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National Environmental Mock Trial Competition Returns for Round Two with Universities Across Malaysia Set to Ignite the Stage

Kuala Lumpur, 15 January 2024  - The highly anticipated 2nd Inter-Varsity National Mock Trial Competition (NMTC), which focuses on environmental case scenarios, kicked off on Saturday (13 Jan) at the St Giles Boulevard Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Universities from across Malaysia gathered to participate in this prestigious event, which promises to showcase the legal minds of tomorrow, as they tackle critical environmental issues that mimic real situations surrounding sustainable infrastructure.

Building upon the success of the inaugural NMTC, held during the Covid-19 period in 2021, the 2nd NMTC expanded its foundation with partnerships from WWF-Malaysia, the Faculty of Law, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the Malaysian Bar Council Environment and Climate Change Committee, Yayasan PEACE or Policy and Affairs Centre of Malaysia, and the law firm Messrs. Yusfarizal Aziz & Zaid. This year's theme, "Sustainable Infrastructure", resonates deeply with current environmental concerns and challenges participants to think critically about the legal implications of infrastructure development.

Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Dato' Amar Abang Iskandar bin Abang Hashim, President of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia, officially launched the 2nd Inter-Varsity National Mock Trial Competition. About 70 guests and representatives from various institutions attended the launch event. There will be eight institutions participating the 2nd NMTC. Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Universiti Multimedia (MMU), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) sent two teams each, while Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA), and Taylor’s University sent one team each, bringing a total of twelve teams ready to battle it out.

Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Dato' Amar Abang Iskandar bin Abang Hashim, President of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia said, “Our well-being on this mother earth ultimately depends upon the responsible management of this planet's finite natural resources. Hence, whatever decisions we take today on how we manage our natural resources and infrastructure will profoundly influence our ability to support sustainable development opportunities and respond effectively to climate change. While it is in major respect the responsibility of the government, we, at the individual level has a role to play - in court or otherwise. In fact, even before environment protection became a sexy thing, Mahatma Gandhi had the foresight to observe and paraphrase in his usual blunt manner of speaking “mother earth has enough resources for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed.” Irresponsible and irrational depletion of our natural environment is the very antithesis of what sustainable development ought to be.”

Dr Henry Chan, Conservation Director, WWF-Malaysia said, “While infrastructure boosts our economy, poorly planned projects can harm the environment. We need to strike a balance for sustainable growth that considers the social, economic, and environmental aspects of development. We hope that this competition will be a platform to discuss and promote sustainable infrastructure in alignment with SDG 9, and the possibility of public action, through SDG 16. Additionally, we hope that it would create a bond between legal fraternities from different higher institutions in Malaysia. We trust that this experience will equip students with practical knowledge that can be used in their future careers.”

Prof. Madya Dr. Jady @ Zaidi Hassim, Dean, Faculty of Law, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) said, “I hope that this program can be expanded in the future with greater participation through close cooperation between WWF-Malaysia and other organisations across the country. Similarly, I hope for long-term cooperation not only from one side but also from the sides of the judiciary, the industry, and legal practitioners that can help contribute to make this program a success.”

Over six months, twelve teams from eight universities will battle it out in intense mock trial rounds, from January to July 2024, where the participants will undergo three preliminary rounds before the semi-finals and final rounds. NMTC is not just a competition, but it is a platform for inspiring future generations to advocate for a more sustainable future, where legal expertise and environmental consciousness go hand in hand. Stay tuned for more updates on the NMTC by following National Mock Trial Competition 2024 on Facebook and Instagram (@NMTC2024).

Photo (c) WWF-Malaysia


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