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Mar 12, 2015

The all Kenya Moot Court Competition 2015

Roy Kitur, Cindy Wakio and Alexander Otuka together with Allan Munyao

The Orators (Cindy Wakio and Roy Kitur)


This being the very first moot court competition for Kitur and the second for Cindy, after winning the ICRC Moot Court Competition, we both felt that the AKMCC was an true eye opener into the real mooting experience and, to an entirely new and vibrant side of the legal world.

 

We were fortunate that the Strathmore Law School reserved the AKMCC for first year students to create a training ground for new students looking to join the growing mooting culture in the law school. Although this had its own challenges as our two teams comprised of the only first year law students at the AKMCC. Even before reaching the arena, the preparations were intense as we knew the competition would consist of seasoned mooters from law schools all over the country. We took on numerous and gruelling practice sessions on a daily basis. However the guidance and training from Allan Munyao and Emmah Senge, experienced mooters in their own right, was invaluable.

 

At the competition, our first preliminary round was shaky as we felt our way through the competition, the judges, as well as the other competitors. But our hesitation soon became confidence. We learned that it is important to stand strong on your arguments but also to make smarts concessions where necessary. The competition also opened our eyes to the different thinking of others. Most arguments were based on the same law, but there is no paved way for one to argue a point. Having to argue both sides of the argument forced us to think critically especially about our own arguments on either stance. Further, the judge’s questions always kept us on your feet testing our knowledge of the law and our ability to apply it.

 

The competition was tough especially where competitors such as CUEA, who started as tentatively as we did, came back the next day with every defence against our arguments, as if they had spent the night studying them. However, despite the seniority of the other mooters, we learned that mooting is less about your years in law school, and more about your understanding of the law and the topic. The law in practice, as is experienced in mooting, are less straightforward than the straight cut out route we perceive in the classroom.

 

The Researcher (Alexander Otuka)

This was my second moot competition after previously competing in the ICRC, in which I did not progress to the finals. However, this is my first experience as a researcher for the team.  As part of the AKMCC, the researcher for each of the teams was required to submit an individual research paper based on a given question, as well as defend the paper before a panel of judges. The set question was based on the moot theme, The Place of Refugee Rights in the Face of National Security Threats. The process of writing the paper at first seemed relatively simple given the vast amount of information available on the subject of refugee rights, and the array of increasing modern day national security threats to contrast them with. This however turned out to be the challenge itself.  After submitting the paper, the next challenge was to prepare to defend it. This required almost the same level of grilling as the orators went through in order to tighten the structure of my presentation, and withstand the flow of questions from the panel. However, watching as well as helping to judge our oral presenters gave us a good idea on what might be expected. The few practice runs I managed to squeeze in paid of greatly giving me the confidence needed to stand before the panel.

 

Reflection of Experience

Winning the competition is an amazing experience, especially because we unseated the champions of the last two years, KU. We’ve made our mark and raised the bar, but now the new challenge is to maintain it. The win has left us energised to work harder as we go on to prepare for the next challenges that lie ahead of us. For now, we can rest knowing Strathmore Law School has the bragging rights when it comes to the Kenyan mooting scene.

 

Beyond winning however we have made new friends in teammates, who understand you more with each challenge you face together, and in the people we met at the competition. All of whom make possible lifetime friends.

Contact Details

Madaraka Estate
Ole Sangale Road, PO Box 59857,
00200 City Square
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 0703-034000, 0703-034200

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