A moot court is a mock judicial proceeding set up to examine a hypothetical case. Here’s all about the drafting of a Perfect Moot Court Memorial.
About Moot Court
A moot court is a mock judicial proceeding set up to examine a hypothetical case as an academic exercise. The same is organized by many law schools as part of an extracurricular activity. Being a law student, everyone knows the importance of moot Court competitions.
The moots are designed to give you all the possible practical experience of working of the court and how the case is presented. It is a great way to learn and develop the skills which will help you in future as it requires extensive research work, learning the practical application of the law. Participants are required to argue the hypothetical case on the points of law.
Students are required to form a team of 3 or 5 depending upon the instructions. Among the team of 3, 2 are speakers who represent the oral arguments and one is a researcher who prepares the memorial. Similarly, among the team of 5, 3 are speakers and 2 are researchers.
There are different stages in a moot court activity:
- Research: all the mooting, whether it’s drafting of the memorial or the oral submissions depend upon the quality of research. It provides a base for the arguments and without that base, all the arguments would be just words without any power behind them
- Formulation of a plan: have a good and professional relationship with your teammates, do the planning and then divide the work accordingly. Also, prepare for rebuttals, etc. keep in mind the other side of the case and the contentions that the opposite party might raise.
- Drafting of the Moot Court Memorial: In any Moot Court competition, you are always judged based upon your moot court memorial.
- Presentation of the arguments: it is not always the quantity but the quality that matters. Know your case, know what’s mentioned in your memorial, be thorough with the case laws that are supporting your side of the story and present the case with the court etiquettes.
How to draft a Moot Court Memorial:
Before starting with the drafting of a memorial, make sure that you’ve read the problem and you have a good understanding of the same and the issues involved. Divide the issues and do separate research work on it. Find as many case laws or as many references which fall within the favour of your side of the case.
The background colour to be followed for the cover page is blue for the petitioners and red for the plaintiffs. The cover page contains:
- The title of the competition.
- The name of the forum before which the proceedings are to be conducted. Example: Delhi High Court.
- The name of the case.
- On whose behalf the memorial is being submitted – whether petitioner or plaintiff or defendant etc. Example: Written Submissions on behalf of the plaintiff.
- The team code that is assigned to each participating team is to be mentioned on the upper right side of the cover page. Other things like the name of the college, or university or any personal information should not be mentioned.
2. Table of contents
It should contain the list of chapters that have been included in the memorial. The contents should be accompanied by page numbers as it makes it easier for everyone to find the content in the memo. The arguments advanced or the issues raised should be mentioned separately with the corresponding page numbers.
3. Index of authorities.
This should point out all the material that supports your argument. All the parliamentary debates, the precedents, articles, textbooks etc. are to be mentioned under the index of authorities. While citing the case laws, always keep the format of citation in mind.
You can subdivide the headings to make your memo more clear and readable. Example: list of statutes, cases, list of books referred etc.
4. Index of abbreviations
All the abbreviations used in your memorial should be mentioned here. The meaning of the abbreviation is to be explained and the same abbreviation throughout the memorial for that particular meaning should be used. The participants, especially the speakers should be aware of the abbreviations used and their memorial.
5. Statement of Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is one of the most crucial points in proceeding with any case in any particular court, as the court trying the case should be competent to try it. Find the proper jurisdiction, the proper law and mention the jurisdiction very clearly and also mention the proper Sections / Articles.
6. Statement of Facts
It is also a very important part of a memorial. It represents your side of the story. The facts of the case are the basis of the entire proceeding. Always be very careful and aware of what you are mentioning as your facts of the case. The facts should be clear and not ambiguous and should prove your side of the story. The statements of fact just provide a brief of the facts and hence, shouldn’t exceed more than 2 pages.
7. Statement of issues
It points out the legal issues involved in the case. It tells precisely what the speaker wants the court to decide. The issues stated must be clear, short and simple and must always be in question form. The issues should be mentioned separately.
For example, whether the petitioner has locus standi to maintain the present petition? , whether the state government was competent to enact Section 5 of the Bombay Excise Act in respect of denatured alcohol?
8. Summary of arguments:
It further explains the issues that have been raised. Hence, it introduces each issue that has been mentioned in your memorial. It should not be more than one paragraph.
Example: The state Legislature was not the real authority to modify the provisions of Bombay Excise Act, as the regulation of denatured alcohol falls under the purview of union and not state, and hence the state legislature has acted in an unconstitutional manner.
9. Arguments advanced
It is the most important and lengthiest part of a memorial. It explains your side of the case in an elaborative manner. In this part of the memorial, every point that the team wants the judges to consider must be mentioned and explained. Every argument must be supported by some legal authority. The research plays a very important role to make your arguments strong. Use as many references as to case laws and statues as you can. The more the relevant case laws, the stronger your case is.
The arguments always first address the issues supporting your own case and then the contentions that may be brought by the opposite party should be addressed. The arguments advanced must be in simple language, active sense and must follow the court manners. Every effort is to be made here to make the court understand and believe in your side of the story. And this is also the most focused part of your memorial. Make it as presentable as you can.
All the reliefs sought/claimed are to be mentioned here. There can be one relief sought or more than one. Prayer shows the end of the memorial. It must also be in a simple and clear manner and must mention all the reliefs that are to be sought. This clearly declares that the party seeking the prayer wants the court to rule in its favour.
The moot court memorial is a written statement of your case. So it basically presents your case fully and finally in front of the court. So while drafting a memorial one should not only be thorough with just the facts of the case but also with all the laws applicable, whether in support of your side of the case or opposing it. The memorial should be in a presentable manner, it should be in simple language i.e. simple English and that should be grammatically correct. Mention the page numbers correctly on every page.
One of the most important and basic things to be kept in mind is team coordination.
After preparing the memo, go through it a number of times so that you become familiar with what you’ve mentioned in your memo. The mistakes in your memo are pinpointed by the judges sometimes.
Always submit your memo on time. The memorial drafting is a time-consuming activity and requires a lot of focus, so start the drafting accordingly. Focus more on quality.
- 10 Things you will Learn only in Law School(Opens in a new browser tab)
- How To Prepare For A Moot Court Competition | Part I – Moot Court Memorial
- Sample Moot Court Memorial
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