First Gary Slapper Memorial Moot Winners Announced

First Gary Slapper Memorial Moot Award Winners Announced.

Since August last year OULS members have been fighting it out to become the winners of the first ever Gary Slapper Memorial Award. The award which is in honour of the late Gary Slapper will take pride of place in the cabinet to the entrance of the Law Faculty at The Open University Campus in Milton Keynes.

The date had been announced Friday 15th March, the finalists had been declared, the location had been booked and where better to hold a mooting final then the Supreme Court, the location was fitting. All that was needed to be done was for the mooting problem to be set.

Our Mistresses of the Moots Abigail Hendon and Jennifer Warton got to the task at hand and set the moot problem. The problem surrounded that of whether a receptionist in a hospital owes the same duty of care to that of a doctor or nurse. The case relied heavily upon the recent Supreme Court hearing of Darnley v. Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2018] UKSC 50.

The four finalist: Sarah Foster, Elise Graham, Harrie Austin-Jones and Sarah Couling, were all deserving of their place and our mistress of the moots had a hard task on their hands to pick the winners. The four finalists were split into two, Elise Graham as the lead appellant and Sarah Foster as junior appellant. Sarah Couling was appointed as lead respondent whilst Harrie Austin-Jones represented the junior respondent.   

The two teams battled it out. With 15 minutes on the clock for each counsel, the teams put their case across to our judges and Mistresses of the Moots Jennifer and Abigail. All counsels kept to the time and kept their composers superbly when the judges threw their questions at them.

After each counsel had directed their argument to the judges as to why the law was on their side, the judges retired to make their decision. During the brief interval we heard from the then chairman Mike, who talked about why the moot final was special. There was hope that the family of Gary Slapper was going to be able to attend the event. However due to events beyond their control the family were unable to make the occasion. This did not take away the fact that this was still a special moot in memory of a special man.

After Mike had spoken to the audience he then introduced an honorary guest to take the stage, Jessica Giles from the OU. Jessica gave advice on how to succeed in the legal sector before giving a speech and expressing her amazement at how much talent there has been with Open University students ‘especially when compared to bricks and mortar universities’

Then it was time to announce the finalist, the Mistresses of the Moots announced the winners of the first Gary Slapper Memorial Award was: Sarah Couling and Harrie Austin-Jones. All counsels were given a mini award whilst the winners will now have their name engraved onto the large award.

The news team would like to congratulate all finalists and everyone who took part. The standard this year was very high and all individuals mooted to a high performance level.

If you would like to take part in our next internal mooting competition or you would like to attend one of our mooting workshops then please keep an eye out for an announcement from or newly appointed Master of the Moots.

Written by Victoria-Jayne Scholes

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