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Asia Cup Moot Court Competition is a well-established Moot Court Competition exclusive to only Asian Countries that has its focus in the realm of Public International Law. In 2016, the Moot Court marked its 18th year of consecutive, annual competition.
In this competition, students from all over Asia will clash in a battle of wit and advocacy. There can only be one team representing each Asian country.
On August 23-24, 2016, Thammasat Team represented Thailand in the ‘Asia Cup Moot Court Competition 2016’. Thammasat delegation comprised of 1 well-versed coach, and 5 well-equipped students were pitched against another equally matched team of diverse backgrounds.
In the first match, Thailand team went against China’s Peking University taking the side of the Respondent State.
Consequently, on the second match, Thailand team went against Japan’s Kyoto University taking the side of the Applicant State.
An account of one of Thailand’s team during the second match was given as follow:
It was a fight worth spending sleepless days and nights for. It was a final testament that I return my teacher’s effort for building me up from scratch in full. Before going up, I wrote on a card for myself saying ‘No regrets. Keep smiling. Enjoy!’ I am glad to be part of this time, and along the journey, aside from knowledge, I learn how to play by the rule and wiggle in it. This is not merely an academic activity, but it is a yellow brick-stairway that pave your way to success in the future.
— Prin Laomanutsak (First Agent of Applicant)
The intense clashes of these two rounds could be described as an arena soaked with knowledge of law. Gore and metallic sparks of judgement cases filled the room.
This year hypothetical case has a theme of Maritime Dispute particularly on Traditional Fishing Rights. The case requires a weighing between State protection of Marine Environment and on the other hand, Traditional Fishing Rights. The challenge of this year case stems from the controversy in conflict of norm and finding a middle ground that pushes a side’s argument to its farthest.
The representative team from Asian countries were first, meticulously selected from each countries through a national selection round using a ‘Written Memorial’. An aspiring team of a satisfying quality will be chosen to represent each country participating in a oral pleading, international round.
The Moot Competition provides forum that Thammasat Students used it to establish their future connections and represent their university in a cultural exchange. The students were baptized by the training and hours of researches. Aside from intellectually representing Thammasat University, this Moot Court opens up doorways and provides an opportunity for students to learn from practical experience but more importantly, to grow as a scholar and a quality citizen of the world.
The experiences and reflection of the team members are compiled below:
Asia Cup 2016 was my first moot court competition and it offered me with more than I could have imagined. The journey shaped me and taught me invaluable lessons.
During the days leading up to the competition, I learnt about numerous principles and explored countless cases. If it wasn’t for this moot, I may not have received the chance to conduct research on maritime law and studied certain PCA arbitration awards.
My first pleading, during the second round of the competition, will always remain in my memory. The round allowed me to overcome my insecurities. Mooting with my co-agent was also memorable. From this competition I have acquired for myself truly loving sisters and lasting friendships.
— Pornphan Uasunthonphanit (First Agent of Respondent)
Being part of the team brought me a lot of invaluable experiences. Asia Cup 2016 Moot Competition was something extremely worthwhile and challenging.
During the memorial preparation, my research and writing skills was enhanced. I had to read a whole lot of cases, understand them and analyze them. Apart from that the team members and I also had to practice our oral pleadings. To be honest, I was not so confident when I practiced my oral pleadings in front of the coaches and team members. It was when I appeared before the judges during the competition that my confidence to plead went up. Weird, I know.
Within a blink of an eye (at least for me) time flew and all of a sudden it was the date of the competition. I was the second agent of the Respondent and I felt that pleading in front of the judges on the competition date was not that hard.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, what I really like the most while doing this 2016 Asia Cup is how I was able to make new friends, lovely friends. Even though 3 of the members are my juniors (another member is my friend) we became friends pretty fast. Plus we get along super well. Which is also weird. We laughed a lot during the time we spent together. In which I somehow felt that the following quote suites us pretty well, it reads, ‘we didn’t realized we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.’
Asia Cup 2016 gave me more than skills and knowledge. The memories will be treasured.
— Katawun Sutthirathjinda (Second Agent of Respondent)
My name is Kaje Tanatpanjaroen and I participated as the second Applicant.
Despite being scheduled to compete on the second day, it was the first day of the competition that I was most excited since it was the day that we would find out who our competitors were and the day I would get to see a real moot court in session. I was amazed by how prepared the other teams were but also how we were too. This moot court competition is one of my most satisfying and awarding experiences and even though we did not win, I do not regret having joined this competition.
This moot court competition has given me many new things that I doubt I will ever get to experience elsewhere. I learnt how to write the memorial and make oral pleadings and it was also the first time I have read so many international cases. More importantly, I got to spend time with my wonderful teammates and kind professors discussing the problem and having fun together.
I consider myself very lucky to be a part of the team and be able to enjoy such a great opportunity.
— Kaje Tanatpanjaroen (Second Agent of Applicant)
As ‘there are not many moments in our lives in which miracles happen’, there are not many moments in our lives as a law student in which we can take a big leap in our careers and get as close to the actual definition of ‘lawyer’ as much as we can in this moot court competition.
From the first day that I was surprisingly notified as being qualified to join the representative team of Thammasat University to the last day of the memorable competition as a researcher, I had cherished every single moment in which a few miracles happened to me along the way in various forms. The first was that I was fortunate to be in the team coached by both skillful professors who dedicated themselves to guide us as well as take care of us throughout the entire competition; second was that I got bunch of amazing teammates who were never tired of explaining and sharing their own knowledges to me, and third was that I had gained a large amount of experience and sowed priceless friendship through every round of competition with teams of different Asian countries, which I believe cannot be found elsewhere.
‘There are not many moments in which miracles happen.’ But yet, you can certainly be sure that this moot court is the one miracle completely worth dreaming and fighting for.
— Nattachaat Urairong (Researcher)