About the Competition
RostrumLegal is proud to announce the National Online Memorial Drafting Competition, 2019. The theme of this edition of the competition is based on ‘Constitution Law’. The competition seeks to promote research, and creative thinking among law students. The teams participating in the competition are expected to draft memorials for two sides on the basis of the hypothetical problem given in the competition.
Awards & Prizes
1st Position: INR 25,000/- (Cash Prize of Rupees Twenty Thousand) 2nd Position: INR 15,000/- (Cash Prize of Rupees Fifteen Thousand) 3rd Position: INR 10,000/- (Cash Prize of Rupees Ten Thousand) All the registered participants (who submit their memorials by the due date) will receive RostrumLegal gift voucher worth Rs. 5000 each. All the registered participants (who submit their memorials by the due date) will receive a certificate of participation which will be sent to them by post.
Undergraduate students pursuing three or five year courses of LL.B. degree from any Law School/College/University recognized by the Bar Council of India.
The official working language of the Competition shall be English.
1. One team, comprising of a minimum of two (2) and not more than three (3) members 2. More than one team can participate from one law school.
Varela is a Provincial State located in the southern part of the Republic of Vindhu. The Government of Vindhu is considered a parliamentary democracy. The country consists of 29 states and accommodates various religious, racial, traditional and linguistic groups and their values and customs. Varela, one of the most progressive States in Vindhu is called as the “God’s Own Country” due to its scenic and geographical conditions and also has the highest literacy rates among other provinces. The Harimala Temple is a well-known temple complex located at Harimalapuram inside the Eriyar Tiger Reserve in Varela and is the site of the largest annual pilgrimage in the world with an estimate of between 17 million to 50 million devotees from across the country visiting every year. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu celibate deity “Varnappan” also known as “Dharma Sastha”, who according to belief is the son of Shiva and Mohini, the feminine incarnation of Vishnu. The traditions of Harimala are a confluence of Shaivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism, and other Śramaṇa traditions. The devotees are expected to follow a 41-day austerity period called as ‘Vritham’ prior to the pilgrimage. During this period the devotee who has taken the vow, has to strictly follow a lacto vegetarian diet, celibacy, teetotalism and ought not use any profanity. They should also allow their hair and nails to grow without cutting and are expected to bath twice in a day and visit the local temples regularly only wearing plain black coloured traditional clothing. It is also believed that in order to achieve the purpose of the pilgrimage one has to take a hike through the traditional mountainous forest path which runs up to 61 kilometers. Though over the years the nature and duration of the austerity period has been compromised and the barefoot hiking replaced by means of vehicles through an alternate route, the temple continues to be a major place of worship for the Hindus in the Republic of Vindhu. Women of menstruating age were denied entry into the Harimala Temple two centuries ago because of the age-old notion that they were impure during their menstrual period. However, upto the year 2001 women visited the temple even though in small numbers. In 2001, the Varela High Court, upheld the restriction imposed on women of menstrual age group considering it as a customary practice under the right to manage its own affairs of the temple management authority. This was based upon the belief that the deity is in the form of a ‘Naisthik Brahmachari’ (perennial celibate), and is therefore believed that young women should not offer worship in the temple so that even the slightest deviation from celibacy and austerity observed by the deity is not caused by the presence of such women. In the year 2018 a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by the women lawyers in Varela challenging this ban on women devotees, which was then supported by the FDF Government through filing an affidavit for the same cause. In addition, another PIL was filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court by the Young Lawyers Association contending that that Rule 3(b) of the Varela Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Rules 1965 that states “Women who are not by custom and usage allowed to enter a place of public worship shall not be entitled to enter or offer worship in any place of public worship” violates constitutional guarantees of equality, non-discrimination and religious freedom. The Supreme Court has clubbed these petitions and the issues framed are as follows: 1. Whether the exclusionary practice of menstruating women amounts to discrimination according to the Constitution of Vindhu? 2. Whether such exclusion falls under the religious practices and could it be included under the right to manage its own affairs of the religious institution? 3. Weather the temple has a denominational character, if yes, whether it can indulge in practices which are unconstitutional? 4. Weather Rule 3 (b) of the 1965 rules discriminates women on the basis of sex? Important Notes: – The laws of Vindhu are in pari materiawith the laws in India, with the limited exceptions created in this Proposition. – The counsel representing both sides are required to address the arguments that are specifically mentioned in the Proposition. The counsels are, however, free to make any other arguments that they deem fit. – Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
All Memorials submitted must strictly conform to the following general requirements. Non-conformity may attract negative marking in a manner as indicated below:
1. Memorials must only be typed on plain white A4 paper with black ink.
2. The font used must only be Times New Roman, Size 12 for the main text whereas it shall be 10 for the footnotes.
3. Each page of the Memorial must have a margin of one inch on all sides. No text must be placed within this margin of the page, other than the page number.
