By Ali Mashraf

The pioneer mooting organization in the country, Dhaka University Moot Court Society (DUMCS), in collaboration with Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), organized the Anti-Corruption Moot Court Competition from December 7-9, 2017 at University of Dhaka (DU). Law students from 16 different public and private universities across Bangladesh participated in this first of its kind moot court competition on anti-corruption.

The inaugural ceremony of the three-day long competition took place on 7th December, with Professor Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman, Vice Chancellor at DU chairing the event. Among others, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director at TIB; Professor Dr. Md. Rahmat Ullah, Dean, Faculty of Law at DU and Professor Dr. Borhan Uddin Khan, Chairman, Department of Law at DU were present as the special guests. They appreciated the joint initiative of TIB and DUMCS in hosting the competition and urged the students to raise their voices against corruption and to strike down corrupt practices from our daily lives. The draw of lots and the exchange of memorials between the teams took place after the opening ceremony.

The preliminary rounds took place on 8th December where the teams battled it out against each other to reach the quarterfinals. Following the preliminary rounds, the top eight teams qualified for the quarterfinals. The participants got themselves acquainted with the practical courtroom experiences and challenges by participating in the competition. Besides, it enabled them to widen their horizon of legal and analytical knowledge. With their articulate rhetoric and well-analyzed arguments and counter-arguments, they raised their strong voices against corrupt practices by organizations and sought solutions via legal means on such a pressing issue.

The top four teams from the quarterfinals advanced to the semifinal round. The teams were from University of Dhaka, University of Chittagong, State University of Bangladesh and Varendra University. The semifinal round took place on 9th December. After an intense battle in the semifinals, the top two teams proceeding to the grand finale were University of Dhaka and Varendra University.

The grand finale took place at the Senate Building of DU. Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed, Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md. Miftah Uddin Chowdhury- honorable Judges of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh adjudicated the final round. Following a nail-biting final in the courtroom, Varendra University of Rajshahi emerged as the champion while University of Dhaka was adjudged as the runner-up.

Varendra University – the Champions

University of Dhaka – the Runners up

The closing ceremony was chaired by Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain, while Justice Md. Miftah Uddin Chowdhury, Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman and Dr. Borhan Uddin Khan were the special guests. Dr. Sumaiya Khair, Profesor, Department of Law, DU announced the results of the competition. Apart from the champion and runner-up teams, University of Chittagong won the Spirit of the Moot award, University of Dhaka won the Best Memorial award, Md. Jahid Al Mamun from DU won the Best Researcher award and Sanjana Hoque Mifta from CU won the Best Mooter award. All the winners received their crests from the guests.

The distinguished guests of the closing ceremony lauded the depth of research and articulate oral submissions of the participants during the competition and advised them to stay in the process of continuous learning. Citing many instances of corruption in Bangladesh, they expressed their gratitude towards TIB for their endeavors towards curbing corruption and bringing these instances to light to ensure justice.

Tokens of appreciation were presented to the distinguished guests of the ceremony. Professor Dr. Mohammad Nazmuzzaman Bhuian, Moderator, DUMCS then delivered his vote of thanks to the organizers, participants, judges and everyone involved with the competition and brought an end to the proceedings of the day. The event concluded after a photo session of the winners with the guests. TIB intends to host this moot court competition on a regular basis in the upcoming years.