My team recently participated in the 4th VIPS Moot Court competition.
International law is a field close to my heart. That’s why I ended up picking this moot based on the same without a blink. It was my 6th moot on International Law. I was fairly confident.
There were 2 preliminary rounds. We got the memos. First was against Amity Law School. The memo was horrendous. Not even going into the legal issues but the sentences weren’t complete. They filled it with “….” instead of complete sentences.
An example being:- “The respondent is liable under the Central……”. It ended
We don’t possess the copy of their memo but we had a question mark on every page because of their formatting. We were fairly confident against them. During the rounds, it was a 2 judge bench and what irked me first was the lack of a name tag in front of the judge. They questioned us only on facts and nothing on the legality. Our round went really well. The students inside the court room as well as the students from Amity told us that we’re making it through. Every question was answered by us. I noticed the judges marking the scores with a pencil. I confronted the organizers about that to which they told that it was a rule of procedure.
The second round was against RML. Stronger competition than the previous round but we sailed through it. Again, the team of RML told us we are making it through and were the better side. We were fairly confident for breaking through to the quarters. The judges marking with a pencil kept irking me but I couldn’t do anything.
The break results were announced and we weren’t selected. I was shocked but wanted a feedback. Denied. Scoresheets? Denied. They told us they’ll contact the judges and let us know the feedback. It was hardly 15 minutes after our round and we were informed the judges went away. They even refused to disclose the name of the judges nor any feedback.
Not just us, but 3 other teams had an issue with them marking the scores with pencil and about an apparent bias for the results.
I would never recommend this competition to any mooter, beginner or experienced. It’s not just me being overconfident that I was denied my break but after doing a reasonable number of moots and even winning them, you have a fair idea to analyze your performance. If even the opponents say that you were the better side and the lack of transparency by the organizers definitely show the lack of integrity of the organizers.