In conversation with RGNUL team on winning Oxford Media Law Moot (South Asia Rounds)

The RGNUL team, comprising Anmol Mahajan, Wamic Wasim Nargal, Aaryan Goyal, Abhigyan Tripathi, Kanika Bansal, and Satvik Mishra, was adjudged the winners of the South Asia Rounds of the 15th Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition, 2021-2022. Additionally, Anmol Mahajan was adjudged the best speaker of the finals and the overall competition. The team will be representing the South Asian region in the Oxford Price Media Moot, 2022.

They have been interviewed by Dikshi Arora, EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador who is pursuing law from RGNUL.

 

  1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. Why did you decide to pursue a career in law?

Anmol Mahajan: I am a fourth year student of law, currently pursuing a business law specialisation. I am a firm believer in raising one’s voice and expressing one’s opinion on the various socio-political issues that are present in my surroundings. I chose law for the sole reason that law is extremely fascinating. In the field of law, one can solve every problem simply by analysing the happenings around them and applying a creative bent of mind.

Aaryan Goyal: I am a third year student of law, exploring opportunities in the areas of dispute resolution, media law, and competition law. The primary reason why I chose law was because the concept of justice and creating an impact on society while at the same time critically analysing the  events that take place around me is something that drives me. The fact that one can change the lives of so many people simply by applying one’s mind has been a huge driving force for me to enter this field.

Abhigyan Tripathi: I am a fourth year student of law, currently pursuing a business law specialisation. I chose the legal field because it brings a sense of empowerment with it. The fact that the mere act of reading and writing about various socio-political issues can be such a powerful tool of social change has always amazed me. Law as a field is extremely comprehensive as it covers the practical facets through the pursuit of knowledge and excellence.

Kanika Bansal: I am a third year student of law, with an ambition to gain a niche understanding of IPR law as I progress in my career. My analytical outlook in life and a desire to develop a deeper and in-depth understanding of the happenings around me was one of the major guiding factors behind my endeavour into the legal profession.

Satvik Mishra: I am a fourth year student of law, currently pursuing a criminal law specialisation. I have always wanted to develop an understanding of how the society works while at the same time using that understanding to resolve the deep-rooted problems in society. Choosing law as a field has helped me provide a path towards doing both those things, that is, understanding the problems while at the same time getting access to the resources to solve those problems.

Wamic Wasim Nargal: I am a third year student at the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. The credit has to go to my father, who, by virtue of being a lawyer, introduced me to the dynamics of this field. I believe there is nothing more satisfying and rewarding than this profession. Wearing the band, the gown, and arguing before a court of law in order to facilitate justice is precisely where I see myself in life.

 

2. Please acquaint our readers with the Oxford Price Media Law Moot Court Competition.

The Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot is one of the most esteemed international moot court competitions, dealing with issues of free speech, political expression and regulation of the same, especially in this age of social media. The competition may be understood as a tool to generate effective discourse regarding comparative constitutional law to formulate efficient standards for restricting freedom of expression.

 

3. What inspired you all to take up this prestigious moot and how did you qualify for it from your college?

RGNUL has a very rich legacy in the Price Media Moot, and we formed a team by handpicking people that we knew would bring value to the table. One of the main reasons we formed our team was a mutual love for constitutional law and issues regarding free speech. Like all students of law, we had a dream of partaking in the Price Media Moot and competing for our nation at the highest level, against other meritorious students of law and in front of the best legal professionals in the world. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our coach Mr Shaurya Dhoundiyal, for driving us to perform to the best of our capabilities. Having qualified to the semi-finals at the world rounds of this competition himself, he was a constant source of inspiration for the entire team.

As far as qualifying for the moot is concerned, the same was a result of a clinical performance in the General Intra Moot, 2021 organised by the RGNUL Moot Court Committee.

 

4. Did the pandemic hamper the preparation? How did you manage to coordinate the preparation from people being in different locations?

It goes without saying that the pandemic has had an adverse impact on collective productivity and coordination of the work schedule as a whole. However, our zeal and attitude towards giving it our best played a crucial role during the memorial preparation. Through the use of online platforms and by keeping in touch through daily meetings wherein we discussed our inputs, we were able to allocate work amongst ourselves. Our coach was instrumental in keeping our morale high and ensuring that we worked like a team through realistic deadlines as well as a stringent review process of our arguments.

 

5. What was the moot problem based on? How did you approach the problem, and did your strategies evolve with more preparation?

Broadly speaking, the problem this time around was based on State responsibility which arises out of upholding restrictions imposed by social media intermediaries. Specifically, the problem revolved around the application of different standards while the restricting speech of influential people based on the rationale that there is a requirement to differentiate between the levels of influence held by such individuals. During the course of preparation, the team formulated various arguments, some of them solely grounded in fact and others based on the direct application of law. This resulted in an intense process of researching every such parallel that might have been drawn with the problem at hand. This resulted in ensuring that only the most definitive and emphatic arguments were finalised.

The oral rounds for the South Asian competition was an intense and enriching experience, which enabled us to think on our feet and test out our argumentation against the best teams in the region. We tried to eliminate each and every loophole in our arguments so that the grounds for excessive questioning did not arise in the first place. Through careful scrutiny, we attempted to deconstruct the opponent’s structure and we ultimately bore the fruit of victory.

 

6. It is no secret that preparation of the memorial plays a very significant role for the success in any moot. Please walk us through how you prepared your memorial and what are the key factors that one should keep in mind while drafting memorials?

One of the most preliminary steps towards successful memorial drafting is understanding the style of argumentation prevalent in that moot court competition. This may be achieved through a thorough evaluation of past years’ memorials. Secondly, drafting, must be done in a manner that avoids the use of verbose and complicated sentence structures. The priority should be to maximise readability of arguments and paint a vivid picture of what the argument intends to convey. Thirdly, the drafting process should be strictly in compliance with the rules provided for by the competition’s organising committee, including the document’s formatting, referencing and so on.

Our entire focus throughout the memorial preparation process was to ensure that we paint a compelling narrative and grasp the evaluators’ attention. In essence, articulation is the key to succeed in the memorial qualification round of this competition.

 

7. Not many people are familiar with the concept of “exhaustion of a search”. What are your views on it?

Answering this solely with reference to the Oxford Price Media Moot, we did hit some dead ends while researching in this field which was also new to us. However, the key is coming back to the proposition with a fresh set of eyes. If one member of the team has “exhausted his/her research”, the other member will pick up the topic and research on it with a fresh viewpoint. Doing this, made the entire process more lucid, as every member of the team got acquainted with all the arguments for both the issues in question.

In such circumstances, keyword searches become key. The proposition/research point at hand needs to be searched through the use of synonymous words or through the use of a different voice. Often, these points do not get picked up by the original search and may be found through differently phrased keyword searches. A dearth of research should never be a roadblock and it is essential to have fresher perspectives at hand for reaching a breakthrough. A dearth of research should never be a roadblock, and it is essential to have fresh perspectives at hand to achieve a breakthrough.

 

8. What are your tips for students who want to pursue international moots in future? Is there anything you wish you had known before going for this moot so that people can benefit from your hindsight?

For all of us, this moot and our achievement was aided by the hours and hours of hard work each member of the team put into the process. When we were allotted this moot, we were already two months behind every other participating team. The key was to not think about the negatives, but to move forward with a positive mindset.

While participating in international moots, people should ensure that they are familiar with the international standards of memorial preparation, drafting styles as well as the relevant sources of research material. Qualifying from the regional rounds should not be the sole objective. The preparation should be such, from the outset, that the participating team becomes confident and ready for the world rounds in itself.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.