Who has to bear damages when heavy seasonal rain breaches a tailing dam and carries chemical residue from gold mining from a neighbouring country into a river course affecting a major chunk of the population residing near the international border?

Is it the responsibility of the country which has allowed gold mining by another country on its land through foreign direct investment or is it the country which has taken up mining in another country that is responsible?

These and related questions will be argued upon before an international court of justice to be organised at the Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) at Navanagar in Hubli where the First International Moot Court Competition is scheduled to take place from November 15.

For three days, mooters, as the participants are called, from across the country and from abroad will place their arguments before the international court of justice on the issue concerning the developing countries — Republic of Puritania and Republic of Nostra.

As per the problem drafted exclusively for the competition by Vice-Chancellor of KSLU T.R. Subramanya and Ph.D scholar at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland, Julius Nayak, the Republic of Puritania has allowed gold mining by a State entity owned by the Republic of Nostra, and tragedy strikes when floods breach a tailing dam resulting in cyanide-laced water being carried into the river causing adverse effects on the health of the aborigines of the area.

While the Republic of Nostra has gained profit through its State-owned entity which took up gold mining, the question now is who has to bear the responsibility and provide relief to the affected people.

Established in 2009 with an objective of providing quality legal education, KSLU is organising the international moot court competition for the first time in the State and, naturally, there is excitement over the event.

Prof. Subramanya said, “No other institution in the State, including the National Law School of India University, has attempted it so far.”

Law colleges that have emerged either winner or runner-up in any national-level moot court competition in India in the last three years are eligible to participate in the international moot court competition.

Foreign teams are coming only through invitation.

“We have extended invitations to over 15 educational institutions in the U.K., the U.S., Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The confirmation of participation from these nations will come in November,” he told The Hindu .

For the international moot court competition, each college can send a team comprising three mooters (two speakers and a researcher) and KSLU has decided to restrict entries to 26 teams from India on first-come first-served basis.

Law colleges are required to confirm their participation by September 30 and each team is required to submit written memorials on behalf of the parties involved in the case by November 7.

Those interested may visit the university’s website, www.kslu.ac.in, for details on the international moot court competition or call Director of KSLU Law School C.S. Patil on Ph: 91-9845431663; email: ksluintlmoot@gmail.com.

International moot court competition from November 15