Review of London Mooting Workshop (2014)

OULS LogoBy Matt Noble

The London workshop took place on a sunny Saturday at the University of Law’s Bloomsbury centre this July, attended by a number of OULS members and organised as ever by custodians and doyens of OULS mooting Gwyn Hopkins and Abi Scott.

Feedback for the day from OULS members was universally very good, and it seems that demand for further workshops is strong. Suggestions for a ‘next level’ workshop to develop the skills learnt here is very encouraging for future member involvement.

The day opened with a quick demonstration of a moot by Abi and OULS chair Amy Woolfson, with Gwyn judging. The case here involved the authority of R v Woollin, and whether Abi could be found to have intended to cause the death of people who sign up for a workshop but don’t attend, if she foresaw that death or serious harm was a virtual certainty as a result of her actions. This might not be completely accurate as I arrived slightly late…

Following this the workshop proper got under way with mooting fundamentals. The topics for this session were how to cite a case orally, how to summarise a case for the moot judges, and courtroom etiquette. The aim here was for maximum audience participation for those who wanted to. Although courtroom etiquette may have limited application outside of mooting, learning citation and summaries are useful academic skills even if you don’t plan on taking part.

After a break for lunch, the workshop continued with a session on constructing a skeleton argument. The purpose of the skeleton is not only to form the basis for your own presentation, but also, in the unfortunate British sense of fair play, to give away your secrets to your enemy. It also allows judges to prepare for the moot itself, in order that they may better smugly appear to know everything.

This was followed by an excellent presentation on legal research by Caralyn Duignan from LexisNexis, for whom feedback from the attendees was particularly glowing. Caralyn went through the areas of the LexisNexis database which are most useful for finding authority on a particular topic. This is crucial for moots where participants must find cases or legislation to support their submissions themselves.

The final portion of the day was set aside for those who had reserved a spot to make a submission in front of the OULS’ experienced mooters. The standard here was excellent, regardless of the inexperience of those presenting. With the OULS Novice Mooting Competition coming up on 16th August and plenty of external competitions to follow, the continued success of OULS mooting looks assured.

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