Law undergraduates, Adam Shaw-Mellors and Laura Stockin, won a place in the finals of the National OUP/BPP Mooting Competition after defeating a team from the University of Gloucestershire in the semi-final round. The Aston students are one of four teams to reach the final out of 74 participating law schools.
Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. It is often said to be the closest experience a student can have while at university to appearing in court. Indeed, the mooting competition actively seeks to simulate real-life courtroom scenarios and dilemmas.
A typical moot problem is concerned with a point, or points of law, and usually takes the form of a case heard on appeal from a lower court. The semi-final match concerned the recent introduction of the Defamation Act 2013, a highly topical issue which Adam and Laura debated to earn a score of 170 to the other team’s 159.
The final-year LLB Law with Management students said: “We are thrilled to have made it to the final. We cannot wait to take part and do our very best while representing Aston University. The competition has been a fantastic challenge so far, especially in our previous match which was particularly tough. With the Defamation Act being so recently implemented, there was little case law to assist us. It really tested our advocacy skills and our ability to reach a conclusion on the law.”
In preparation for the final, the pair are now researching and preparing new legal arguments which will be put before a presiding judge, who will then challenge their assertions.
Dr James Brown, Senior Lecturer and Director of Mooting at Aston, trained Adam and Laura and has given them guidance during the competition. He said: “I am delighted for Adam and Laura. They worked very hard and deserve to be in the final. Participating should also benefit them greatly. It really is an excellent way to develop analytical and research skills and is recommended for any student wanting to secure a career in legal practice.
“In future, we hope to replicate Adam and Laura’s success with other students. Aston has a strong commitment to mooting and there are always opportunities for students to moot against each other, as well as in national competitions such as this.”
The annual National OUP/BPP Mooting Competition is organised by Oxford University. The final of the competition will be held in London on 10 July.
For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or firstname.lastname@example.org