SLS Team Wins International Criminal Law Moot Competition
Deciding to participate in the inaugural International Criminal Law Moot Competition in our final year was a choice that took us outside our comfort zones. The months leading up to the moot were full of doubt and heightened anxiety as neither of us had ever participated in a moot before. We weren’t sure of what to expect. We would want to encourage anyone who is on the fence about participating in a moot to take the risk as it is one of those experiences that no matter how one tries to explain it, it can only be truly understood when you do it yourself.
The competition took place over the course of two days. On the first day, we took part in the preliminary rounds, where we were required to argue for both the prosecution and the defense. Five minutes to the beginning of the round, we were thrown off by a surprise and the only reason we were able to adjust is because we had done vigorous research on both the sides of the arguments. We were still very nervous when making the respective submissions but, thankfully, the second round was significantly smoother, and we gained more confidence in our abilities. We proceeded to the semi-finals and were named the best performing team at the preliminary stage despite our beginner’s hiccups.
The final day consisted of the semi-finals and final stages of the competition. One thing we really appreciated was the feeling of cameraderie and friendship that we experienced during this stage with the two teams we faced. The semi-finals were intense as we were rigorously grilled by the judges on various questions of law that emerged from our submissions. After we finished the round, the judges made comments on our presentations and gave us final bits of advice even as we prepared for our final round.
The final round as the culmination of all of our efforts was exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. The thought of presenting advanced arguments before an outstanding panel of seasoned legal practitioners within the field of International Criminal Justice, was utterly disquieting. We, however, purposed to remain calm as we reassured ourselves of our preparedness. When making the submissions, there was a strange sense of calmness that came with speaking in a room full of people about a topic we had learned about immensely for only within a few months. We offered each other reassuring glances and when the results were read out, we were so honored to have been announced the winning team by the outstanding panel of judges.
Moot is something we would urge every law student to do at least once. Win or lose, the experience is completely invaluable. For us, this experience will definitely remain a highlight of our law school journeys for years to come. We are truly thankful to Strathmore Law School for providing such an incredible growth opportunity.
This article was written by Nicole Mutung’a and Joy Marima.
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