The India Post, 17th January 2009 :The national rounds of Philip C. Jessup International Moot Competition organized by University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) and Surana and Surana International Attorneys started today in the Law Auditorium Panjab University.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy, Judge, Supreme Court of India was the Chief Guest. Hon’ble Mr. Justice H.S. Bedi, Judge, Supreme Court of India, Hon’ble Mr. Justice T.S. Thakur, Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryan High Court, Prof. P.S. Jaswal, Director, UILS, Prof. R.C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Mr. S.P. Jain, Dean Faculty of Laws, Mr. G.K. Chatrath, Dean (Elect.) Faculty of Laws, Mr. P.S. Surana, Founder, Surana & Surana International Attorneys and Dr. Vinod Surana, CEO lit the lamp and graced the function by their presence. In addition to this, many sitting judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Advocates, Prof. S.S. Bari, Registrar, Panjab University, Syndics and Senators, Faculty Members of the Department of Laws, UILS and students were also present.
Dr. Shruti Bedi, teacher co-ordinator, UILS welcomed the guests and the participants. Prof. Jaswal in his welcome address said, “It is a special day for the young institute as the first batch is going to pass out this academic year.” He also gave his best wishes to the 26 participating teams. Dr. Vinod Surana considered it a matter of pride and honour to introduce this competition as it encourages professional friendship among students from different parts of India and their legal coparcenaries in the world. He also mentioned that the Indian team won the world final in Washington DC ten years back and wished the same happens this time again. Further elaborating on the competition, he said this is the largest moot court competition in this world and his firm has been associated with it for the past 15 years. Hon’ble Mr. Justice T.S. Thakur started his speech on a lighter note and said “Judgi vargi koi cheez nahi je judgement naa likhni pave.” (There is nothing like judgeship if you do not have to record the judgements). Focusing on the importance of such competitions, he said they give an insight into the future of this profession.
For Hon’ble Justice H.S. Bedi who is an alumni in the Department of Laws it was like homecoming. He also mentioned that 25 years ago moot classes were considered a joke but now with the global exposure associated with them they have become an important matter. Hon’ble Mr. Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy the Chief Guest of the inaugural function who has delivered many landmark judgments and is considered an institution in himself strongly believes that India is capable of producing the finest lawyers in the world. He propagated practicing law rather than taking up jobs in the corporate sector. While thanking the organizers and wishing the participants luck he declared the moot competition open.
Prof. R.C. Sobti discussed the various achievements of the 121 year old University and thanked the Judges for sparing their valuable time to be part of this prestigious competition. Mementos were given to the dignitaries. Dr. Shruti Bedi concluded the inaugural function by stating, “Lawyers are like bread you must catch them young and new” which is the sole purpose of such competitions.
The inauguration was followed by the preliminary rounds which were judged by the Hon’ble Judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court alongwith other legal luminaries. Out of the 28 teams, only 8 qualified for the quarter finals.
Four teams qualified for the semi-finals, which will be held tomorrow. On the concluding day i.e. 18th Jan, 2009 the semi-final rounds will start at 9:15 in the morning. Two teams will enter the final round which will take place at 1 PM.
For the valedictory, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Judge, Supreme Court of India will preside over as the Chief Guest. The Guests of Honour will be Hon’ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju, Hon’ble Mr. Justice G. S. Singhvi, Judges, Supreme Court of India, Hon’ble Mr. Justice T. S. Thakur, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Hon’ble Mr. Justice J. L. Gupta, Chief Justice, Kerala High Court (retd.). The competition will conclude with a valedictory and the prize distribution function which will take place at 3:30 PM. On this occasion, Justice Dalveer Bhandari will also release a book titled “Public Interest Lawyering, Legal Aid and Para Legal Services” authored by Mr. Ajay Gulati, Assistant Advocate General, Government of Haryana and Co-authored by Dr. Jasmeet Kaur, Lecturer in Law, University Institute of Legal Studies, published by Central Law Publications, Allahabad.