Murdoch University law students have excelled themselves at an international mooting competition in Hong Kong, winning six of the ten awards on offer and losing by only one point in the final.
Undergraduates Ben Holloway from Willetton, Will Goodheart from South Perth and Liz Wreck from Claremont were pipped in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mooting competition held at the City University of Hong Kong by a team of postgraduates from New York’s Columbia University.
They did, however, win a variety of awards for their overall performance, speaking and mediating.
The team coach, Professor Phil Evans described the wins as an “outstanding result”.
“Their performance in the Grand Final is especially pleasing when you consider that our students are young undergraduates compared to the older Columbia students,” he said.
“To win so many awards in such a prestigious competition is unparalleled. Our students were wonderful ambassadors for the University.
“They were well deserved wins in view of the long months spent in writing the legal brief and practising for the oral arguments.”
This is the third year that a Murdoch University team has been in the Grand Final of this competition, having won the inaugural moot in 2010.
They were up against more than 120 competitors including teams from universities in Australia, Austria, China, India, Slovakia and the United States.
The ADR Moot is designed to combine arbitration and mediation, allowing team members to take on those roles as well as the chance to play the role of both client and advocate.
Mr Holloway said the experience had provided him with advocacy training and new networks all over the world.
“The moot was important to gain a better understanding of alternative dispute resolution methods in an international context,” he said.
His team mate Mr Goodheart added: “The competition was fantastic. I have been able to hone in on my advocacy skills by competing against fantastic speakers from all over the world, and receiving feedback and advice from leaders in various legal fields.”
And Ms Wreck said: “It was wonderful to work as a team and experience such a high level of competition. Mooting provides practical experience for applying research, written and oral skills outside of the University curriculum.”
Murdoch teams have built a formidable reputation on the mooting competition circuit thanks to support from the School of Law and the team coaches, who take on this role in addition to their normal teaching duties.
“We strongly encourage our law students to take part in mooting competitions because it helps them to develop advocacy skills which will serve them well in legal practice,” said Professor Evans. “As a result there is an incredibly strong mooting culture at the school.
“We also think it’s important to expose students to this kind of social and cultural experience because it helps to develop the skills needed to practice in a global legal environment.”