Mooting helps you excel at advocacy, research, communication, legal analysis and problem solving.
MOOTING MEMORANDUM NEWSLETTER
Mooting Memorandum's aim is to publicise our mooting endeavours and promote mooting (and other forms of advocacy and competitive lawyering) to a wider audience of law students at Queen’s University Belfast.
Mooting Memorandum, 1st Edition (Jan 2023)
Mooting provides students with the opportunity to deliver oral arguments and draft written submissions in response to a hypothetical case in a mock appellate court hearing. Regardless of degree level, involvement in mooting affords invaluable insight into the practical application of law: in addition to written and oral advocacy skills, competitors have the chance to experience the real-world practice of law in a certain area as they formulate and deliver a decisive argument on the given issue.
The Mooting Committee
Mooting activities are overseen by Dr Anthony O’Dwyer, Mooting Coordinator, supported by predecessors Dr David Capper and Dr John Stannard. The 2022-23 committee also comprises Mooting Officers Sarah Hair, Conor Higgins, and Donall Higgins. The Committee is responsible for organising the internal mooting events and facilitating the University’s participation in external (intervarsity) mooting competitions.
Internal Mooting Activities
The committee and QUB Law Society organise a range of annual mooting events for students. In the first semester, students are offered workshops on research skills, written advocacy, and oral advocacy. They can then put their new skills to the test in the Law Society Annual Novice Moot, which takes place in the first semester and is open to first-time mooters. The Law Society Annual Open Moot and Intervarsity Plea in Mitigation Competition are held in the second semester, along with other competitions in collaboration organised with other universities, such as the upcoming Inaugural Kings versus Queens Moot with KCL.
“Getting involved with mooting has been a very rewarding experience. The online workshops gave a great foundation for students to work independently, focusing on research skills and drafting skeleton arguments. The external selection moot itself was the highlight for me, as I had the opportunity to work with and learn from more experienced mooters whilst building my confidence and public speaking skills. I would really recommend mooting to anyone who has ever wanted to give it a go!”
Alannah Carr, Intervarsity Team
Internal events are open to law students of all levels and degree paths, allowing them to gain experience constructing concise arguments on a legal issue in both written and oral form. The format of a mock hearing enables participants to apply court etiquette and gain confidence in public speaking. Competitors who show talent during internal mooting activities are often recruited to the university’s intervarsity mooting team.
“I'm beyond grateful to have participated in and won the QUB Novice Moot 2021. As a criminal law enthusiast, I enjoyed working on the moot problem and I've learnt so much from the experienced judges as well as other peers.”
Kan Law, Law Society Novice Moot 2021 Winning Team
“The Novice Moot was an eye-opening experience for me, and I really enjoyed it as it provided a platform for us to put our theoretical learnings into practice. All I can say is never be afraid to take the first step to try mooting, as the valuable feedback provided by the judges will be of great help in sharpening your advocacy skills before you step into court.”
Chloe Yap, Law Society Novice Moot 2021 Winning Team
External Mooting Activities
Each academic year a team of students are formed to represent QUB on an external level in intervarsity competitions. The team members are chosen based on proven talent in internal competitions or through the selection process run by Dr Capper and Dr Stannard during the first semester workshops. The selection exercises reflect the themes of the workshops and comprise of three rounds: research (round 1), skeleton argument drafting (round 2), and oral argument (round 3).
“The selection rounds are an excellent opportunity for students to decide what they want out of their law degree, as it can confirm whether they wish to enter legal practice (as it did for myself), or whether they are interested in pursuing other routes. Completing the selection rounds helped me with my assignments and exams as it enhanced my ability to apply the law to complex problem scenarios whilst creating strong legal arguments.”
Eli Baxter, Intervarsity Team and ESU-Essex Court 2021-22 Semi-finalist
This year the team comprises twenty-four students from the LLB, LLM, and PhD cohorts. Those students will represent QUB in a variety of intervarsity competitions. Previously, the team has competed in events such as the DCU National Moot, Southampton Intervarsity Moot, LSE-Featherstone LGBT moot, Philpott Curran Moot, TCD Mock Trial, 5 Paper Buildings Criminal Law Moot, Quadrant Chambers Speed Moot, Leiden International Children’s Rights Moot Competition, and many more!
