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Carlisle Crown Court hosts university mooting competition

Carlisle Crown Court hosts university mooting competition

Law students from the University of Cumbria had the opportunity to experience working in a real Crown Court setting when they took part in the finals of their mooting competition.

Law students from the University of Cumbria had the opportunity to experience working in a real Crown Court setting when they took part in the finals of their mooting competition.

A moot is the oral presentation of a point of law, which is disputed in mock court proceedings. Essentially there is no ‘right’ answer; a moot is won by the competitor’s advocacy skills and the persuasiveness of the argument presented.
The undergraduates run their own mooting society at the university, which offers advocacy coaching for all law students throughout the year. 

This competition began last October with 24 students and, through elimination, two pairs won through to the final; Julianna Gallop and Maryam Kayani appearing on behalf of the appellants and Claire Rayment and Eve Parry appearing on behalf of the respondents.

The final moot featured the laws of discrimination and the application of human rights in schools. The winners were the appellants, Julianna Gallop and Maryam Kayani, who have previously represented the university at both national and international level and who both have aspirations to become barristers in the future.
Julianna says: 

“The final round was particularly difficult as it was an area of law I was not familiar with.  
It was definitely nerve-racking, but Maryam and I were thrilled that our research skills, preparation and experience in moots paid off. It allowed me to see what it would be like to handle a real case in the future.”

Her mooting partner Maryam agrees: 

“Appearing before a judge in Carlisle Crown Court at the final stages of the mooting competition and winning has been an exhilarating experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to future mooting opportunities.”

The university mooting society and competition is sponsored by local law firm Burnetts, who assisted in judging the semi-finals as well as securing the Crown Court and a circuit judge for the finals.

Simon Mortimer, Head of Private Client Services at Burnetts comments:

“As Cumbria’s largest legal employer, it’s important to us that the young people being educated at our region’s university are given the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and experience they need to compete with others studying law at universities elsewhere in England and Wales. 

“We want to help give these aspiring lawyers the best start to their careers and, although I know some of the students found it a challenging experience, I hope it has also helped to build their confidence and speaking skills. It is testament to their hard work that the presiding judge praised the quality of the participants.” 

Ann Thanaraj is the programme leader for law at the University of Cumbria and is enthusiastic about the benefits these competitions bring to the students. 

“Advocacy skills are an integral part of the law degree at the University of Cumbria; many chambers and law firms place great emphasis on mooting to develop legal skills, for both aspiring solicitors and barristers”, she explains. 

“Mooting is one of the most effective ways to acquire legal skills in analysis, interpretation and argument, but most importantly it allows a student to practice their public speaking skills.

“Mooting is great fun for an aspiring advocate and provides invaluable practice. Students often begin by taking part in the internal competition then work their way up to national level. The only way to develop your legal skills is to give it a go!”

ENDS

Published: Tuesday 11th March 2014
Categorised: Practice News

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