Friday, 26 March 2010

Jessup Moot - White and Case International Rounds - Day 4

There were two ties today. The first was against the University of Namibia. They came thought national qualifying round which consisted of 7 teams. They mooted as applicants, therefore Hazralika Hamzah and Faez Razak mooted as the respondents. The judging panel was very active as most of the panel could be classified as 'interventionist judges'.

The second tie of the day was against Heidberg University of Germany. The mooters speak impeccable English and they only time that their speech gave away any hint of their German origin was when they pronounced their names. For this tie, UiTM mooted as Applicants with Hazralika Hamzah and Afif Ahmayuddin. Once again, the judging panel was very active and the mooters did not have the chance to follow their scripts.

The top 24 teams were announced at a ceremony at the Lux Club (i.e. it is a bar) at half past ten at night. Unfortunately, UiTM did not make the top 24. This has been a great experience and we have learnt a lot. We hope to do a lot better next year.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Jessup Moot - White and Case International Rounds - Day 3

The tie against UAE commenced at 11 a.m. Hazralika Hamzah and Afif Ahmayuddin mooted as applicants. The UAE's line up is very cosmopolitan and they were coached by an American who has taught at Universiti Malaya in the past. Both Ika and Afif mooted very well and we are confident of a positive result.

After the tie, we had lunch with Ika's adopted mum (she's American by the way) at a nearby restaurant. The food is very good and I could not resist having the 14 oz NY strip steak.

The journey back to the embassy residences was a little bit adventurous. We had to take the metro (subway) and spent a long time looking for it ... in the freezing cold. Faez does not have any toes left as he has lost all of it through frostbite ;-)

Dinner was an interesting affair as the MSD director, Dr Posiah cooked fantastic 'sambal udang' with the biggest fresh prawns this side of the Atlantic. It was a great match with the fried rice which Pn Yati (who lives a few doors away) sent to the house in the morning.

We have two ties tomorrow, the first against Namibia in the morning, and against Germany in the late evening.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Jessup Moot - White and Case International Rounds - Day 2

At 2 pm, the UiTM team faced UCL. They are champions of UK, beating Oxford in the UK national finals. The first applicant from UCL was from Brazil whilst the second applicant was from Canada. Both Hazralika Hamzah and Faez Razak mooted for UiTM in the role of respondents. Hilwa Bustam was the bench counsel.

From the very start, it was apparent that the mooters were not going to be allowed to stick to their script. One of the judges was an 'interventionist' judge and took all the mooters away from their rehearsed scripts. At one stage, Miss Ummi wrote on her note pad that the woman judge here was a 'Mrs Irwin', i.e. judge as 'cruel' as yours truly when it comes to questioning. I have to politely disagree with Miss Ummi on this because the judge concerned made me look like a nice guy as she was 'brutal' in her questioning. It was a great experience for the mooters. I suppose in Malaysia, what she was doing could be described as doing a 'Sri Ram'. Mooters who have appeared before the great Malaysian Court of Appeal judge Gopal Sri Ram will know what I mean. It was a good moot as all the mooters could handle the probing questions put forward by the bench. Hazralika in particular, was very impressive as she has learnt some of the best mooting techniques from Azinuddin and implemented it in the moot against UCL. Just like Zin, she is so much better 'scriptless'.

As soon as the moot was done at around half past four, we rushed back to the MSD residences as the evening rush hour starts at around five. Next up for us tomorrow is a university from the UAE.

Jessup Moot - White and Case International Rounds - Day 1

The team arrived at Washington DC for registration at 10 am. There were lots of merchandise for sale at the registration table and it was difficult trying to restrain the 'Malaysian shopper' in all of us. Team members purchased T-Shirts and mugs. All of this happened relatively quickly, so there was time to spare before the full briefing at 2 pm. The team took a walk down the road to the park close to the White House. As usual, most of us acted like 'tourist' and clicked happily away. In particular, Pn Mazlina was giving her new Sony 'Cybershot' 14 mega-pixel a through workout. Just when I thought it was safe, we stumbled across stalls selling souvenirs and the 'shopoholic' in all of us made an appearance again. By the way, the 'Subway' here is sells 'halal' food, so there was no problem getting lunch.

At the 2 pm briefing, in addition to reminding the teams about the rules, the organisers also took the opportunity to introduce the teams. As they flags of individual nations were placed in the front, the respective teams collected their 'goodie' bags from sponsors of the international rounds. I suppose you will see team members proudly carrying 'White and Case' knapsacks and water bottles around the faculty when we get back.

The exchange of memorial took place at 6 pm. Our first opponents on Day 2 will be UCL, champions of the UK. They have made the finals for the last two years. I am confident that our team is as good as them, if not better, so it will be a good fight.

More from tomorrow after the match! Keep checking in to read this blog.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

More Jessup 2010 (Malaysian National Rounds) News

Congratulations to the UiTM Jessup Moot Team. Not only are you champions of Malaysia, you have done it in style. You have made all of us proud by winning not only the 'Best Memorial' prize but also 'Best Oralist' prize (Hazralika Hamzah). This is a clean sweep of all the prizes on offer. I am so proud of all of you. I would also like to add that the all top three oralists were also from UiTM. First runner-up: Azinuddin Karim; Second runner-up: Afif Ahmayuddin. Special mention must also be made of our Respondent team who were undefeated through out the tournament. Faez Razak and Hazralika Hamzah ... you guys are the 'bomb'.

During the preparation for the competition, the leadership provided by team captain, Azinuddin Karim not only kept the team together, but also inspired the others to fulfill their potential. He is the heart and soul of the team.

In the excitement of victory, let us also not forget Miss Ummi Hani who provided the team with expert advice on international law. Those of us who have the pleasure of working with her know that we are probably seeing a future professor emeritus of international law in the making here. Ummi, you are a genuine international law expert. You truly have no equal in UiTM as you can now legitimately law claim to being an intellectual giant. That probably explains why you are such a geek who lives and breathes public international law. :-)

Pn Mazlina Mahali is now officially a master logistician. Without you, the team would not be able to function properly, i.e. no place to stay, no food to eat, no snacks to nibble on. Thank you for taking on the burden of preparing all the paperwork. You efforts are greatly appreciated.

This year's victory did not happen overnight. Mooting is like a ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carrier). Whatever measures we have put into effect in the last five years are now finally paying off. It is indeed true that 'Rome was not built in a day'. Many thanks to the knowledge learnt from previous UiTM Jessup teams, in particular I have to single out Tuan Hurman for providing inspirational advice. The foundation of the 2010 victory is primarily built on UiTM's Moot Club. Prior to the setting up of the club, mooting activities were in disarray in the faculty. There were too many people who wanted the glory but did not want to put in the effort. Thanks to the club's founder, Pn Sharifah Saeedah (soon to be 'Dr Sherry'), mooting is now a structured activity in the faculty, with the current advisers Miss Ummi Hani and Pn Mazlina Mahali giving dedicated service to the club. The club greatly appreciates Assoc Prof Dr Musrifah who was very supportive in the setting up of the club, and also Rijalul Fauzi (Founding President) and Adzim Amir Hamzah (Founding Vice-President) who steadied the ship in the early days of the club.

As the 2010 victory has not been widely reported in the mainstream media, for the record, this is the victorious team:

Azinuddin Karim
Afif Ahmayuddin
Hazralika Hamzah
Faez Razak
Hilwa Bustam

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


After a ridiculously long wait. The impossible finally happened.

More pictures here.