Pizuar Hossain, a senior lecturer of law at the East West University (EWU), has been coaching the university's moot court team since 2016.
A moot court is similar to simulating a real court hearing, where participants analyse a problem, research the relevant law, prepare written submissions and present oral arguments.
The oralists present their argument both as an applicant and as a respondent.
This year, Hossain's team has made it to the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2021 knockouts together with one Spanish and six English teams.
"I have been coaching a team every year since 2016. My team became runner up in 2019 and champion in 2020 in separate events organized by the NILS and the ELCOP. This year I was hopeful yet not very confident about such a big achievement," Hossain told The Business Standard.
"I am very proud of my team," Hossain added.
The world moot competition is a prestigious annual event where students from around the world come together in Geneva to argue a hypothetical human rights case.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all rounds of the competition took place virtually this year.
The EWU team, on their way to making history, ended their journey in the knockouts by competing against one of the finalist teams of the competition.
Besides securing the position of the "2nd Best Team" in the preliminary rounds, the EWU team also bagged the "3rd Best Memorial Award" at the competition.
One of the EWU team members, Nusrat Jahan Nishat, was presented with the "3rd Best Oralist Award" and Akhlak-Ul-Islam Tushar became the "5th Best Oralist" among 62 oralists in the competition.
Why mooting? We asked Nishat.
"Mooting develops one's research, writing, networking and public speaking skills that are necessary for law students. It has a top priority worldwide as an extracurricular activity," Nishat replied.
She recommends that all law students take part in mooting.
Nishat plans to go abroad for an LLM degree and appear in either the Bar or the judiciary exam.
"My achievements in the moot enhanced my confidence," said Nishat.
Another team member of the EWU moot team, Tushar, told The Business Standard that this was the first time he participated in a moot court competition and it helped him become more presentable.
"This achievement boosted my confidence. I dream of becoming an advocate."
The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition consists of two rounds - the memorial round, which is the most competitive one, and the preliminary or the oral round.
This year, 37 teams from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and other regions were selected in the preliminary round.
The EWU team was the only team from Bangladesh.
The Strathmore University, Kenya, team were the champions this year and the Universidad Central Del Ecuador, Ecuador, team were the runners-up.
The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the only global moot court competition directly dedicated to human rights.
It is co-organized by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Academy on Human Rights, Washington College of Law, American University, and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB), at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
"Coaching a moot team is a challenge and our university teachers should take up such challenges. They should think out of the box," moot coach Hossain told The Business Standard.
"Moot court competitions should have more limelight. More legal resources should be enriched and more moot events should be frequently organized nationally," he added.