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No moot point – UQ’s law team are Australia’s best

14 Feb 2014

The University of Queensland Law School has added another title to its impressive mooting record, winning the final of the Jessup Moot and becoming Australian Champions. 

The team won the 2014 Australian Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition on February 8.

Now in its 55th year, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest competitive moot court event.

The team will now travel to Washington DC in April to represent Australia against more than 120 qualifying teams from more than 550 law schools in 90 countries in the international finals.

Head of the TC Beirne School of Law, Professor Sarah Derrington, said she was very proud of the team’s accomplishments.

“The students performed exceptionally and are wonderful ambassadors for UQ Law,” she said.

The team, consisting of Emily Chalk, Camille Boileau, Hugo Clark-Ryan, Lisa Lee and Abigael Mawby and coaches, Associate Professor Anthony Cassimatis and Ms Catherine Drummond, battled through a week of elimination rounds in Canberra before their final victory.                      

The final was held in the High Court of Australia before the Honourable Justice Patrick Keane, Professor Rosemary Rayfuse (University of New South Wales) and Ms Dominique Hogan-Doran (a barrister at the Sydney Bar).

UQ student Emily Chalk was also awarded best oralist in the final and the team received the award for the “Best Written Submission for the Applicant”.

Professor Derrington said she recognised the huge team effort that went into the competition.

“This is the reward for the hard work of the students and the invaluable advice and assistance of the coaches, maritime academics and the many members of the legal profession who judged practice moots,” she said.

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations.

Students will try to solve the season's Jessup Problem, which for 2014 concerns the conflict between maritime development and conservation, criminal jurisdiction and maritime salvage rights.                                                    

Dr Cassimatis thanked UQ Chancellor, John Story, for his support, and Justice Glenn Martin AM of the Supreme Court, who organised a moot for the team and a post-moot reception for their families in the Supreme Court.                                                                                                           

“I would also like to thank Justices Anthe Philippides and David Thomas of the Supreme Court and Justice John Logan RFD of the Federal Court who judged the Supreme Court Moot as well as firms Norton Rose Fulbright (sponsors of the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot), Minter Ellison and Ashurst for hosting practice moots,” he said.            

About mooting                                                                                         

Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal (and sometimes factual) issue or problem against an opposing counsel before a judge, tribunal member or arbitrator. It resembles the experience that a student can expect to have in a court, tribunal or in arbitral proceedings after qualifying as a lawyer. In external mooting competitions, there may be a period of several months during which the problems are researched and written submissions prepared.                                                                         

About mooting at the TC Beirne School of Law                                

The TC Beirne School of Law has entered teams in national and international moot competitions for many years. In October last year, a Law School team won the 2013 Sir Harry Gibbs Constitutional Law Moot at the High Court of Australia in Canberra.                                       

In July 2013, UQ retained the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot title after defeating 24 teams in the competition held at the University of Southampton, UK.   

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