J. Frazier McBride, ‘Spring Mooting Reflection’

Author: James Frazier McBride, Mooting Society President 2019/20

 

Foreword:

Hello all,

During these difficult times, it’s really important that we all stay connected as a University community, as a law school and as a society. Kindness, communication and compassion are so important at a time like this. This Bulletin is a bit shorter than the Winter Bulletin given the premature end to the Mooting programme this year. There is however still much to be recognised and celebrated! So please have a read and perhaps, if you are new to Mooting or have never participated before, the successes of the moot participants of 2019-2020 will inspire you to get involved in the years ahead! Can I thank the Law Review and their President, Cameron, for their continued support for our Mooting Blog. Can I also invite you to submit if you are interested in our “Best Mooting Moments” competition, details of which are on the Facebook group, depending on the amount of submissions by the given deadline will determine whether this will go ahead.

 

Deans Cup:

This year, the standard of Mooting in the Deans Cup has been a standard-bearer. The Deans Cup is one of the examples of Mooting at its best. The competition is strong but is equally balanced with friendliness and compassion. Whether this be between a moot pairing or even between opposing teams, I have witnessed the positive impact of the collaboration that Mooting promotes and the kindness that has been shown by Mooting participants to one another in the University programmes.

From Round 1 at the beginning of this academic year to the Semi-Finals, each moot has shown a high standard and have experienced a variety of challenging legal problems varying from criminal law to delict to human rights… For those interested in the Deans Cup, the moot problems are vetted by the University and proofread and selected by myself and the Vice President – the rationale behind this is that they are challenging, thought-provoking, with an adequate room for argument on both sides and to be similar to the type of legal problems you may encounter in the law curriculum. Each moot participant has demonstrated their own advocacy style and used varying research techniques to search out the obscure cases and legislation which can tip the balance in a typical Deans Cup problem.

Prior to the lockdown, all moots were completed apart from the Final. Well done to Mary Azubuike and Milana Idrisova, and Arianna Moretti and Kirsty McKenzie who made it to the Semi Final but missed out on the Final. Congratulations to the teams of Jack Mullen and Jack Richardson, and Jonathan Royal and Alan Ritchie who were due to participate in our Final. The Deans Cup is well renowned both within our University and out with and so it is a great achievement to reach this stage. I have no doubt from the quality of the submissions of these teams throughout the competition, that this Deans Cup Final will be one of the closest the University has seen in its long Deans Cup history!

Can I give particular thanks to those who have attended in support of their peers or to find out more about mooting – it is always good to have an audience to make the competition more comparable to the external competitions. Also, a thank you to the clerks orchestrated by Kyle Jensen who helped to facilitate the moot on the day and I hope this experience has allowed you to observe good practice whilst being a part of the moot.

 

First Year Mooting:

Well done to all First Year students who completed their compulsory moot!

It was important to myself and the Committee that support was provided for First Year throughout both semesters and particularly in the run up to the compulsory moots. The use of lectures, the Law Review, Mooting Seminars, Practice Mooting and other support has hopefully achieved this and allowed the current First Year students to begin their mooting journey at the University.

Personally, I have found the Seminars in particular really rewarding to see the genuine interest of First Year students in mooting. I hope that you continue to be involved in the Society and participate in the competitions and other activities as you progress through the Law School. For any First Year student involved in these activities who has any feedback – positive or constructive – please contact the Committee’s First Year and Common Law Representatives Abdullah Naizam and Hannah Bowes.

 

External Mooting:

The University of Glasgow has enjoyed great success in the external competitions that we were able to complete this academic year! It has also been a real privilege to host these competitions within our own Moot Court Room.

The society has a strong reputation at external competitions throughout many years and this year has been no exception thus far. For the OUP Competition, Kyle Jensen and Hannah McKay and for the ESU Competition, Mary Azubuike and Milana Idrisova have consistently given extremely strong performances and have been successful thus far – again, it is unfortunate these competitions alongside our other external opportunities have not been able to continue on but I’m certain that when they do reconvene our teams will continue to achieve great success.

 

Practice Mooting:

The number of sign-ups for Practice Mooting this year has been impressive to say the least!

This activity continues to be peer-lead which is something that has been an important ingredient to its success throughout the years. designed to be enjoyable as much as informative and useful – I hope your experience of Practice Mooting has found this. This informal environment hopefully removes some of the trepidation around Mooting and the bridge between the study and career goals at University and the personal goals such as confidence-building in an activity like Mooting has been shown.

Our new initiative of Practice Mooting Judges has been particularly successful and can I say particular thanks to those who volunteered to judge Practice Mooting. As some of you will know having been a part of the Committee in the past, this informal experience is really useful for those who participate and has hopefully been rewarding for those who have been judges! The feedback from this initiative has been positive in allowing students to see a moot from both sides and improve their performance through this. When planning for next year, myself and the Committee are compiling a Legal Problem Dossier of peer written problems in order to enhance the peer-lead nature of mooting and to cover legal areas which students are particularly interested in.

 

COVID-19:

Unfortunately we have been unable to complete certain moots this semester and planned initiatives such as Outreach and the ‘Dementia Friends’ event have had to be paused indefinitely. Our work with the School Mock Court Case Project has also been paused indefinitely. For those awaiting to participate in moots, there is no planned restart date but I will keep you updated after the lockdown has ended.

 

Committee:

Our Committee is still contactable if you have any questions.

The Law Review is a fantastic resource that we have been updating over some years. Myself and the Committee will try our best to continue to update the Mooting Blog over the next while, hopefully this will provide a much-needed distraction from the current situation! You will have noticed the first ‘Moot Point’ posts on our Facebook page please keep an eye on this for really interesting mooting facts and things to read at this time!

 

Conclusion:

This academic year thus far has had some real successes on the part of our participants and our committee! It is really unfortunate that the academic year is due to come to a close in this way but please note if you have any questions please do still contact our Committee who are in place until September. Good luck for the upcoming examinations! Most importantly, can I close by saying that I hope you stay safe and well over this difficult time.

Thank you,

James Frazier McBride

 

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