4. The maximum number of pages in each Memorial should not exceed 35 including 20 maximum pages for Written Submissions/ Arguments Advanced.
5. Any form of legal argument or legal interpretation of the facts of the Proposition must be confined to the “Written Submissions”section of the Memorial.
6. The Index of Authorities must contain a list of all legal authorities cited in any section of the Memorial. The Index must contain the page number(s) of the Memorial where the authorities are so cited.
7. No amendments can be made to the Memorials after submission.
8. The Memorials shall necessarily consist of the following and only the following sections:
Cover Page Table of Contents List of Abbreviations Index of Authorities Statement of Jurisdiction Statement of Facts Issues for Consideration Summary of Arguments Written Submissions Prayer
9. The electronic copy of each Memorial must reach the following e-mail address: email@example.com latest by 23:59 hours (IST) on June 10th, 2019. Both Memorials must be attached in a single e-mail only.
10. There shall be a penalty of 2 Marks for a delay of one day. Memorials received after June 15th, 2019 shall not be considered for evaluation.
All the submission should be formatted in accordance with the Standard Indian Legal Citation. You can download a short citation guide here.
Every Memorial will be marked on a total of 100 marks and the team memorial marks will be the average of the total of both sides. The following shall be the marking scheme:
1 Application and appreciation of facts – 20 Marks 2 Identification, structuring and presentation of issues – 20 Marks 3 Application of legal principles, authorities and precedents – 20 Marks 4 Ingenuity and logical reasoning – 20 Marks 5 Lucidity and writing skills – 10 Marks 6 Proper footnoting and formatting – 10 Marks
A team code shall be assigned to each of the Participating Teams at the culmination of Registration formalities. Names of the participants or of the Participating Institution/College/University being represented ought not to be mentioned anywhere in the Memorial. Any other mark, character or text that reveals the identity of the Participants or of the Participating Institution being represented would also be considered a violation of this rule. Violation of this Rule shall attract severe penalty at the sole discretion of the Organizers.
Identification of Teams
Each team will have a team code and each participant shall be given an individual code.
Teams shall not disclose their identity or that of their institution or city, etc. except in registration form. Any such disclosure shall invite strict penalty, which may include disqualification. The decision for the same shall be at the sole discretion of the Organizing Committee.
The copyright over the memorials submitted for participation in the competition is assigned by participants and shall vest completely and fully on the Organizers. The Participants shall certify in writing the originality of materials contained therein and shall be responsible for any claim or dispute arising out of the further use and exhibition of these materials. Further use and exhibition of these materials, electronically or otherwise, shall be the exclusive right of the Organizers and they shall not be responsible for any liability to any person for any loss caused by errors or omissions in the collection of information, or for the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in these materials.
Last date for requesting clarifications on the Moot Problem is [PLEASE CHECK IMPORTANT DATES SECTION].
Teams may submit their clarifications via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The clarifications to the rules and moot problem should be requested only via email. Questions received via any other medium will not be answered.
——— Dear participants, We have received all your queries with regard to the moot proposition and are happy to answer them below in the clarifications. We would like to make it clear that certain questions which are itself moot points to be researched upon and substantiated by you in your written arguments will not be answered here. Round II We would like to know if the State Laws of Varela are in Pari Materia with that of the State Laws of Kerala in all regards and can be presumed to be so with regards to the case law given. Yes you may presume that the state laws of Valera are in pari matria with that of the state laws in kerala In the present case there are a number of Respondents. Most important among all will be Two. Firstly, the state Govt. and Secondly, the devotees and third the Temple Itself. The state govt. of Varela is supporting the PIL & their stance is against the custom of exclusion of women. On whose behalf among the aforementioned respondents are we supposed to frame the arguments? We have already made it clear in the first round of clarifications that finding the right parties for the case has to be done by you. You can substantiate your decision in the statement of jurisdiction. Does the management of the temple lies with the State or is it in Private Hands? As informed in the first round of clarifications, the temple authority is akin to the Devaswom board. Please make your own research. Does the state provide funding to the temple to manage the spiritual and temporal matters of the temple? Already clarified Does any of the .two groups who filed the petition, include any devotees of lord Varnappan as its members? Read the proposition thoroughly Is pilgrimage to the temple of Harimala compulsory as a sacred duty for every devotee or is it completely voluntary? Voluntary Under which statute Varela Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Rules 1965 were framed and came into force? Are these rules general in nature i.e applicable to all temples in Varela or Exclusively applicable to Harimala Temple only? These Rules were framed under Section 4 of the Varela Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Act,1965 (1965 Act).The act is applicable to all public worship places in Kerala, but is not followed everywhere. Women who visited the temple in 2001 in small numbers, included women who were menstruating or were of menstruating age? Women of all ages visited the temple back then, which means, they were allowed irrespective of the fact that they were of menstruating age or menstruating. Is temple administration, wholly or