In this blog, Ryan Scott and Dylan Higgins tell us about their recent triumph at the Lord Jones Moot Competition, which culminated in all UofG final.
The prospect of mooting in the first place may seem daunting, never mind the thought of participating in external mooting competitions against other universities. However, having enjoyed the Obligations 1B moot, we were both extremely eager to become involved with the society and, following participating in the Dean’s Cup, we were approached to take part in the external Lord Jones Moot. We both leaped at this opportunity, with the thought of challenging ourselves against competitors for universities across the country exiting us. We took part in the competition on the 9th of February, along with another team from the University.
We received the problem a few weeks before the competition, longer than the usual time given for internal moots. The problem concerned police negligence in Scotland, which the appellant alleged had caused the death of her husband. He himself had also been speeding so contributory negligence was relevant as well. A notable aspect of the competition was that we were required to prepare for both sides of the case, and would have to argue both sides at least once. The thought of having to prepare for two arguments, and build authorities for both, was, to say the least, intimidating, but a welcome challenge.
In fact, we found that preparing for two sides brought with it interesting new methods of preparation. We split the sides up evenly, each of us acting as senior for one side and junior for the other. We build the arguments for the appellant first, using online blogs and our Obligations notes; before doing the same for the respondent. This brought with it a greater opportunity to bounce off of each other, to exchange ideas and rebut with an in-depth knowledge of both sides. The day of authority printing sticks out in our minds. A special mention to Dr. Bobby Lindsay for his help with the printing credits, it was greatly appreciated!
The moot was in Dundee, and we made our way up for a 9:30 start. Other universities represented were Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Abertay, and, of course, our hosts. With 9 teams in total, we were off. The day began with a challenging opening, with a back-to-back serving of the same judge. Successful in the first two rounds, which were based on points, we proceeded to the quarter-final and, in turn, the semi-final. At this point in the day, having refined our arguments throughout the day to the point that we did not need to look at scripts so much, the team flow had been built well. This comes naturally, and once you start on the day, the nervousness disappears to be replaced by excitement.
Our learned opponents in the final were the other team from this University, Alastair Crooks and Jasmine Dickinson, worthy adversaries to say the least, making the final an all-Glasgow affair to all of our delights. The judge was Sheriff Herbert Kerrigan QC, making this our most challenging moot of the day. Although we were victorious in the end, Jasmine and Alastair were excellent in their performance, as were all teams during the day, and we all benefited greatly from this experience.
The experience of mooting is intended to give us as students an insight into the world of advocacy and the challenges this poses. Participating in external competition such as the Lord Jones Moot was, for us, only a greater opportunity to experience these trials in an enjoyable format. Even if we had not won, we would have regardless been thankful for the honour of representing the University and the society. Mooting is an extremely useful activity to take part in, and we cannot encourage anyone thinking about getting involved enough to do so. Winning is only a bonus; experience is invaluable.
– Ryan Scott & Dylan Higgins