LAWASIA Mooting Competition 2019
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
The 14th LAWASIA Mooting Competition was held on the 24th and 25th of August 2019. Nine students from Taylor’s Law School, namely Mahherrajan Narayanan, Beverley Ramona Tan, Gan Yu Ju, Lucas Isaac, Prishanth Linggaraj, Lau Jian Hui (James), Quek Yi Shuen (Brie), Kamran Rajendran and Julianne John, alongside coach Mr Harcharan, represented the university in the competition. Two teams finished the preliminary rounds in 1st and 2nd place and was able to proceed to the semi-finals.
The team had a few words to say about their experience:
Quek Yi-Shuen (Brie)
As cliché as it sounds, one of the greatest things I’ve gained from my LAWASIA experience is the friendship I have formed with my fellow LAWASIA comrades, or as Mr. Harcharan would describe us: fools.
Were we fools for devoting so much time, effort and heartache into a competition that doesn’t even have a cash prize? Perhaps, but I would like to think otherwise.
Sure, we had to meet up every single day from 9 to 5 for an entire month to prepare for the competition, but throughout this period I’ve learned and gained so much from my LAWASIA comrades.
From Beverley I’ve learned that I should be more confident in my ideas and what kuih cincin and amplang is;
from Yu Ju I’ve learned that it’s important to do things that you’re afraid of and to only go for paid internships;
from Maxx I’ve learned to not live by the rules but rather question what my true desires are and that ‘Whup Whup’ is the best restaurant ever;
from Lucas I’ve learned that putting up a confident front is key and to never impulsively go bald;
from Prishanth I’ve learned that I should be unapologetically myself and to always pose for the paparazzi;
from James I’ve learned to always think out of the box and that lunch is the most important meal of the day;
from Julianne I’ve learned that it’s important to be carefree and what a Mazda looks like;
from Kamran I’ve learned that I should never be afraid to voice my dubiety and that “your mum” jokes are the best jokes;
from Mr. Harcharan I’ve learned to be a fool and to be foolhardy.
All in all, it was a greatly rewarding experience which has helped me grow into a better version of myself and I am extremely thankful for having the opportunity to work with these people.
The biggest takeaway from this competition is definitely the boost of confidence that I’ve achieved by mooting in front of learned judges and esteemed lawyers from the legal industry. It was a whole new experience for me.
I strongly believe that mooting is the perfect platform especially for those intending to pursue the career of an advocate.
This competition also taught me the importance of teamwork which resulted in a strong bond amongst the LAWASIA mooting team.
LAWASIA has definitely been a difficult experience, but it has taught me tremendously. At first, it took me a lot of time to get use to mooting. This is as firstly, you need good research skills, analytical skills and advocacy skills which are skills that takes time to improve. Mr Hacharan has taught me a lot in-terms of how to critically analyse the moot problem, where to research to find the relevant laws and how to carry yourself during the actual moot. I would recommend all law students to give mooting a try as it will equip you with necessary skills to be a court going lawyer.
Most importantly, you will make lifelong friends with the people you moot with!
Lau Jian Hui (James)
Seeing the faces of the same people for consecutive weeks on end cannot be healthy or sane, especially if you meet them with the sole purpose of arguing with each other. Regrettably, that was exactly what we did during training for LAWASIA 2019.
I was a complete newbie to mooting and had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I signed up for the exposure and I got so much more than I had bargained for. Our coach was right: only fools would join.
The substance of the moot problem, both legal and factual, was quite tough but nonetheless manageable. The hardest part of the journey was the emotional toll we suffered: faithlessness, frustrations, fears and a whole bunch of other F-words. There was no room for complacency; even till the last couple of days we were uncovering new facts or new law that would either give us the biggest headaches or the loudest cheers.
Mind you, this bunch of fools were pretty amazing.
We had the right balance of jokers, academicians and smart alecks.
Together we built layers upon layers of argumentation and dreamt of demolishing our opponents (which by the way, we eventually did).
I learned from LAWASIA that talent is beaten by hard work and unfortunately, hard work is beaten by luck. We might not have won - but I stand firm that we were never out-argued and that we struck fear in every room we entered.
Going into LAWASIA, I was terrified. I had done the course-mandated mooting module back in semester 2, but that was nothing. This was the big league, with actual professionals sitting there judging my capabilities as a litigator. It took me some time to get my footing, but with the help of my teammates and Mr Harcharan,
I started becoming more confident and less doubtful of myself.
In the beginning I would be so stressed about not knowing what to say or do if I was asked a question I couldn't answer, but slowly I found that there were less and less questions that I couldn't answer (mainly due to the daily practice and discussions we had for hours at a time). Although we didn't end up winning, we had a good run, and I certainly had a lot of fun.
Having already done the NAMCO moots back in semester 1, I was eager to jump right into LAWASIA. I assumed that it was going to be a fair bit similar. I was wrong. This was it. The step up that NAMCO was supposed to prepare us for. However, my teammates and I soon realised that it was a lot heavier with regards to the subject matter and content. We could not have done it without all the help and support of not only the other members, but also the tireless efforts of our Moot Master, Mr. Harcharan Singh. The camaraderie between all our teammates made the entire process leading up to the Moots a memorable one. Having to skip our much-awaited semester break to prepare for the Moots, it was the constant banter and laughs between us which eased our minds and got us through that period comfortably. We expanded our knowledge tremendously throughout the Moot with all the research that was done. It really opened our eyes to a world beyond our textbooks.
