Debating their way to victory - The New Indian Express

Debating their way to victory

Published: 18th April 2013 11:20 AM

Last Updated: 18th April 2013 11:20 AM

Kochi-based Geetha Hariharan was part of the NLSIU team which won the White and Case World Championship at the 54th Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, held in Washington DC recently

Geetha Hariharan of Tripunithura is beaming with joy and excitement. This bubbly lass is the only Keralite in the team that did National Law School of India University,(NLSIU) Bangalore, proud by winning the 2013 White and Case World Championship at the 54th Philip C Jessup International Law MootCourt Competition, held in Washington DC, from March 31 to April 6.

Raag Yadava who won the best oralist award, Shreya Jain and Akshaya Ramadurai were the others in the team. The team had to argue their way strongly with the Singapore Management University School of Law in the Championship round to clinch the trophy. 

After winning the zonal level in India, the team left for the US for the week-long contest but not without preparation. This year’s  problem addressed the consequences of global climate change on statehood, migration and sovereign debt.

“We didn’t expect to win the national round and gaining confidence from the victory we started preparation from last October to take our best foot forward for the international contest.

Of course the hypothetical international law case was the same - the question of submergence of small island due to climate change. It’s of great relevance today as islands such as Maldives are looking out to purchase land elsewhere for fear of sinking,” said Geetha. Besides, we enjoy the sheer idea of constuctive arguments.”

The team had to answer what would happen if an island were to sink. What will happen to the state and its people? Will they become refugees? What would other countries do for them. What would the International court of justice do for them? Arguments for and against had to be given on the fictional countries.

“Raag and I chose to be oralists while the research part was taken up by Shreya and Akshay. It was an enlightening experience for, the contests were held among teams from 83 countries. We got a good exposure as we could meet experts in international law and in others  fields,” said Geetha.

The jury comprised three sitting judges of the International Court of Justice with whom we inteacted with. It was a great learning experience for the contestants as 2013 White and Case International Rounds were the most diverse in the 54-year history of the Jessup. The teams for the international round were selected from country-wise qualifying rounds, in which about 550 teams had participated worldwide.

Geetha won the best orator in the Monroe E Price Media Law Moot Court contest in Oxford in 2011, although the three-member team could only reach the quarter-final stage of the contest.

She is also passionate about writing. “I love writing and have written for an online magazine ‘My Law’,” she said. Geetha, who is doing her final year is serious about International law and plans to work with the litigation team Amarchand and Mangaldas in Delhi soon after stepping out of the varsity. — Express Features

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