A group of Murdoch law students have achieved the University's best result to date in one of the world's most prestigious mooting competitions.
Held in Vienna, the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot has been referred to as the 'Olympics of international trade law'.
Professor Phil Evans coached the team and said the impressive performance was the result of months of hard work.
"We started training in December, knowing that competition was going to be tough," he said.
"Our team of undergraduates were competing against postgraduate students, who are significantly older and often have more life experience."
From a competitive field of 295 teams from 60 countries, the Murdoch University team finished in 35th place. Will Goodheart (of South Perth) impressed the judges, and was selected for a Best Speaker's Award.
"Will is a strong talent and a gifted advocate. To be acknowledged at such a high profile competition is an incredible achievement," Professor Evans said.
Mr Goodheart, along with teammates Amy Ryan (of Burns Beach), Stephanie O'Connor (of Yokine), Patrick Williams (of Fremantle) and Vlada Lemaic (of Rivervale) were honoured at a special reception last month.
Mooting is a roleplaying activity, similar to debating, where participants argue a legal issue against an opposing team before a panel of experts. The setting resembles a high level court or arbitration case. For the Vis moot, competitors also had to prepare a 5000 word written argument.
"It's an important part of practical legal training, as it is very similar to arguing a case before a judge in a real courtroom," Professor Evans said.
"You have to think on your feet, a skill which is hard to teach and something you can’t get from a text book."