Change We Can Believe In

by Veda Handa and Kainaz Tanveer

 

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. Change is great! And we at NLU Delhi take change very seriously. Quite seriously. And that is precisely why the IMS organisers decided to give IMS 2015 a complete makeover. Many makeovers. Too many makeovers.

So here’s a quick look at the Before and the After of the IMS 2015 Policy.

 

Before

After

Early bird gets the worm: Memorials submitted beyond the deadline would not be accepted.

 

The original policy regarding late submission of memorials was the deduction of 2 marks for every deadline missed. This was revised to a deduction of four marks, and finally to non-acceptance beyond 11.59 PM on the 15th of May.

However, memorials submitted even fourteen hours later were not only accepted, but only faced a two-mark penalty.  Upon multiple requests by the participants, this was raised to ten marks.

2+2=2!

The initial plan of having a total of four rounds was suddenly reduced to two. No explanation was given for the same.

Anonymity of participants is a cornerstone of a moot.

Two of the four judges have graduated from our college and were personally acquainted with several participants.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

After a mishap involving teams with rounds just two hours apart, a revised schedule was sent late in the evening before rounds, providing respite for some teams, which now had a whole four hours to prepare. Meanwhile, others were granted the boon of over twenty-four.

Baat toh bas ek ghante ki hai!

Those fretting over a 4 hour gap between rounds were in for a treat with an average of a 2 hour delay in schedule. Sweating it out in formal wear under the Delhi summer sun is so much fun!

Speakers and researchers were hand in hand.

As the researchers dutifully spent their prep time helping their teammates arguing orally, they were apprised of the fact that the test that was supposed to take place after the rounds, would now be held during the last two rounds. Only hours earlier. Specifically, two hours earlier. Surprise surprise!

 

And change is not something that is just confined to the MCC. The participants too take it equally seriously. So if your memo was terribly wrongly formatted, you could always just make changes to the hard copy prior to the orals!

 

(A previous version of this article referred to the IMS organisers as the MCC. We apologise for the same. The section regarding “Plagiarism” has also been removed because of concerns regarding its veracity. It must also be noted that the participants who made changes to their memorial during their oral rounds only did so with permission from both the organisers and the judges.)

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10 thoughts on “Change We Can Believe In

  1. I’m sure you’ve made the distinction between the MCC and the IMS Organising Committee. :-) It was one of the MCC members who was the victim of the “two hour gap”.

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  2. Dear Kainaz and Veda,

    We acknowledge that this may not be the best IMS that the students have participated in but there is only so much you can do when you are balancing procedural fairness with efficiency. If the MCC was not conflicted, perhaps you would not have been so inconvenienced to face the stress of how an actual moot works (even though that’s exactly why you are participating in the IMS, I presume). For the erratic policy decisions, we believe that unpredictability is one thing and injustice quite another. If these two clash, the MCC considers it its duty as a student body to not let the former override the latter. But as I have already stated, the MCC was conflicted and these decisions were not in our hands. Nevertheless, since a couple of things pointed out are quite legitimate, we apologize for the unpredictability of the IMS Policy 2015 and will try our best to ensure that the same doesn’t persist in the next IMS.

    And about the ‘terribly wrongly formatted memo” – that’s quite some misrepresentation you have going on there, i’d say. The changes weren’t subterfuge; consent of the team (which also incidentally CHECKED the differences between the hard copies and then AGREED), the organizers and the bench was taken, who were ALL informed of the circumstances. Prior intimation. Procedural fairness.The test of the memos is before the judge for the memos and I am sure we agree that no one should be punished twice for the same offence.

    That being said, there are two sides to every story and even if you do think that the other side is not worthy enough to be heard, perhaps, you could at the very least, ensure that you get your facts right. I don’t think the MCC is only one which is supposed to be fair, do you?

    “These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today. But I say this to our citizenry: We, ever your servants, will continue to defend your liberty and repel the forces that seek to take it from you! Your [MCC,or whatever is left of it] remains, strong”.
    ~ I am sure at least one of you will know where this is from. :)

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    • Dear Tania,

      Thank you for your reply.
      At the very outset, we would like to apologise for inadvertently mentioning the MCC – we meant the IMS organising committee. It was an error that we did not notice before publication, and has now been fixed.

