HBKU students excel in legal arguments against international university teams
Representing their professional legal skills, students from Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU)’s College of Law overcame 18 teams from different countries to win the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts Digital Economy Court (DEC) Moot Court, held at the end of November 2022. The team, with year-two Juris Doctor (JD) students, Ayesha Bashir and Tasniem Ahmed Elyass Hussain, and year-one JD student, Cristina Al Thalathini, secured a prestigious internship opportunity at the DIFC Courts for their win.
It marked-the-commencement of the online moot courts organized by the DIFC and attracted teams from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, the Maldives, and Benin. The HBKU team participated in seven rounds of the two-day moot. Each of the teams conducted pleadings in a mock trial before a panel of 25 judges, which focused on a dispute involving cryptocurrency. They were graded on their persuasiveness, legal reasoning, teamwork, and organization.
Ahead of the competition, the students were coached by Dr. Hilary Bell, Assistant Professor at the College of Law, who teaches dispute resolution and legal skills courses at HBKU.
Dr. Bell said: “Participating in a moot court is the single-best legal educational experience available to prepare future lawyers. The live simulation of legal processes teaches students invaluable lessons including how to control their emotions under pressure, how to learn from mistakes, how to collaborate in a team, and how to apply their legal knowledge. At HBKU’s College of Law, we focus on providing our students with experiential learning opportunities, preparing our graduates to be leaders, not just lawyers.”
The College of Law’s JD curriculum, created through a strategic partnership with Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, equips graduates with a high-level of legal knowledge and complementary research, writing, and advocacy skills. The focus on skills training enables college graduates to make the most of a wide range of career options.
Commenting after the competition, team member Tasniem Hussain said: “Competing in our first-ever moot competition was a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to not only put into practice everything we studied in the classroom but also to engage with some of the best legal minds and scholars. Winning was the icing on the cake, and it would not have been possible without our coach Prof. Hilary, and the constant support of the College of Law faculty, as well as my dear teammates Cristina and Ayesha, who made what would have been an otherwise nerve-racking experience fun and exciting.”
Ayesha added: “It was an honor to represent HBKU’s College of Law at the DIFC Moot Court and to bring home the win. It was unsparing, but the experience gained has been ineffable. I am grateful to my teammates and our coach, whose support made it possible.”
Amplifying the team’s response, Cristina said: “Being part of the winning team in my first ever moot court is an unbelievable experience. I am truly grateful to Dr. Bell for this opportunity and for coaching us with such care and enthusiasm. I also appreciate the support received from my colleagues Tasniem and Ayesha. We learned a lot and are very excited to participate in future competitions with the College of Law under the guidance of our exceptional professors.”
Dean Susan Karamanian, HBKU College of Law, had high-praise for the students: “This is an achievement for the College of Law and a wonderful reflection of the dedication and abilities of our student competitors and faculty coach. In the name of our college, I extend our warmest congratulations.”
For more on the research initiatives and programs offered by the College of Law at HBKU, which are open for 2023 admissions, please visit cl.hbku.edu.qa.