring of Arcebor’s company, certain country trade disputes forced certain delayed deliveries. Renvindora terminated the contract and Arcebor invoked the arbitration for the alleged wrongful termination.

The issues involved were Jurisdictional and Procedural-Merit issue.

Tell us about your preparation?

We invested a month in the preparation of the moot, with the research being the primary focus we tried to handle the issues which had a proclivity towards a particular side with certain strategies. We discussed and re drafted the issues on multiple occasions. Our primary aim was to create a draft for memorandum/written submission which would incorporate the premise for all the possible argumentation. Classes usually need to be managed with the moot. Although my team mates are more disciplined, I found the time management slightly challenging. Nonetheless, a well thought out preparation does not have much impact on your daily schedule.

How was the level of participation? How were judges? Whether they grilled you etc?

The level of participation was rather exciting and really challenging. The teams we competed with were competent and very well prepared. The research here and there made some difference for us, and especially speaking, which provided us with a marginal edge.

The judges in the tournament were the best set of judges I personally have ever faced. There was always a judge in the panel who knew the problem inside out. And the other two would drive the contestants on the law. Mr Das (problem drafter) gave us an outstanding experience with the problem and the briefing of the other judges, which I am presuming he was a part of.

How was it like working with the team? Did you never have conflicts? If you did, how did you resolve them?

Conflicts are inevitable. Different working styles and strengths need to be matched. It takes time. We had our fair share of issues, but we had a common intention of giving our best for the moot, and that made all the difference. Also, Ravi being the junior member in the team was also the glue that made us even stronger. In the end everything resulted in our favour and I cannot deny it was some experience.

How many teams were you up against in the competition? Which team would you consider to be your toughest competition?

We were up against 5 teams. Our toughest opponents were the finalists, ILS Pune. They were a competent team, gave us their share of challenge.

Overall experience in brief?

The experience for me, was mind-blowing and also humbling at the same time. I had lost 3 national-international moots by the time I took up Tankha. Tankha validated my strengths and humbled me of the reality. Apart from this self realisation, everything was outstanding. We had amazing guidance from amazing people. NLIU Bhopal was very kind and hospitable. The competition was very well organised and the victory was sweeter even.

What advice would you give to your juniors about how to go through moot?

The most important advice I would give to anyone preparing for a moot would be to find confidence in oneself. Not just for the oral rounds. But also for research. Confidence in oneself and in one’s team is very important. Research should be argument oriented with precision and timed with the deadline decided on context of the written submission. Mocks most certainly help. Finding right people for mocks is a task, but is indispensible. Formatting of the memorial has been my favourite task all along. Enjoy Microsoft word and take 5 days just for citation and formatting of the memorial. I believe this should help.

What is advantage of mooting and why should one choose mooting in college days?

Mooting is one of the essential ingredient of a law school.  Anyone who enjoys or wants to enjoy a close litigation experience should do moots. More than just public speaking and argumentation, Mooting has taught me quick thinking and analytical reasoning with the application of law. The researching skills acquired help in internships and for other purposes as well. I do not see any reason why one should not moot.

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