      The purpose of the article was to highlight the various changes that the IMS was subject to this year. The issue that you have focused on was similarly an unprecedented case. We thank you for bringing the other side of the story to everyone’s notice. We recognise the fact that there were other elements to the changes in the memorials – and if you wish for it to be removed, then we will understand.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Veda and Kainaz.

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  3. This is quite funny. When you spout so much vitriol on a public forum and put the spotlight on yourself, you open yourself to correction more than to criticism. You might have reserved at-least that tiny fraction of rationality for your own sake and made sure you stuck to the facts before going ahead and doing this. Now, not only are you two people who performed fairly badly in the IMS and sound like the proverbial sore pair of losers who received quite the proverbial thwacking while reaching for grapes that are now naturally sour, you also sound disingenuous and dishonest and like you are blaming the system for your own inadequacies.

    I am no longer a student at this university, not for some time, but have mooted extensively and done fairly well for myself. I shall reserve my identity, because, quite honestly, i dont care enough to be involved in this over a long term. I do this only because i find it distressing that glasnost is fast becoming a forum to vent on and for an individual to have a tuppence worth of attention, more than a forum to unify a student body on conversation worth having, and more so because stuff like this regularly shows up on my feed. This is not to say that only useless conversation takes place on Glasnost, but this forum seriously needs some quality control.

    1. The last memorial was submitted at 12:40 am. 40 minutes after the deadline. It was for the same reason that a relaxation of the penalty of disqualification was argued for by the ‘student body’. Yes, a bunch of your buddies. It is sad that those phone calls that come in many dozens past midnight post submissions cannot be recorded and played back to silence you bunch of miserable lazy louts. When this request was yielded to, another bunch of your buddies from the ‘student body’ post receiving their formatting penalties would blow up the roof in protest stating that all these penalties were a result of having received lesser formatting time. Of course! It had cost them up to 10 marks, which, incidentally, if i remember correctly, is the maximum penalty. Jesus! If you’re getting a score of -10 on penalties, which probably means you got a hell of a lot more and it reflected only 10 because that was the maximum penalty award able, 40 minutes more or less certainly wouldn’t take your memorial anywhere. But as is want, you scream and yell and argue legitimate expectation and fairness and push the authorities against a wall and get what you want, so the penalty was raised to 10. Not because the MCC was being whimsical, but because a bunch of your buddies were breaking their bangles.

    2. Disqualification was excused for plagiarism because the same was found in the prayer and the statement of facts, both non-substantive parts of the memorial, and therefore the teachers on the board ruled not to disqualify the teams in question. Seriously? You did badly because two people had the same prayer and statement of facts? That affected your participation? You’re probably reconsidering your very public tantrum right about now.

    3. Here’s and explanation. The courts are closed. All the lawyers are holidaying. No one wants to come judge and internal college competition. The only ones really willing to take out the time are recently graduated law students.

    4. For the record, anonymity of the teams has always only been a formality for internal selections. For all of these years we have been judged by practicing lawyers who have either taught at this university at some point or have revisited judging the IMS years in a row. They have always been familiar with many many names. When your ADR selections are judged by teachers who know everyone’s name, somehow the ball game changes? Judges are chosen for their ability to be objective. That does not change if the judge chosen is a graduate from your institute. In fact they would probably be kinder to the younger mooters than the more experienced ones whose names they would know. I know that is what i would do. We saw this happen last year and the year before last when the IMS judges (none of them recent graduates from different law schools) asked the participants which year they were from and a lot of first and second years who performed quite badly were still given considerate scores because they revealed their batch, and the ones who did reasonably well were rewarded above par and that has always been the case. No one had an issue with that because having an IMS is more about learning and less about winning so encouraging first years and second years was a good thing, equality and anonymity be damned.

    5. Delays are always bound to happen. Rounds have arbitrary timelines of questioning and we are all the the mercy of the timelines of the judges. This has happened every year and i imagine it will continue to happen. I have myself plead even at 2 am and it was always more about pleading your best no matter what and less about whining about how late it was and how full the moon was and how stressed you felt. Grow a pair or you wont get anywhere anytime soon with mooting.