partially, in any other manner under the control of the Government or not? Already clarified Does the temple receive funding from the Consolidated Fund of India ? Already clarified What would the name of the case so filed be, on account of there being 4 other women who have filed petitions before the Hon’ble Supreme Court before that of the Young Lawyers Association? Refer to the clarification No 1 What are the fields or areas under which the Young Lawyers Association are known to practice or work towards? No specification Is it save to infer that there is a common name for the devotees of the deity, Varnappan in the instant case? According to the proposition they shall be addressed as ‘devotees’ itself. Whether the 2018 case of Sabrimala Temple, can be used in the drafting of the memorials in the instant case? You may. Are texts and scriptures elaborating the practices of the temple and the origins of the deity, on the same lines as that of Hindu traditions. If no, can there be a provision for excerpts of the texts and scriptures related to the instant case. The temple follows Hindu tradition Since the moot problem is based on the recent Supreme Court judgment regarding the Sabarimala issue, should we consider the case ‘Indian Young Lawyers Association v. The State of Kerala, 2017 10 SCC 689’ as a legal precedent or not? You may In the 3rd issue that has been provided in the moot proposition, whether it is temple having a denominational character or it would be temple administration? Stick to the words used in the proposition If the answer would be in latter, can we club the 2nd and 3rd issue because if its about the temple administration having a denominational character, the 3rd issue is just a continuance of the 2nd issue. Clarifications with regard to Clubbing and addition of issues have already been given. You may add or club issues Whether the Varela Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Rules 1965 enjoy a semi-constitutional position under the 9th schedule? And The Rule has come into existence or has been passed by which authority? Yes. The rules has been framed under Varela Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Act, 1965 (1965 Act) Can the sequence of issues be changed? For instance, Issue III be swapped with Issue IV. Yes. You can It is mentioned in the Case: ‘In the year 2018 a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by the women lawyers in Varela challenging this ban on women devotees, which was then supported by the FDF Government through filing an affidavit for the same cause.’ Was the Government supporting the ban or the petition? The petition Post the judgment of 2001, were women still disallowed altogether? Women of menstruating age are denied entry from then To substantiate our arguments, can we cite sources which are not strictly legal? For instance, a reference from the journal of history or a prominent author’ work on the same? Yes, you can, provided you cite the sources correctly We would further like to know if there is a need to introduce jurisdiction as an issue separately, considering the fact that it was not mentioned amongst the listed issues. It is up to you to introduce an issue of jurisdiction
Round I Women who visited the temple in 2001 in small numbers, included women who were menstruating or were of menstruating age? The facts have been deliberately made silent with regard to this. Hence, cannot be answered. Is temple administration, wholly or partially, in any other manner under the control of the Government or not? We would like to add this detail to the proposition that the authority of the temple administration shall be considered akin to Devaswom Boards of the state of Kerala and enjoys a semi constitutional position as per the ninth scheduled of Indian Constitution Does the temple receive funding from the Consolidated Fund of India? Keeping in view the answer given to question No 2, do the necessary research. Please specify whether we can frame any additional issues or club up any issues that has been already provided to us orWe have to frame our memorial and issues based only on the 4 issues that has been provided in the moot proposition. Addition of issues by clubbing or otherwise is permitted. But make sure you answer the issues already framed in the propositions. Deletion of existing issues will lead to penalty. Since the moot problem is based on the recent Supreme Court judgment regarding the Sabarimala issue, should we consider the case ‘Indian Young Lawyers Association v. The State of Kerala, 2017 10 SCC 689’ as a legal precedent or not? Yes, you may What would the name of the case so filed be, on account of there being 4 other women who have filed petitions before the Hon’ble Supreme Court before that of the Young Lawyers Association? Identifying the parties to the case in order to name it, is part of your research and understanding of the case. What are the fields or areas under which the Young Lawyers Association are known to practice or work towards? This fact is silent owing to its irrelevancy to the case Is it safe to infer that there is a common name for the devotees of the deity, Varnappan in the instant case? According to the proposition they shall be addressed as ‘devotees’ itself Are texts and scriptures elaborating the practices of the temple and the origins of the deity, on the same lines as that of Hindu traditions? If no, can there be a provision for excerpts of the texts and scriptures related to the instant case. Yes. The temple follows Hindu traditions In the Rostrum legal online memo drafting competition, ISSUE I and Issue IV seems to be on the same line. Can the participating teams club them or put them under same broad heading?
Though both these issues may seem to be on the same line, they are to be substantiated distinctively. Nevertheless, you are free to club issues.
Registration & Fees:
1. Teams must confirm their participation by filling up the online registration form.
2. The number of Participating Teams shall be restricted to 50 on a first come first serve basis.
3. Every Participating Team will be allotted a team code which will be communicated to them after registration
4. The Registration Fee for the competition is INR 2,000/- (Rupees Two Thousand Only)
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any question regarding the competition.
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