Law students from India excelled in the 3rd Leiden-Sarin International Air Law Moot Court Competition held in Istanbul University, Turkey, last week. Twelve teams from eight countries, including four from India participated. The Air Law Moot Court - the only one of its kind in the world - is held every year and highlights legal issues pertaining to Aviation Law. The Team of Ms.Ishita Pant and Ms.Veena Kamath from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow, won the coveted trophy while Ms. Ruchika Rao, a final year student of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, won the Best Oralist Award which comprises a scholarship for an advanced LLM in Air & Space Law at The Air & Space Law Institute of Leiden University, The Netherlands. The scholarship is worth approximately ` 15 lakhs. The Runners-up Team was from the Leiden University itself. Leiden University is amongst the top two Universities in the world in the field of Air & Space Law.
The Moot, held over 3 days was jointly organized by the Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation, Chandigarh and Leiden University in The Netherlands. It was hosted by the Faculty of Law of Istanbul University (established in 1453). The Moot Court was adjudged by 30 experts in Air Law from 20 different countries. The Finals were adjudged by Judge Gilbert Guillaume, Former President of the International Court of Justice; Ms.Elizabeth Freidenberg from Argentina and Ms. Julie Oettinger. The Judges, while announcing their verdict pointed out that competition was very close which made their job even more difficult.
Earlier the 4 teams from India were selected at the National Rounds held in Army Institute of Law, Mohali, in which Justice Swatanter Kumar of the Hon'ble Supreme Court delivered the inaugural address and Justice Surinder Nijjar of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, delivered the valedictory. Turkish Airlines, an official sponsor of the Moot Court had provided air-fare for the participants from India to Istanbul.
The Sarin Foundation was represented by its President, Chief Justice (Retd.) S.S. Sodhi; Secretary General Mr.M.L. Sarin; and Nitin Sarin the Moot Coordinator. Next year the competition will be held in Abu Dhabi.