The Oxford India Moot Court Competition was organised from 14th-16th of March in New Delhi.
To say that this was a moot court competition would be an insult to the competitions that are generally organised. It all started with the memorial selection, whose results were endlessly delayed. It should have been the cue for the participants to understand how badly the things would shape up.
No contact number
Post the selection, the participants did not have a single contact number where they could contact the organizers. The email address so provided was of no use.
A mail was sent in asking the participants not to contact them as they would not be able to answer so many queries on time.
Participants were told that they would receive a phone number where they could contact the organisers during rounds, which is still awaited.
No draw of lots
On Friday, 14th the date on which the competition was to begin, the draw of lots was cancelled and pretty much all the organisers were clueless about what was going on. We were informed that the match up list and the memorials will be mailed (which never happened).
At 7.37 AM, we were sent a mail to turn up at the venue by 8.30. This was obviously very convenient for teams from outside Delhi and specially ones who did not have access to the internet.
The police and an arrest
On turning up we realised that there was huge crowd and a police van was standing by.
The members of the Organising Committee were arrested for allegedly beating up a boy and a girl representing a team which had turned up late for registration the previous team and were disqualified.
Their train was late and this obviously was not a good enough ground for the organisers to consider and allow them (this was alleged by the team when the police had turned up). We heard that the moot might just be called off.
No court masters
The rounds had already begun (on time which was unexpected) and each round (which was to last for at most an hour) went for two hours given there were NO COURT MASTERS and the judges asked the teams to keep time.
Furthermore, the judges did not have the memorials and there was no memorial exchange.
Participants help organize the moot
Also, the organisers refused to entertain any questions and the compendiums and related material were lying on the desks untouched.
In fact participants (me being one of them) were helping the organisers get their act together. A judge had flown down from Bombay to judge the quarters and after asking for directions all over, I believe he eventually left.
The rounds were pathetically organised, the teams inside were asked to call in the next match up.
No lunch, rude organizers
No lunch was served and tea was delayed (the caterer asked me to remove the memorials from the table as he had to organise the tea and otherwise he would have them chucked away).
The organisers were extremely rude and refused to answer any query.
A surprise for researcher examinees!
They first informed (informing simply comprised of coming out and yelling out what they wanted to say regardless of the teams being present) that the researcher exam would take place after the result for quarters would be announced and those who qualified would take the exam the next day.
A lot of researchers moved out to study and then suddenly there was an announcement that the exam would take place immediately. Many of the researchers missed the same and those who turned up late were not given extra time as the organisers thought ‘they had asked other researchers the questions’.
The quarters were to start by 8 PM (the prelims had begun at 9 in the morning) which definitely says a lot about how much the organisers respected the time. I am clueless about the semis. They also refused to keep the rounds the next day as ‘they had no place’ for the same.
No one could move around as the announcements could take place at any time and the teams would be expected to act immediately.
We neither know how the selection to the quarters was was decided (as it was a win loss system and one of the qualifying teams to the same had lost one round – as informed by the judge in court) and by the end of all of this the teams were too frustrated to even care.
The closing email
The cherry on the cake was the mail which asked the participants not come for the closing ceremony. An extract of the same is –
“The organizers of the Annual Oxford India Summit 2014, have informed the Moot Organizing Committee (MOC) that as the number of registrations for the event significantly exceeds the seating capacity at the venue, it is unfortunately not possible for them to accommodate any of the teams participating in the Annual Oxford University India Moot Court Competition 2013-14.
Only those teams which have been shortlisted for Semi-Final Rounds may be accommodated at the venue tomorrow for the remaining rounds of the competition.
Please note that the results for “Best Speaker Award”, “Best Researcher Award” and the “Best Memorial Award” will be announced on Monday, 17th March 2014 via email and will also be published on the official competition website www.oxfordmoot.in. The concerned winning teams will also be intimated via telecom and sent their Certificates and Prizes via registered post.”
Results still awaited
For one this is the first of its kind off a moot where the organisers did not want the participants to take part in the closing ceremony. We are still waiting for the results.
Given that there is no transparency and the organisers have time and again refused to assist the teams in any manner, the credibility of the forthcoming result and the fact that the participants would ever receive their certificates is questionable.
The competition already came with a lot of expectations, given that it was being organised by the ‘OXFORD UNIVERSITY’ but what came out was a rude shock for all of us and I agree with the statements made by my co-participants who just had one thing to say post the prelim results, “Thank god, the torture is over.”
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