Members: Akaant Mittal (Convenor), Kritika Padode, Nishkarsh Jakhar (Co-convenor), Saral Minocha, Kainaz Tanveer (Resigned), Thejaswi Melarkode, Puneet Dinesh, Ria Himmatramka, Prashasthi Bhat, Nishant Badhran
This is it. The big one. The one we’ve all been waiting for. If there ever was a committee that courts controversy every year it functions, it is this. Whether it is an incensed student body, or an obtuse administrative one, the MCC just can’t seem to catch a break.
ICC – National Rounds
The first ever national rounds in India for the International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot Court Competition were held at NLU Delhi, a process facilitated by the MCC, along with the OrgCom selected by them. Being successful, NLU Delhi was invited to host the 2017 edition of the rounds as well.
Access to the one place we can get air-conditioning all night Moot Court Research Room had been revoked by the administration due to complaints of poor conduct. The MCC, in order to allow the student body to gain access, then drafted a policy for the same, with provisions that help regulate conduct, and ensure predictability with regard to access.
Moot Organisation Policy
The MCC also consulted various stakeholders and drafted a Moot Organization Policy to streamline the organization of moots in college. Allegations were raised regarding the procedural validity of this policy, especially with regard to whether the entire Committee was consulted before the final version of the policy was released.
Running after exemptions is not fun, and there was immense confusion regarding how the exemptions for moots and academic leaves for moot participants were understood. Participants with memorial submissions over the winter were in for a nasty shock as their project exemption marks, instead of being released in January as they usually are, were delayed for months on end, with one team only receiving them in May. This led to great confusion over whether the students in question had passed their odd-semester subjects, and some students were forced to write the Repeat/Improvement examinations without knowing their status.
Questions were raised regarding the subsequent amendment to the exemption policy, which led to institutionalisation of a policy that project exemption marks would, in effect, only be received after the Repeat Examinations were either over or in progress. The MCC, however, reiterates that this was a purely administrative amendment, and as such did not involve the Committee; it has subsequently made attempts to bring about requisite changes to the policy, which have yet to bear fruit.
Further, the Moot Court Exemption and Academic Leave Policy was amended in order to clarify certain meanings and put to rest the confusion as to moots such as DM Harish, KK Luthra and GIMC and the number of exemptions the participants could claim therein. These matters earlier used to be subject to an MCC vote each year.
- Monitoring and Evaluating Preparation System (MEPS): This has been done to effect an improvement in the level of preparation that the participating teams have before going to the moot. The teams now have to appoint a faculty advisor and a coach, who would monitor their performance continuously and report the same to the MCC.
- Self-appraisal of your moot performance has now become mandatory.
- Much like Zimbabwe’s alleged response to its medal-less Olympians, the new IMS Policy lays down a certain standard which teams need to achieve, failing which they will either be debarred from the competition, or fund the moot from their own expenses.
- For all of us out here who either have one too many Juris readings or are generally apathetic, the MCC sent out a simplified version of their policy, along with drafts of various permissions required to get our moots functional.
While the institution of these policies may help foster mooting culture on campus again, their very nature might also deter student participation due to excessive regulation. However, that is still something that remains to be seen. While these achievements may have been great, there were troubling rumors floating around, on which we sought clarifications from the Committee itself.
Conduct of the Committee
There had been allegations of cheating involved in the Open Selections for a domestic moot. While the organisers were privy to the same, no concrete evidence had been found to prove the guilt of the respective party. Eventually, the person alleged to have been involved in cheating withdrew from participating in the Open Selections, but the Committee was not held accountable for the incident in the first place. Further, in an unfortunate turn of events, during the IMS, the Convenor leaked the name of the memo evaluator to a participant (accidentally, we have been assured). However, the memos were eventually corrected by some other person after this incident was made public knowledge.
The Acting Convener has cited the lack of members organising the IMS as a possible reason for the issues that arose at that period, noting that only three members of the IMS were involved in the organisation; the other members were participating and therefore barred from organisation. The MCC also faced some mistreatment at the hands of angry participants, who showered them with abuse.
Problems arose regarding a particular international moot, wherein the students involved were guaranteed a project exemption by the Convener, which was later revoked, despite the fact that the memorial was made, due to the fact that the students were unable to participate due to visa issues. When approached, the Committee stated that they did not possess adequate knowledge of the facts to comment on the same.
In retrospect, there were many instances where the MCC could have taken better actions; however, it is important that we don’t forget the fact that student committees are, at large, subject to the actions of the administration, and further to all the headaches that come with the same. All in all, this year could have definitely been better. Here’s hoping that next year’s mooters have a better experience.