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QU students come second in moot court competition


DOHA Qatar University College of Law (QU/LAWC) student team of Marwa Bamatraf, Abdulla al Ameri, Lama Abuakar and Radfa al Marri was placed second in the Middle East round of the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition held at Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center recently.

The college was among the institutions which sponsored the event, namely Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication and Oxford University.

The four students competed against colleagues from Jordan University, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates University and Yarmouk University, on key emerging issues in media law and policy such as accountability, surveillance, protection of privacy, human rights and censorship.

Their participation followed three months of intense preparation in oral presentations and simulated moot courts under the guidance of LAWC faculty Dr Henry Webb and expert mentoring by Oxford University moot court coordinator Adam Levin.

Final day arguments were made in front of a high-level judging panel comprising leading media lawyer in the MENA region Osama Abu- Dehays, Qatar Financial Center Civil and Commercial Court judge Barbara Dohmann, European Court of Human Rights judge András Sajó, University of Ein-Shams law professor Dr Minas Khatchadourian, and Head of McNair Chambers law firm Prof Khawar Qureshi. The Sharjah students’ team emerged the winner.

Commenting on the competition, LAWC Dean Dr Hassan Okour said: “It was an invaluable opportunity for our students to take part in this practical legal competition. They contributed to the international debate on contemporary legal and political issues relating to media, and even identified innovative ways of dealing with them.” He added: “Participating in and sponsoring this competition reflect the college’s commitment to excellence in providing the best legal education to prepare our students for success in law practice. This competition will serve to enhance their theoretical skills through real life practical opportunities, and build on their communication and networking skills in engaging with students from all over the world on a wide range of global issues. This Moot Court was a great environment for them to learn first-hand from expert legal minds, media professionals, and members of law firms, academic institutions and NGOs”.

Dr Webb said: “Preparing the arguments on international law was quite challenging given that the college’s curriculum does not include that area of law. The competition topic required intensive research and investigation to prepare substantive and persuasive points to convince the judging panel, and our students lived up to the challenge”.

Participating law student Marwa Bamatraf said: “I attended a moot court competition in Oxford University last year without participating in the rounds so I was pleased to be part of the team in this moot court alongside colleagues from the region.

Through this competition, the college has opened up a new and exciting horizon for us to participate and exchange legal perspectives with our peers.

Our participation would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of Dr Okour and Dr.

Webb.” Her colleague Lama Abuakar added: “The topic reflected the current political developments in the Arab world, especially the Arab Spring. What made this experience an important one is acquiring communication and teamwork skills and growing in self-confidence”.

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