Participating in the Philpot Curran Novice Moot Competition
International student Yi Kang Choo shares his experience of participating in the Philpot Curran Novice Moot Competition in Maynooth University, Ireland.
Looking back in time, I still cannot believe that I had actually mustered up the courage to participate in an external moot, not to say eventually winning the competition!
It was a journey filled with challenges that we had to overcome together as a team. My partner (Shazana Binti Husaini) and I were only given a week to prepare for the tournament. This was our very first mooting competition, it was also in Southern in Ireland, where most of the case law and legislation are different compared to what we learn normally in class.
The moot problem this year was on the subject of tort liability for nervous shock, duty of care and negligence. Fortunately, we were approached and later supported wholeheartedly by our seniors, Sarah Gallen and Lillian Polluck. We spent 3 days together, learning the correct moot court etiquette, drafting and receiving timely feedback from them on both our written and oral submission, as well as running mock trials after classes. Not forgetting Prof. David Capper who also encouraged and supported us from Day 1, being our “go-to-person” whenever we have any doubts in terms of the case law or legal arguments that were being put forward in our submissions.
I remember we all had the most fun figuring out the key differences between English and Irish Law. Learning even the minor details where you don’t call judges “My Lord/Lady”, but just “Judges” in Ireland. It was the perfect opportunity for us to hone our flexibility and adaptability as future “lawyers”!
On the day of the competition, we had the “Capper Cab” where Prof. David had so kindly offered to drive and accompany us as our coach to Maynooth. We went through three preliminary rounds which were nerve-wracking but fun as we not only got to meet different teams in the university, we also received constructive feedback from the judges on how to improve as we proceeded further in the competition. We eventually competed in 5 rounds (on the verge of getting lost into the pool of arguments for both the Appellant and Respondent’s side) and won in the finals! It felt great not only because of the achievement, but also because I thoroughly enjoyed working together with my Moot partner, we supported each other throughout the competition.
I am also very happy to be awarded the Best Speaker of the competition. As mentioned earlier, I would like to share our achievement with the team in Queen’s as they were mainly the reason why we were fully prepared and had the confidence to speak in front of everyone in Maynooth. This competition was also very well-organised and as a novice mooter, I felt that the competition provided everyone a safe platform to learn, grow and improve. Thus, I would definitely encourage every novice mooter to participate in this competition in the future because there always needs to be a first time for everything, and I guarantee you this was one of the best “first steps” I had ever taken in life!