The team and their coach, Incharge Director Dr Rajeshri Varhadi were felicitated by Acting VC Dr D T Shirke Incharge Pro VC Dr Ajay Bhamare and Registrar Dr S G Bhirud
A five-member team of students from the University of Mumbai Law Academy (UMLA) are all set to script history by representing India at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague, Netherlands in an International Moot Court competition from June 2 to June 9, becoming the first UMLA students to ever get this opportunity. Law students from almost 80 countries from across the world will participate and have real time courtroom arguments on two topics; International Criminal Law and Ecocides. The competition is organised by Leiden University, a law university in the Netherlands, in association with the ICC.
The UMLA students have won various national level moot court competitions before being shortlisted and will leave for Netherlands on May 31. The team comprises Nathan Shinde, Vishnupriya Bhonsle, Nek Puri, Arya Gautam and Arushi Keniya, all between 21 and 28 years of age, who are pursuing the five-year BBA-LLB course. Their coach, Dr Rajeshri N Varhadi, Incharge Director (UMLA) and Professor at the Department of Law, Mumbai University is likely to travel with them "I am still waiting for my visa, which I am hopeful of getting by early next week. It is a proud moment for the Mumbai University, as this is the first time ever in the last six decades of our Law department and UMLA that our students have made it to an international competition. I am confident our students are putting in their best efforts to be par excellence with the international brains, who will compete at an international diaspora in the presence of the who's who from the legal fraternity. All this would not have happened without the free hand, support and guidance from our acting Vice Chancellor Dr DT Shirke; Ajay Bhamre, Incharge, Pro vice Chancellor and Justice Ramesh Dhanuka, who will be sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Bombay High Court on Sunday," said Dr Varhadi.
She added that the UMLA also started a moot competition named Justice DR Dhanuka Moot Court Competition, in memory of Justice Ramesh Dhanuka's late father. "Justice Ramesh Dhanuka had consented for the same. He even provides the students with expert law guidance, which is fruitful," she said. For the participants, the opportunity is nothing short of a dream come true. "It is a surreal experience to represent India at our age, and in the field of Law, which is run by seniority, it is really a humbling opportunity for us. Coming from a smaller and newer university, it puts us at the same level as national law universities," said Shinde, a Bhandup resident who is leading the UMLA team.
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Puri, who stays in Andheri East, added, "We, as a team, are obliged to UMLA for their support in the last few months and hope to build on our past accomplishments and make UMLA and Mumbai University proud. With around 80 countries participating, we are looking forward to having quality courtroom arguments with some of the best budding legal brains from across the world." The students' achievement elicited accolades from the University leadership as well.
Dr DT Shirke, acting Vice Chancellor, Mumbai University, said, "It is perhaps for the first time that our students have got a golden opportunity to exhibit their talent on an international platform and I am sure they will use the platform wisely. It is a moment of pride for Mumbai University and for the entire country."
His sentiments were echoed by Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Ajay Bhamre, who said, "We are happy that our students will be representing Mumbai university at an international competition and I wish them all the luck for their upcoming competition. We recently felicitated the students for their path-breaking achievement."
Apart from the UMLA team, students from Jindal Global Law School, Gujarat National Law University, National Law School of India University, and National Law University Jodhpur will also be participating in the international competition.