Bowing out in the Semi-Finals of the Moot itself was a setback but the valuable lessons and companionship that were gained along the way proved to be a lot more meaningful for some of us mooters.
All in all, I would have gone through the entire process again in a heartbeat.
Till next time, LAWASIA!
Gan Yu Ju
Taking part in a mooting competition is something you would really enjoy and value.
The best part would be analysing the facts in the problem and formulating arguments. You spend most of your time trying to look for answers for questions that have no answer, for there are about 93,587 ways of interpreting a word or a sentence. There is no end to it and you will be fighting with your teammates until the day before the competition to further polish your arguments.
There’s an old saying that, “Cases are won in chambers and not in court – the same applies with mooting.” Hence, be ready for extensive research on areas of the law which you have never learned before. It can be time-consuming, but digging out that one case law to prove an argument is a great satisfaction on its own.
Mooting is also about finding your own voice. Different people have different styles. In order to argue your case effectively, you need to be comfortable with your presentation. The aim is to be convincing enough to persuade the panel. Thus, it gives you a chance to work out your style.
More importantly, you gain long-lasting relationships with your mooting teammates. After all, you would be spending the whole semester break together, bouncing ideas off each other, joking around and collectively be ‘triggered’ by words such as “kompetenz-kompetenz”. It is definitely a unique bonding experience, and they will be your best friends in law school.
Mooting is fun. You will discover that by the end of competition, you would have learned more than you expected.
Speaking from experience, if it scares you, it might be a good idea to give it a try!
Beverley Ramona Tan
The LAWASIA mooting competition is one that is incredibly close to my heart, having had the experience of a lifetime with my teammates - Nessa & Sue Ann in the 2018 national rounds. The decision to take the plunge once again was fueled by pure addiction to the adrenaline rush, a genuine love of mooting and the steep learning curve that I was exposed to. The experience was indeed more than what I bargained for. I was very blessed to have been placed with the most outstanding teammates - Yu Ju & Maxx, who are the epitome of excellence in everything they do. I was not prepared, however, for how different the experience would be, having my perspective and role in the team being drastically different from the previous year. I went from being a newbie trying to figure out what in the world was an arbitration moot, to being considered a senior who was supposed to lead the charge. Frankly, I was terrified, as in my mind, I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task. Armed with blind faith and self-doubt, I, once again, ventured into the abyss.
However, the abyss turned out, once again, to be the path to the promised land as it destroyed the self-doubt and gave faith its sight back. I was immensely inspired by the courage and commitment shown by this group of mooters who were and are indeed brilliant. Not only were the mooters precise and articulate; more importantly, everyone genuinely cared about doing their best, supporting each other and making Mr Harcharan proud. As we progressed, I could feel the fear melting away as we became more confident in our arguments and had a better grasp of the subject matter.
We were able to finish 1st & 2nd in the preliminary rounds, but unfortunately missed the finals. Nonetheless, the comradery and bond formed between the LAWASIA mooters is one that I hold near and dear, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work among the best.
Was I a fool for doing it twice? Definitely.
I am very grateful for the bond and lifelong friendship that was formed between the LAWASIA mooters and the love and care given by our coach, Mr Harcharan. The preparation period was intense but definitely fulfilling as we were able to grow as mooters and as human beings in an environment where creativity is valued.
It is indeed not for the faint of heart but I really enjoyed the experience and would highly encourage anyone interested to give it a try.
Mr Harcharan Singh, Coach Extraordinaire
‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.’
The LAWASIA International Arbitration Moot Competition 2019 was my fourth consecutive year as the coach of Taylor’s’ mooting teams participating in this competition. After a rigorous selection process, 9 students (Maxx, Beverley, Yu Ju, Lucas, Prishanth, James, Brie, Julianne and Kamran) were given the honour and opportunity to put their respective best foot forward for the competition. I lovingly describe them as ‘foolhardy’. They had willingly, albeit unwittingly, opted to participate in a moot competition that was barely a month after their final examinations. I think they had little, or no clue, as to what they were getting into. During the term, we did meet up at least once a week to see if any progress had been made. This involved discussions of a preliminary nature with a low level of intensity, which were quite misleading as to the level of commitment that would ultimately be needed. The true import of what they had undertaken dawned upon them in the final three weeks leading up to the competition. Had they really bargained for the daily 9-to-5 grind of preparation? Had they truly understood that their “very well” researched arguments were to undergo such scrutiny, change and criticism (not without huge doses of sarcasm and cynicism, I confess, on my part)?
Of course, even if, at the outset, they did not truly appreciate what they had gotten themselves into, each and every one of them, in my estimation, handled the situation extremely well and passed with flying colours. They did themselves, their families and Taylor’s proud. They performed to the best of their abilities, and no one could ask for more from them.
As always, coaching the mooters was an enriching experience for me. I got to know and appreciate 9 wonderful individuals, each with a unique personality. I got to see how they grew in leaps and bounds from the time they started preparation to the time the competition ended, not only in terms of knowledge of the law and advocacy skills, but important interpersonal and intrapersonal skills (although in the immortal words of Sir Alex Ferguson, they “could do better”).
I sincerely hope that this journey of discovery was as gratifying for them as it was for me.