3rd LUMS International Moot Court Competition

The Law and Politics Society (LPS) at LUMS strives rigorously to inculcate a culture of mooting across law schools around the globe. This event not only provides a useful opportunity to law students to demonstrate their critical legal research and advocacy skills, but also serves as a national focal point for new and progressive initiatives in legal education. The 3rd LIMCC was held from February 13th – 16th 2020. It hosted a total of 20 teams, national and international included. The Competition has been incomparable to the previous ones, not only in terms of having more teams intensely competing amongst each other, but also in terms of the panel of remarkable judges honoring us with their presence. Moreover, the competition stood out greatly with regards to the issues it highlighted. The moot problem revolved around the refugee crisis and the relevant Refugee Convention under international law.

This time we had twenty teams coming in from national and international law colleges to participate in this enriching competition along with panels of esteemed judges from the legal fraternity who made this event one of its kind. Teams from various esteemed universities from all over Pakistan took part in this event, including: School of Law Karachi, Kinnard College for Women, Hazara University, Blackstone School of Law, Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology Islamabad, University of Sindh Jamshoro, University of Malakand, Denning Law School  Karachi, TMUC Karachi, Punjab University, UMT, Indus College of law, Quaid e Azam Law University, SZABIST Law School, Themis School of Law Karachi, Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Government Sindh Law College Hyderabad, University of Gujrat, L’ecole Law School. Additionally, the international team from Sri Lanka belonged to General Sir John Kotelwela Defence University.

The judges for the preliminary rounds were: Daud Aziz Khokhar, Nehan Zehra, Sadaf Aziz, Ahmed Hassan Khan, Abeer Mustafa, Hira Arif, Marva Khan, Samar Masood, Obaid Aslam, Zuneera Azhar, Najeeha Raza, Syeda Shahrbano, Shmyla Khan, Fatima Raza, Usman Ali Virk, Usama Aqil, Zain-ul-Hassan, Shiza Rehman, Barrister Bilal Ashraf, Alyzah Mehar, Shah Bakht Sohail, M.Azeem, Salman Ejaz, Zarmina Khan, Fatima Shaheen, Rashid Ahmad, Muneeb Mukhtar, Khuzaema Siddique, Asad Rahim, Ahmed Tariq, Ibrahim Haroon, Dania Mukhtar, Waqas Balouch, Umair Ahmad and Barrister Hamid Leghari.

For the quarter - finals our panelists included: Minaam Karim, Ibrahim Haroon, Zain-ul-Hassan, Barrister Hamid Leghari, Shahmeer Ubaid, Khadija Ahmed, Umair Ahmad, Haris Irfan, Usama Khawar, Sahar Bandial, Shaigan Ijaz and Barrister Maryam Hayat.
For the semi-finals the judges were: Barrister Bilal Ashraf, Shaigan Ijaz, Minaam Karim, Saad Bajwa, Saroop Ijaz, Mehvish Muneera, Usama Malik, Ayesha Malik, Anoosha Shaigan and Barrister Hamid Leghari.
Lastly, Ali Sultan, Husnain Chaudhary, Zeeshan Hashmi, Zaki Rehman and Hamza Haider were the esteemed judges for the the final round.

Day zero started with the teams’ registration. Later in the day, the Opening Ceremony commenced at 6:00 PM where the host team cordially welcomed all the participants. This was followed by a Hi-Tea, which provided the participants an opportunity to interact with one another as well as with the organizers of the event. After the orientation, teams were provided with the opposing teams' memorials, who then dispersed to prepare for the preliminary rounds held the next day.

The preliminary rounds began with utmost energy and enthusiasm. Eager participants could be seen running to their assigned auditoriums for their respective matches in the Law School and Academic Block. The matches started around 9 AM and ended around 6:30 PM with a total of 10 matches taking place throughout the day. The procedure for every round was as follows: After the arrival of judges, the court went into session, then the applicants presented their arguments followed by the respondents. Succeeding this is the applicants’ rebuttals followed by the sur-rebuttals of the respondents, which bring an end to the respective match. The judges then score the teams and without disclosing the results, offer detailed feedback on each team’s performance including individual feedback for all the team members.
Day 2 resumed with the preliminary rounds early in the morning and concluded in the evening with quarterfinals marking the day’s end. The teams that made it to the quarterfinals included General Sir John Kotelawela Defence University (Sri Lanka) - Faculty of Law, Blackstone School of Law, Kinnaird College For Women, Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology Islamabad, Institute Of Law, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Denning Law School, UMT School of Law and Policy and Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi. Throughout the day, the applicants and respondents engaged in a series of heated arguments in front of the judges, hoping to make it to the next rounds i.e. the semifinals. The competition grew tougher and tougher, but the participants remained steadfast and kept giving an outstanding performance. Meanwhile, the host team was on their toes for the whole day, escorting judges, preparing courtrooms and performing bailiff duties to ensure the smooth execution of the event.

After the day’s rounds, Qawali Night along with a Food Street awaited the tireless participants. It was conducted in collaboration with LUMS Literary Society, IEEE and LUMS Society of Professional Accountancy. The turnout of the attendees was significant, and the event marked a success. From the past few years, LPS has always prided itself in arranging the Qawali in order to present a vital part of Pakistani culture to the international teams.

On the last day of the competition, the teams which qualified for the semis were as follows: Kinnaird College for Women, Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology Islamabad, Institute of Law, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Hyderabad and Denning Law School. The semifinals were conducted in the usual manner and after two heated matches, Kinnard College for Women and Denning Law School qualified for the final. The semi-finals and the final were both conducted in the Asifa-Irfan Moot Court. The final match was particularly enthralling because of the continuous questioning of the participants by the judges. However, the participants were not easily intimidated and it ended with Kinnaird College for Women emerging victorious.

After the final match, a Closing Ceremony was arranged followed by a formal dinner where the delegates bid farewell to one another while socializing with fellow law students and professionals – a great opportunity to acquaint oneself with the legal fraternity. The honorable Head of Department of Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law, Ms. Sadaf Aziz presented shields to the honorable judges who graciously presided the matches. The finalists were also presented their respective awards for their zealous efforts. The best speaker award went to Habeeba Waseem from Kinnard College for Women. The Awards for the best memorandum for the applicant and the best memorandum for the respondent was secured by Institute of Law Jamshoro and Kinnard College for Women, respectively. Last but not the least, the Executive Council and General Body members of the Law & Politics Society were also presented with shields in order to recognize their unwavering commitment and dedication that made this event a huge success.

The competition served as a great learning experience for all the participants. The teams were found commenting that the refugee issue highlighted in the moot problem is of much relevance in contemporary times provided the situation in Kashmir, Syria, etc. and such exercises could help them in reaching potential solutions by closely engaging with them. Another remark made by one of the participants was how moot competitions are generally based on domestic law and even in rare cases when international law is involved; refugee law is an area, which is seldom touched. In this respect, the 3rd LIMCC helped the participants in exploring and learning about an untouched area within international law. In fact, one of the judges also found the legal intricacies of the moot problem imparting to his knowledge of the relevant law.

When asked about the nature of mooting, one of the final rounds' judges rendered it extremely important and suggested that it should be encouraged and promoted further. He advised aspiring mooters and lawyers to never give up such activities and stated that, "When you come into legal practice there are 2 limbs to it: either you become an office person, or you become a litigator. This is your bread and butter. If you won’t be able to speak and litigate how will you manage?"

In a nutshell, the competition was successful in providing practical learning of the law and this was agreed upon by the participants and the judges alike.