    6. The people who work their asses of organizing all of this for you sweat a hell of a lot more and for many many more days than you do in the same Delhi summer. They run around getting your rooms ready, water bottles filled, coordinating judges, sitting through many many rounds timekeeping listening to the same worn out reticent repetition of arguments from the first round till the last, are awake way past your bedtime tabulating scores and correcting penalties while you have finished your two, two hour rounds and gone to sleep. Yes, they signed up for it but that doesn’t change the fact that its still thankless work being done for your little two minute tantrum. You seriously need to grow up.

    7. I really think i have said enough.

    The point isn’t about your wounded pride on having been rubbished by a judge who was an alumnus, Veda, or your ego wound because your team did badly because your opponents were allowed to submit a hard copy with footnotes per your consent, Kainaz (You didn’t lose because of them footnotes). The point isn’t about getting a chance to go on that college sponsored holiday and muck around. The point is to get better at it, and then some, and to finally successfully represent your institute which is something lost on you bunch. Seriously, mooting isn’t a free lunch. Start trying to deserve it before you wail like and entitled snob.

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    • Hello mildly amused,
      Kainaz and Veda’s article was a mere comment on the deviations that happened to take place. They were in no way commenting on the justification of these deviations. Clearly, it wasn’t a case of sour grapes for them, having written a neutral piece of journalism. Can’t say the same for you, though.
      Why don’t you grow a pair by shedding this veil of anonymity and tell all of us who you really are?

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      • You notion of a ‘neutral’ piece of journalism merits only one response. ‘LOL’.

        No. I wasn’t writing a piece of journalism, you nincompoop. Nor are you and nor are these two ladies. Only law students can inflate the value of that which escapes their besmirched fingers and mouths. ‘Journalism’. Pah. Let me spell it out for you. Their article has two columns. Do you see them? There is a before and an after. Both sides are laced with unwarranted sarcasm and incomplete/falsified/useless information. Some of this information has now been recanted. Doesn’t change the fact that it was put there in the first place for a public showing and a beseeching plea for attention. This is not a piece of ‘neutral’ -whatever you call it ‘not-journalism’. What i did was rubbished their article for that is what they deserved. There isn’t a single point of misinformation in mine. If you can find one, please point it out. And yes, i am not supposed to be neutral when rubbishing somebody’s attempt at belying another and simultaneously a bunch of people that work for the ‘student body’, for no good reason. I think my bluntness should have clarified that, but clearly the Delhi heat is doing a lot more to your heads than just making them sweat.

        Great. Of course they wouldn’t talk about the ‘justifications’. What you call justifications people generally understand as the whole truth. You see – “He killed a man” sounds very different from “He killed a man in self defense and hence was vindicated and held not guilty.” So much for neutrality.

        Its surprising how anything said at NLU Delhi nowadays becomes less about the content and more about who is saying it. No. Because i am anonymous does not make the truth of what i say any less true. No, i am not scared of revealing my identity, you little shit. I’ve graduated. I have a real job. I work 15 hours a day. The last thing i want to have to clear out of my day is sob emails/hate mail from Kainaz and Veda sympathizers like you about how i should’ve been less brash and more polite or how i am a bad person for walking all over them. I do not owe you my identity, whoever you are.

        Have you heard of the idiom, ‘Fools rush where angels fear to tread’? Please re-evaluate your position before you post again trying to be someone’s squire boy in rusted armor.

        Cheers.

        P.S. – Try a better pseudonym. ‘Further Amused’ is incorrect.

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  4. Dear Mildly Amused,
    We, by the means of this article, in no way sought to undermine the efforts of the organising committee or question the integrity of the judges. What we, however, did seek to do was raise the fact that the IMS this year was organised in a considerably different manner from those in the preceding years, subject to multiple last-minute changes, leading to quite a bit of confusion amongst the participants. We bring to notice this fact not as “entitled snobs”, but as concerned members of the student body. We further choose Glasnost, not as a forum for venting, but as a place where we can freely raise our concerns and in fact engage with others, and therefore appreciate the concerns that you have raised. We further appreciate the criticism offered not in our capacity as participants suffering from “sour grapes” (for the rank list has not been released even as this reply is being typed, making it hard for us to use the organisers as scapegoats for our incompetence), but as reporters for the newspaper.

