When the seeds of doubt are being sown wholesale and the devil's advocate is talking loudly, nothing is more important than staying grounded and centred on the issue at hand.
This was the most valuable insight that UOW Malaysia KDU's Year Three law student Nurzulaikha Mohammad Zaidi acquired when she joined Asian International Arbitration Centre's (AIAC) Pre-Moot Competition in March, 2022.
She recalled how she went through it in the previous year, but only in the research team; she was never asked to face the judges.
And in 2022, she did face them.
Not only was it the pinnacle of her venture into nervousness, she and her teammates never had an inkling that they would be fielded into the finals and when told, even that information came without pomp and ceremony.
"I literally woke up to the announcement that we had been entered into the finals, and then I had only 30 minutes to pour over my notes before we once again logged in and faced the judges online," she recalled.
In keeping with the safety rules of physical distancing during the pandemic, Nurzulaikha said the competition was done virtually, and separated from her teammates and alone in her room, she said it added to the tension.
The issue that was laid before them in the competition was "Commercial Disputes Between Biofuel Companies", and Nurzulaikha had to admit that the judges gave them no leeway in their questioning.
She recalled a judge who would not let go of the issue of the lack of formality in the establishment of a contract, but Nurzulaikha said she, too, did not let go of the legal tenet that a contract can be formed without any need of formality or signed paperwork.
"You must stay firm to the rule of law and never allow yourself to be veered away in the discussion," she asserted.
Owing to her tenacity, Nurzulaikha became the Best Oralist of the Malaysian Finals in AIAC's 6th Pre-Moot Competition.
Her team was crowned winner of the finals.
With her teammates Tan Wey May, Wong Ai Yu and Isaac Foo Kang Wen, they defeated 145 other teams from around the world.
Later, when asked, Nurzulaikha admitted that she has every intention to become a defence lawyer in criminal law after she graduates.
For more information on reading law at UOW Malaysia KDU, call 03-5565 0538 (Selangor Campus) or 04-238 6368 (Penang Campus).
This content is provided by UOW Malaysia KDU.
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