Arpeeta Shams Mizan
The Champion team busy during the session.
Why moot? Well, the way Dhaka University Moot Court Society (DUMCS), a Society purely run by the students of the Law Department of the University of Dhaka, sees it, if you want to reboot your drab bookish legal knowledge, the best method is to indulge oneself in the art of mooting. Classroom education in legal arena only provides with theoretical aspects of a particular legal problem. But the real life situation is much too different, much complex. Studying Guardianship under Muslim law helps us understand the rules and principles. But when we stand in the courtroom trying to figure out whether giving the custody of a child over 7 years to the father who though perfect in almost every aspect might possess a hard-to-see disposition which would hinder a proper development of the child's morals would satisfy the “best interest of the child” standard, the theory would be far from sufficient. Our traditional teaching methods not always equip us with all the necessary arms to face the battlefield of the real courts. But mooting, on the other hand, introduces a law student to a court like situation before entering into professional life through dealing with a fictitious legal case. It helps build his research skill, capacity to form sound arguments and learn the technique of approaching the Bench to win them to his favour.
In keeping with these views, the DUMCS successfully organized the 1st Inter Year Moot Court Competition of the academic year 2010-2012. The DUMCS has been organizing such inter-year competitions since last 4 years. The whole process this year started with the Workshop “Mooting and its essentials” held on the 16th of August at the Faculty. The workshop was attended by many students, starting from the freshers of the 1st year up to the senior students of the final year. The sessions were divided into two parts: the first part focused on the process of writing the memorial i.e. the written submission and was conducted by Mr. ASM Sayem Ali Pathan, Advocate and former Finance Secretary, DUMCS. The second session focused on the oral preparation and was conducted jointly by Gazi Sangita Farzana and the Writer ( respectively students of LLM and 4th Year of the Department) who represented last year's Champion team of the 6th National Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition and represented DU team in Delhi and Hong Kong.
Following the workshop, the competition took place from the 20th to the 23rd August 2011. The moot problem dealt with two mainstream problems of International Humanitarian Law (IHL): Crime Against Humanity of Extermination and War crime of Willful Killing. The teams from Masters and 2nd Year made it to the Finals wherein the Masters Team became the champion beating all the 6 teams. The members of the winning team are Mubrook Mohemmed, Sushmita Chowdhury and Jubaida Rawshan Ara. Mubrook Mohammed was also adjudged as the Best Mooter. Awards were given to the 3 Best mooters, the Team with the best Memorial and the best Researcher. The final round was adjudged by Dr. Shahnaz Huda, Senior Professor; and Mr. Azharul Islam, Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Moderator, DUMCS. The participating teams underwent tedious preparation since even the freshers had to face the most experienced mooters. The 4th year students submerged in studying IHL immediately after having completed their month long final examinations. All the teams had to dissect case laws from the ICTY, ICTR and ICC for preparing up to the standard memorials. The level of devotion and enthusiasm of the students worked as a great incentive for the nurturing of future mooters from this Department which carries the legacy of introducing the art of mooting in Bangladesh for the first time ever. This competition facilitated interactions amongst the students from different years, introduced them to the vast horizons of International Criminal Jurisprudence at quite an early age, and definitely contributed to developing the potentials of becoming fantastic future lawyers to serve the nation.
The writer is student of law, University of Dhaka.