Friday, 29 February 2008

Mooting - semi-final - results

Just found out today that I didn't get through to the final of my law society mooting competition at university. This was the first time that I had entered a mooting competition and I am in my third year of studying law at university.

What makes matters worse is the realisation that I had the law on my side and I should have done more with it. I should have been clearer in my submissions through being far better prepared than I was; and, I should have realised that although I had strong submissions, they were not there to 'hide' my weaker submissions. I should have thought about them more and I should have been prepared to answer obvious questions on them.

That said, I fiercely contend the presiding judge's decision to say that my opposite on the other side won the moot. It was clear that his preparation was incomplete; he sought to highlight really minor and really controversial distinctions in criminal law that are so silly as to be perverse. He didn't realise that he had such an upwards task that the only viable argument before the House of Lords would be to argue for the use of the 1966 statement on Judicial Precedent which allows the House of Lords to depart from its earlier judgments and argue public policy, public policy and public policy. Instead, not a single statement on public policy was made.

How on earth could I have lost the moot?

Well seriously, I don't believe I did. The most fundamental tenets of my argument were well presented I thought. However, I was caught off-guard when his Lordship requested that I strike two submissions off the five that I intended to give. Not only did I pick the wrong two - that wasn't my fault of course, they were all as important as each other - when I got to the end of the three submissions that I had decided to give, I then requested leave to give the two I had stricken off too. That really pissed his Lordship off. Lesson learnt though.

I shall not be doing any mooting for a while but rest assured my route to the semi-final of this competition has been most enjoyable and I have learnt a lot.