About this segment: Person of the Month is an initiative by the University of Malaya Law Review which aims to feature a prominent member of the University of Malaya’s Law Faculty towards the end of each month. The purpose of this segment is twofold. Firstly, to give due recognition to the contributions of our student leaders and secondly, so that their achievements might inspire other members of the faculty towards greater successes.
Vinodhan Kuppusamy, a final year student of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya.
Vinodhan Kuppusamy, or better known to members of the faculty as Vinod, is a final year law student at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya. Looking back on his four years in law school, Vinod is well known for his expressive, energetic and fun-loving personality and more importantly, plethora of achievements as a law student. Vinod is a well-regarded mooter and one of UM’s best debaters.
Vinod started his mooting journey in his first year itself in which he went full swing by winning the Internal Moot Competition along with his partner, Rachel Ng. He also bagged the Best Oralist title and the Best Memorial Award. He then represented the faculty for the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Competition in 2015 and was crowned champion of the national rounds and won the Best Memorial Award. At the international stage of IHL in Hong Kong, he and his teammates claimed the 2nd Best Memorial Award, a landmark achievement for UM in the competition itself.
Vinodhan and his teammates, champions of the IHL Moots national rounds in 2015.
Then, in 2016 he participated in the MYCC Moot Court Competition as team captain and qualified the faculty to the international rounds of 2016 Asia Cup International Law Moot Competition where his team bested law schools all around Asia to claim the 2nd Best Memorial Award. His final moot competition was with Ms. Lisa Natasha and Ms. Sharon Kaur where they represented UM in the International Criminal Court Moot in 2017 held at the International Court of Justice, The Hague.
Champions of the Competition Law Moot Court Competition 2016.
At the International Criminal Court Moot Competition held at The Hague, Netherlands.
During the interview, Vinod also talked about his experiences as a mooter. He noted that mooting is a difficult activity to dabble into where it requires a lot of research and effort so that they can speak in front of a judge effortlessly. However, he mentioned that he enjoyed his time as a mooter because he had excellent dynamics with his team. He said, “The friendship forged between everyone who worked so hard is a friendship like none other”. Thus, he advises young mooters in the faculty to always remember that they are part of the team and when all is achieved together, only then will mooting become an activity worth doing again and again. Vinod also urged juniors to try mooting because mooting is a privilege that is only afforded to law students and given the faculty’s positive culture of mooting, they must reap all opportunities that they have.
Vinod is also an outstanding debater for the university. He began debating in his first year itself and steadily build his reputation as a fierce debater where he amassed 6 national titles under his belt while being in the finals of countless others. Subsequently, Vinod spread his wings higher to represent UM in the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships, one of the biggest student events in the world that amasses up to at least 100 teams from all around Asia and Australia. Vinod as team captain, powered through the competition and ultimately made history by winning the competition in the ESL category. He then set his sights on world domination when he participated in the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) 2017, the world’s biggest debate tournament which draws about almost 200 teams and Vinod championed UM up to the finals of the ESL category. In the next year, Vinod again participated for WUDC in Mexico and this time ranked as 19th best in the world, also as the 2nd best Asian team.
After tirelessly debating, Vinod then ventured into judging debate tournaments and being on the Chief Adjudication Core of many tournaments. To judge a debate tournament is a very big honor and he has been on the core for at least 30 tournaments in various countries such as Japan, India, and all over South East Asia. In the recently concluded United Asians Debating Championships held in Bandung, which is Asia’s premier debating tournament, he finished as the 3rd best judge in Asia. Vinod will now also stand as Chief Adjudicator for the 2018 edition of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships.
Champion of the Austral 2016 (From left: Mr. Vinodhan, Ms. Sharon Kaur and Mr. Leeroy Ting Kah Sing).
Vinod speaking at the ESL finals of the Dutch WUDC 2017.
Debate and mooting are considered intensive sports and coupled with being a law student, Vinod has had a busy 4 years in law school. When asked about managing between all three, Vinod said that for him it was easy because he consider himself a workaholic and enjoys filling up his time, even weekends, with work. However, he did mention that as students, we must truly enjoy what we do, so that “work” actually feels like vacation from academics. It’s hard at the beginning but with time, it will be effortless.
At the end of the interview, Vinod gave his take on the best way to decide on the kind of person to be by the end of law school, and that is do all that one wants to. He concedes that in university life, pressure will come in choosing many things, but one must have a firm stand on his ground and champion on what he loves to do. At the end of the day, it is all worth it.
Vinod’s time in law school has been one filled with a lot of challenges but he continues to maintain his ever-going fun personality. He encourages all to always decide for oneself and the best person to chart a path to a future you’re proud of is you.
“Law school is everything that you decide to be, choose independently and choose wisely”