    Thank you for your comment.
    Veda and Kainaz.

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    • Because you have been through so many IMS’s to know what is unprecedented and what isn’t? Delays in rounds? Changes on researcher test timings? Rule modifications? Judges knowing the names of a participant here or there? A request for hard copy changes because of typographical errors? If all of these are things you consider unprecedented, then either this is your first IMS or you are gassing rather badly, neither of which do you much credit. Trying to save face isn’t going to help. You cannot erase the mocking tone of your article. Clearly you weren’t merely commenting on the happenings of the terrible nightmare of unpredictability that was the IMS, but were rather expressing your disapproval of the same, and wrongfully so. Misrepresenting facts doesn’t help your case either. Honestly, the kind of hullabaloo the IMS always causes, no matter how well organised it is, and has always caused right from the very first IMS, leaves very little to be desired in way of information to be transmitted to the student body about the same. I am sure everyone already knew what transpired without your particular flair for inaccuracy and self-serving smugness, so honestly, you can save all your concern for yourself since generally one doesn’t need to wait for the rank list to know how one has performed and i am fairly certain that i am not wrong in that regard. Honestly, if this is what you consider reportage, you might as well refrain from doing that too. Sure, glasnost is meant for engagement. Lying is not engagement. Mocking reasoned decisions made by a appeals board with thoughtless and rather ineffective and demurely immature sarcasm is not engagement. Whining about a hard copy change after consenting to it is not engagement. Save it ladies. Save it for the rank list.

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      • Dear Mildly Amused,

        I apologise for the late reply.

        With regard to the post, I would merely like to mention that even if, as you said, the things that we pointed out were the norm even before this year, they should ideally not take place. Especially with regard to the fact that the judges knew the participants – yes, maybe the courts are closed and no one else is willing to come and judge the competition. Nevertheless, that should not mean that we do not get to criticize the fact that the judges knew the participants. By no means are we saying that the judges were partial or unfair, or have ever been so in the past. But that doesn’t preclude the possibility of such an event.

        Further, while we commend your decision to remain impartial towards all contestants and perhaps even be kinder towards those from younger batches if you were ever called as a judge, may I simply point out that not everyone may share your values. Further, you are assuming that we are saying that a contestant who knows a judge may be at an advantage, which may not be the case. The opposite may also happen.

        With regard to the timing of the rounds – each round was allotted an hour, which, as you may recognise, given your extensive mooting experience, is the amount of time that the participants are given to speak. Given that time is invariably wasted between rounds, while judging said participants and for other purposes, what we were simply trying to say was that perhaps the rounds could have been given slightly larger slots of time.

        I do understand that there were many reasons behind the reduction of the plagiarism penalty, and we failed to consult them while writing this article. We were operating on the basis of the email that was sent out to the student body with regard to the penalty, and did not know about the written order given by the Appellate Board. Nevertheless, I fully accept responsibility for not enquiring into the matter any further.

        With regard to the penalty for late submission: by no means are we saying that the teams should have been disqualified. Given the fact that very few teams participated this time, it would have been a folly to disqualify teams on the basis of something as trivial as late submissions. Neither of us subscribe to that view, but we felt bound to represent it, given the fact that many others do.

        Lastly – neither Veda nor I were dissatisfied with our rounds, and unlike some others, did not make any assumption with regard to how they went. Given the fact that you were not present in the “courtroom”, I personally believe that any assumption that you make in that regard will also necessarily be erroneous. Feel free to go ahead and believe what you want, though.

        Sincerely,
        Kainaz.

        P.S. With regard to your suggestion that we “grow a pair” – I’d rather not. I hear testicles are very sensitive.

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  5. And here i thought gender sensitization had taken a turn for the better at NLU Delhi. Tut tut. It would be great if people just stopped stereotyping testicles, wouldn’t it? I mean, sheesh! The sexual objectification! I was only referring to a pair of courage laced consumables that you should consider farming to remedy the lack thereof, considering your wait for the result sheet to be released before showing up. Though i am glad you did show up. It finally gives us a chance at a real conversation.

