The Law Programmes at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have launched a new moot court to help students take part in simulated court proceedings.
The court, which recently held its inaugural moot, has been opened following investment from the University and comes with robes, lecterns and audio equipment.
Each semester will see a competition take place between students from all year groups where they put on their advocates’ robes and present legal arguments to a panel of judges in the mock Supreme Court.
These events give the students a chance to draw on the skills they have gained during their studies and practice advocacy in a formal yet supportive setting, something well regarded by the legal profession.
The moot in this year’s first semester was based on a topical point of criminal law on which the real Supreme Court was considering the same day.
The panel of judges, who picked Esaniya Sachdeva and Angelina Sobral Ferreira as the winners of the competition, comprised Lecturers in Law at St Mary’s Lloyd Gash and Dr Thomas Giddens, both of whom co-ordinated the moot, and Programme Director for Law Jenny Henry.
The next moot, which will be held in the spring, will be based on a contract law problem and will be guest judged by Descartes Solicitors’ Evelyn Ofori-Koree, who has more than 14 years of court advocacy experience with the higher rights of audience qualification.
Jenny Henry, said, “It was really satisfying to see the high level of engagement with our first moot of the year and launch of our new moot court. The addition of the robes and the court has brought an authenticity to the occasion which was clearly appreciated by participating students and observers from all year groups, highlighting a clear path between university activities and a potential future as a court advocate.
“Congratulations to winners Esaniya and Angelina, I hope it will inspire even more students to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to hone their skills of persuasion in the friendly supportive environment of the St Mary’s mooting programme, which I’m very grateful to Lloyd for organising.”
Lloyd Gash commented, “This is the fifth St Mary’s mooting event I have been part of and it is great to see the success of its development each semester, especially with the new court. The student mooting ambassadors have been a pleasure to work with and have played their part in this.”
Esaniya said of winning the competition, “Mooting has provided me with valuable experience in being able to stand in front of a group of people and deliver arguments on a case. At first, I was nervous thinking that maybe this was not the right decision for me, but after going through the experience I would definitely put myself forward for the next moot and hopefully in the future I will see many more new students.”
Angelina added, “Taking part in the moot competition has enabled me to step into the shoes I want to be wearing in a few years’ time. Winning the competition at such an early stage of my degree was a worthwhile experience, despite the hard work involved.”