“SLM” Shalakany Litigation Moot is a moot court launched and hosted by Shalakany Law Office, Its is the first litigation moot conducted in Arabic in Egypt and it compromises a great number of judges, lawyers, professors and students.
We had the chance to have a sit down with one of the senior associates at Shalakany Law office Mr. Muhammad Ussama , who participated in “SLM” as a judge and gave us further details about it.
- Being a senior associate at Shalakany law office, what made you want to volunteer as a judge in “SLM”?
The office always seeks to have a positive role to give something back to the legal community, My first time to participate in a moot court was last year in “Jessup” moot court and the efforts of the mooters were very obvious and I was very motivated to see the future generations in a better level.
- What is different in “SLM” than other moot courts?
In Egypt, I think this is the first moot that is litigation focused, , students get to simulate how they are going to plead before an Egyptian court and this is a good opportunity for them to do the legal research and train themselves on how to stand before a real court.As we actually have some judges participating today, which is a great thing, I myself used to be a judge at the Egyptian Council of state for 7 years, so it is very good for them to get to experience that at this level. The other thing is that “SLM” focuses on arguing both procedural and substantive matters.
- Is there a chance in the competition for the judges to give comments for the participants after the pleading?
Yes, we do that after the moot is concluded for every round, so it is after scoring both teams and then we get them to come back inside the room and each of the judges gives them their feedback, It maybe individuals or by a team, we are dealing here with students so obviously they are going to make mistakes and the message we want to send is that you are doing a great job, you should continue and any mistakes can be treated in the future. We want the feedback to be constructive and to guide them in order to improve.
- Participating in moot courts is considered a step for students in their legal career, how important is this step?
As a student, you should focus on the academic side of things as well as the practical side. When you study theories at the University you need to apply these theories to actual facts in addition to conducting the necessary research.
- SLM give more than one award, what do you expect to see in the winners?
For the “Best Teams” we look at teamwork which includes a lot of things, for instance you have a specific time to adhere to which is a team thing so they have to work on coordination and how to distribute the time as efficient as possible. The second thing is how to distribute the arguments in a criminology order. But as for the “Best Oralist”, you would look for very good Arabic skills and how comfortable the student is standing before the panel and pleading and how convincing he/she is.
- What is your message to encourage others to participate in “SLM”?
There is no down side to participating; you get to experience something that is not frequently held in Egypt. You get feedback from professional people and you get to work on a case and network with other students and professionals.