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Student competitions: Philpot Curran Moot

Student competitions are a great way to challenge yourself, grow your confidence and inspire motivation. Just ask Law student Yi Kang Choo who recently won a Mooting competition on behalf of Queen’s.

As a Law student, a moot court competition is a great way to flex your mooting muscles. The competition simulates a court hearing and participants have to analyse a problem, research the relevant law, prepare written submissions, and present an oral argument. The topic for the recent Philpot Curran Moot was on the subject of tort liability for nervous shock, duty of care and negligence. Here is how I got on…

Finding the courage

Looking back, I still cannot believe that I had actually mustered up the courage to participate in an external mooting competition, nevermind that I eventually won 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. What’s more, it was our very first mooting competition. It was also in the South in Ireland, where most of the case laws and legislations are different compared to the NI Law that we learn in class.

Tackling the problem

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 wholehearted by our seniors, Sarah Gallen and Lillian Polluck. We spent three days together, learning the correct moot court etiquettes, drafting and receiving feedback from them on both our written and oral submission, as well as running mock trials after classes.

Shout out also to Prof. David Capper who also encouraged and supported us from Day 1, being our go-to person whenever we had 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, like the fact that 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!

The big day

On the day of the competition, Prof. David 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 get to meet different teams in the university, we also received constructive feedback from the judges on how to improve as we proceed further in the competition. We eventually competed in five rounds and won in the finals!

It felt great, not only because of our achievements, but also because I thoroughly enjoyed working together with my Moot partner, as we never blamed but only supported each other throughout the competition.

Scooping best speaker

I was very happy to be awarded the Best Speaker of the competition. I would like to share our achievements with the team in Queen’s as they were 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. I guarantee you this was one of the best first steps I had ever taken in life!

Discover more student competitions


Photo: Yi Kang Choo, LLB Law
Yi Kang Choo, LLB Law