The Importance Of Moot Court Competitions To Law Students


Despite law clubs and their activities being of good help for a law student, there is one thing which is of paramount importance in shaping quickly a law student into future trained and qualified lawyer is ‘Moot Court Competitions’ that each law students ought to take part in.

What is moot court?

Usually, Moot court is a fictitious court at which competing law students present their point of view on narrative cases for training. It is a supplementary activity at numerous law schools in which participants take part in replicated court proceedings, which usually involves drafting briefs or memorials for both the sides claimants/appellants/petitioners and the respondents, and participating in oral arguments presented before the panel of judges.

At these events, students from various law schools play the role of legal counsels in a case problem given comprised of real-life legal issues in a simulated court before Judges with expertise in the relevant area of law. A significant factor, each of the participating team must make sure that it does its best while acting for both claimant and respondent sides.

How are moot court competition organized?

Each Participating University sends its representing team consisted of Eight (8) students, preferably four (4) men, and four (4) women. Among the eight (8) members, four (4) constituted the pleading team while four (4) others had to act as a back-up team to support the pleading team with notes, references, etc. Each team must be accompanied by a coach who is an academic staff and whose research focus area is in the relevant field of law.

The over-all purpose of the Competition is to expand and fortify law students’ expertise and understanding of exact matters connected to countrywide laws. Precisely, the purposes of the Competition are:

1.      To improve law students’ knowledge and analytical, research, writing, and oral skills;

2.      To raise awareness on main legal issues faced by citizens in relation to most used laws and procedures in their respective countries;

3.      To highpoint key values and human rights protected in utmost used laws in a particular country;

4.      To disseminate relevant leading cases decided by a particular country’s courts in relation to most used laws;

5.      To create a network of law students, lecturers, lawyers and judges interested specific fields of law.

On the day of competition, the competitors sit facing each other on opposite sides judges being in-between them as referees. Likewise, when the competition begins, each team from one university competes with another team from another university.

This competition includes various activities that are conducted by law students in their preparations for mooting. Moreover, students who participate in this moot court competition possess only theoretical knowledge. They participate in this competition when having completed all the relevant law modules including procedural laws, writing, and pleading skills taught to every law student at any university. On the contrary, they don’t know how to put that knowledge and skills to the test until when they participate in the National moot court competitions.

Moreover, after the participants receive the case problem for the National Moot Court Competition from the iPeace. University participating teams meet on a regular basis and work together to discuss the case problem given, research and write both memorials on the applicants and the respondents for the case thereon basing on the existing legal issues. Each participating team has a coach whose research focus the area is in the relevant field of law. He/she assists the team in general discussions of the problems raised in the case, suggestions regarding available sources for research, and the methods to reach conclusions.

In the same way, when the drafted memorials are submitted to the competition organizers, what follows is that the participants then get a chance to take part in practicing their oral arguments and receive all-important feedback from the Coach prior to the opening rounds of the competition. Likewise, when the competition begins, all the participants have the opportunity to present their case arguments before at least two panels of Judges comprised of 3 judges provided by the iPeace.


Moot Court Competitions are important because they expose the potentials of law students who participate in them coupled with students getting practical, researching, writing, analysis and oral advocacy skills in addition to the knowledge and experience gained through those competitions. All these skills, knowledge and experience is highly needed by most law students who have a desire of becoming, lawyers, judges at different levels and render justice to the people in need of it.

By- NSHIMIYIMANA Jean Claude, student of University of Rwanda, School of Law, Year 4 (LLB IV), Law from East Africa.

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