    Yes, testicles are sensitive, clearly though, less sensitive than wounded pride. That must be your approximation of a jibe. Sing me a lullaby while you’re at it, will you? So great. You’re researcher rank 7 and Veda is speaker rank 9. I guess we should leave it at that. Any comment on the quality of the pool will probably get you lot to riot. What a happy ending, that. Congratulations, and i hope you make the most of the moot you elect to participate in.

    On substance, though, when you invite an individual who is practicing law and peddles in things that actually affect peoples lives, for whom the stakes in a trivial internal moot selection delve from none to less than none, who is being called for their experience in the subject of practice and credibility, you would generally make a presumption in favour of their repertoire and honesty and not otherwise. It is for the same reason that the ‘no name’ or ‘no prior contact with the judges’ rule is not strictly enforced anywhere during internal selections since most universities call back graduates, and is certainly not a required practice in most moot court competitions around the block (world) either. Because one can sometimes be open to a leap of faith, especially since mooting not generally a matter of life and death to anyone but the one off excessively anxious individual. It”s funny how one doesn’t need anonymity of lawyers in the actual court system anywhere in the world, but, well, Internal ‘Mock’ trial selections are a highly sensitive issue and would need special attention and care being given to the ideal type of anonymity in selection. There is no uniformity in this rule, in application. If your concern is more towards the fact that a judge was acquainted with a participant to the extent where the standard of ‘personal bias’ is breached, which is the only standard that one is required to avoid, which i am to understand is not your claim, then such conflicts which may be case specific are to be raised at the point when such a conflict arises. In absence of the same i am unconvinced by your logic, since there is none, besides, well, ‘there is a rule somewhere and i think it should have been applied here’. Where you got this ‘cornerstone’ business from, only you can tell us.

    No Kainaz, you cannot broaden the time slots. Rounds and the time they take is unpredictable on both ends of the spectrum. If a lot of rounds finish before time and if the next team isn’t available because they thought they would be needed only an hour later, you keep the judges waiting and that’s not okay. Not to mention how that would create another ruckus about how you were unfairly deprived of your last one hour to do your last revision of your pleading which would have made all the difference in the world in your performance. It is therefore for a reason that you keep the slots fixed at the closest approximation of what time a round should take an the only fair value you can allot to that is the prescribed time for each round. Participants waiting their turn for however long is not a big deal. This is typical spoilt brat behavior.

    Hey, Kainaz, here’s the deal. When your form of reportage involves presenting one particular segments view and then colouring that view with you own touch of gusto, you are no longer just reporting someone else’s view, you are owning it and simultaneously also representing it as your own. eg: When a TOI ‘journalist’ writes and article saying – ‘Deepika Padukone shouldn’t bear her cleavage for publicity and then pretend to care about a woman’s agency, also for publicity’ and attaches several images to elaborate his/her point, he cannot then say that the moral judgment and value add of his/her snarkyness was merely an expression of public opinion. See? So lets quit this ‘Samaj Seva’ narrative. You felt bound to represent nothing and were not induced by providence to assuage your alleged reportage of facts with jibes.

    Regardless, it is rather futile for us to be going back and forth on this. You don’t need to be on the defensive anymore. In your scheme of things you’ve won. You’ve done satisfactorily well per your own expectations, which are surprisingly low for your brand of self-righteous arrogance. The allocations approach. You will pick a moot that will take you someplace nice, post pictures of the lovely landscape, and perform however well or otherwise in the moot you pick and all will be forgotten. No one will discuss this for too long after. You lot will resume your merry existence. You will keep posting posts like this last one and your buddies will like them egging you on only to write more garbage, and everyone will be happy in their own little spheres of influence and self-importance, and i will only be wasting more of my time on you, since all of this is pretty much probably lost on most of you. So i congratulate you, Brutus. You may walk away with your honor intact.

    Cheerio,

    Bemused.

    P.S: I think you might want to revisit that courage thing. Serious upgrade in life!!!

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