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The Faculty of Shariah and Law (FSL) team of Villa College participated in the 21st Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The leading oral rounds were held in Hong Kong where a total of 144 international teams from all around the globe competed. The team consisted of Hoona Haneef (LLB), Malsaa Ahmed (LLB), Mariyam Lana (LLB), and Yakta Ahmed (BSL). The team was coached by the expert guidance of our last year’s Vis Alumni’s Athfa Afeef (LLB) and Maahy Shafeeu (LLB) under the mentorship of MTAC (Mooting, trial Advocacy and Arbitration Club) faculty in charge Mr. Amish Abdullah.

In preparation of this moot competition, the team commenced with the written submission phase, participating in various training programmes and boot camps held across the globe in different countries. Notably, the team attended the Central Asia Vis Moot Training sessions virtually which facilitated meaningful discussions with teams from over 40 different countries, fostering the exchange of ideas and the development of arguments for the drafting of their claimant memorandum.

This was followed by The MENA Vis Moot Winter Bootcamp held in Dubai which the team attended where they received in-depth preparatory training for the second phase of the Vis Moot, focusing on the required knowledge and skills to draft the Memorandum for the Respondent.

Following the written submissions, the team transitioned to the final phase of oral rounds preparation. The team next journeyed to attend the 14th Annual MENA Vis Pre-Moot held in Abu Dhabi, which consisted of two phases; a two-day training phase and a three-day mock arbitration in which the students are graded on their oral pleading skills by arbitrators renowned in the region and internationally under conditions similar to those of the oral rounds of the Vis Moot. Following the guidance acquired from the MENA Pre-Moot, the team engaged in rigorous training sessions, meticulously refining their arguments and conducting pleadings with numerous university teams virtually, spanning across various institutions. Their preparation culminated in the AlexU-CRCICA Vis Pre-Moot V in Cairo, Egypt, where they secured a spot in the quarterfinals, with Ms. Malsaa Ahmed (LLB) earning the 3rd place for the best pleader award on behalf of the claimants.

The Vis Pre-Moot is a 9-month programme that trains and mentors law students in oral and written advocacy and international commercial arbitration, enabling them to effectively represent their respective countries to compete in the Vis Moot. Throughout this experience, the students were able to test their skills in simulations of real-life cases and harnessed the skills that are required in a legal counsel. The Vis Moot journey proved to be a significant milestone in the student’s development. Villa College aims for their law students to get to be a part of this unique and formative experience every year with all the support that is needed.

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