14 October 2010
Juris Doctor students moot in Canberra
Stephen Carlton, Kristin Williamson and Misha Ketchell enjoy the formal dinner after a hard competition.
High Court of Australia, venue of the grand final competition.
Three RMIT University Juris Doctor students recently competed in the 2010 LexisNexis Constitutional Law Moot in Canberra.
Stephen Carlton, Misha Ketchell and Kristin Williamson were well prepared for the preliminary rounds having spent the previous two weeks researching and developing submissions for the moot (a hypothetical case argued by law students).
The RMIT team was joined by 26 other university teams from across Australia to compete in front of judges, legal academics, barristers, solicitors and other professionals in the field at the University of Canberra, this year’s hosts.
“Each team had to compete in three preliminary rounds, focusing on the same question, with at least one argument as the appellant and the defendant,” Mr Carlton said.
“The problem was primarily a constitutional problem based on heads of power, the distinction between judicial and non-judicial powers, and the implied freedom of political communication.”
The team fought the first round against Bond University and the second against Macquarie University, staying up much of the night preparing submissions.
“The judge acting in the second moot was very knowledgeable in the area of constitutional law, based on his work with the Commonwealth Solicitor General,” Mr Carlton said.
“He had been personally involved with many of the cases the team submitted as authorities, leading to his questioning and interrogation being both precise and sharp.”
The final round was argued against Adelaide University and proved to be a fantastic mooting experience.
“The judge, an expert in maritime and international law, took his role very seriously and asked many varied questions which engaged both teams in a high level analysis of the law.”
Based on the highest win-loss ratio and the most points, two teams argued in the grand final in front of the Chief Justice of Australia, The Honourable Robert French, with the University of Queensland deserving the win for the second year in a row.
The RMIT team ranked 13 out of 27, which demonstrates the hard work and effort that was put in during the weeks leading up to the competition.
“This is the first time that our students have participated in the competition,” Dr Alperhan Babacan, Program Director of the Juris Doctor, said.
“Congratulations to our students on the fantastic result achieved and I commend them for their dedication and hard work. They have set a high benchmark for our students in future competitions.”