The two ‘premier league’ competitions QUB competes in each year are the Oxford University Press & ICCA National Moot and ESU-Essex Court National Moot. These competitions are a series of rounds over the academic year and involve students travelling to compete at other universities. Competitors for these competitions are selected during round 3 of the external competitions’ selection exercise; the top four students form two teams to represent QUB.
“Participating on the external team is a very enjoyable experience; you are given the opportunity to advocate in front of established Judges and Barristers who give you very constructive feedback. Mooting is a collaborative effort and the time spent preparing for these competitions with the whole team generates insightful discussions about the law and how it should be applied – which undoubtedly enhances your own legal academic skills.”
Emma Payne, ESU-Essex Court 2020-21 Competitor & OUP 2021-22 Competitor
"Being on the external team gives you the invaluable experience of mooting in front of a range of established judges and barristers. Every moot improves my advocacy skills. Furthermore, exploring complex legal issues in depth develops your legal research skills and understanding of the law. Mooting is also just lots of fun and I highly recommend anyone interested in law to give it a try!"
Jasmine Harper, ESU-Essex Court 2020-21 Competitor & OUP 2021-22 Competitor
The mooting ethic at QUB is reflected in the level of skill shown in internal competitions and successes at intervarsity and national events. Successes include winning the NSLS Mooting competition, being runners up in the OUP Mooting competition and recently winning The Belfast Moot Final in front of 5 supreme Court Justices.
- ESU-Essex Court National Mooting Competition 2021-22 SEMIFINALISTS: Sarah Hair & Eli Baxter
- Intervarsity Criminal Law Moot 2022: James Marks & Mercedez Faustin-Clenaghan RUNNERS-UP
- OUP & ICCA National Mooting Competition 2020-21 RUNNERS-UP: James Marks & Lucy Bill
- Silken Thomas Irish National Moot Cup 2021 WINNERS: Sarah Hair & Joseph Le Seelleur
- Philpot Curran Moot Court Competition 2019-20 WINNERS: Yi Kang Choo & Shazana Binti Husaini
- LSE-Featherstone LGBT Moot 2018 WINNERS: Morgan Hickman & Shea Glasgow
- Supreme Court Moot 2018 WINNERS: Connor Lockhart & Sarah Gallen
- OUP & ICCA National Mooting Competition 2017-18 RUNNERS-UP: Keane Davidson & Victoria Taylor
- OUP & ICCA National Mooting Competition 2016-17 WINNERS: Conor Lockhart & Darren Finnegan
- UKLSA National Mooting Inter-Institutional Competition 2016 WINNERS: Alana Hughes & Kiera Oluwunmi
Where are they now?
Mooting experience is a highly desirable quality in those applying for pupillages, traineeships, and prestigious postgraduate programmes. It is an also excellent way of making connections with experienced lawyers and judges at competitions.
Former QUB School of Law mooters went on to become as follows:–
- Conor Lockhart, Darren Finnegan, Keane Davison, Shea Glasgow, and Sarah Gallen are practicing barristers at the Bar of Northern Ireland
- Barry O’Kelly is an employed barrister with the Government Legal Service in London
- Sophie Morrison qualified as an associate solicitor with Clyde & Co
- Alan Hughes is a barrister and tenant in Harcourt Chambers London
- Kiera Oluwunmi is a barrister and tenant in Three Raymond Buildings Chambers London
- Morgan Hickman joined the UK Civil Service
- Yi Kang Choo is studying for a Masters degree at Cambridge University
- Christopher Monaghan obtained a Distinction in the BCL at Oxford University and an LLM at Harvard; he has now obtained a pupillage at Fountain Court Chambers London
- Kiera Vinall is doing the BPTC in London and has secured a pupillage with the Government Legal Service in London
- Olivia Shaw is undertaking the BCL at Oxford University