On Saturday 12 March 2016, the Reading team competed in the UK National Round of the prestigious Telders International Law Moot Competition, which was hosted at the University of Sheffield. The UK round involves teams from across the country competing for a chance to take part in the International Finals in The Hague in April. Telders is an external mooting competition specific to International Law, which is now in its 39th year. The Reading team – Angela Bokias, Coralie Barker, Salvatore D’Arrigo and Katharine Robinson – performed to an extremely high level. They ultimately came second in the competition, only five points behind the eventual winners Inner Temple, who now go on to compete at The Hague. Congratulations to the Reading team!
From right to left: University of Leicester team (Robert Quartly and Sefki Bayram), Judge Johannah Cutts QC and University of Reading team (Mark Jenkins and David Tan)
On Wednesday 29th April 2015 the School of Law hosted the second round of the UH/Blackstone’s National Criminal Advocacy Competition against the University of Leicester. Finalist Mark Jenkins and first year student David Tan acted as prosecutors examining and cross-examining the complainant (marvelously played by first year student Ruth Cottington-Bray) and defendant (exquisitely played by Dr Nicholas Roberts) in the case of R v Webber against the defence team (final year students Sefki Bayram and Robert Quartly). Judge Johannah Cutts QC of Reading Crown Court decided the case and provided detailed feedback to the competitors on their individual performances. As the competition is based on a calculation of scores, rather than a knock-out basis, we will find out in due course whether Mark and David have made it through to the semi-final round.
On Saturday 7 March 2015, the UK National Round of the prestigious Telders International Law Moot Competition was hosted at the University of Reading. The UK round involves teams from across the country competing for a chance to take part in the International Finals in The Hague in April. Telders is an external mooting competition specific to International Law, which is now in its 38th year. This is the second time that Reading has hosted the event, having previously done so in 2008. Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the event a success. The Reading team (pictured above: Mohammed (Azed) Butt, Kei Kei (Kay) Ng, Sher Maine Lee and Chandni (CJ) Patel) performed to an extremely high level and ultimately came fourth in the competition. The winners were the University of Sheffield team – huge congratulations to them!
by final year student Venus Masiha (team included Ali Alahmad and Domas Kudzma)
The first two days of the competition were training sessions. We were given very informative and well executed training during these days that helped us to understand the process of mediation further. The competition officially started on the third day. The first stage of the competition was made up of three rounds. The first two rounds took part on the third day and the last round on the fourth day, before the semi-finalists were announced. We were very successful and were announced as one of the top 16 teams allowing us to proceed to semi-finals. As we only had one team competing from Reading we were only able to go through as mediators while universities who had two teams competing gave them an opportunity to compete as all roles (client, advocate and mediator).
Venus’ Award for 8th Best Speaker and the team’s Semi Final Trophy
The semi finals consisted of one “knock-out-round”, so only one of us could actually mediate. We decided that Ali Alahmad would take on the semi-final as he had done well previously in our internal competition. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the Final. The competition was very tough as there were many skilled teams, many of which were American teams who have Commercial Mediation as an obligatory module. Considering these circumstances we were very pleased with our performance and the outcome of it. The competition ended with an Award Dinner in the evening of the fourth day where we were awarded for “Outstanding New Mediation Program”. It was four very intense and long days but we all found it to be a very giving and fun experience. We met people from all around the world, made many new acquaintances, acquired new skills and had a lot of fun in the process.
by second year student Simerjit Reyat.
Mooting has been the most rewarding experience I have undertaken while studying law at the University of Reading. Mooting is not only the closest experience any law student can get to truly appearing in an appeal court, but it also encourages personal enrichment through the development of various skills. After a successful audition, I was selected to participate in the National Student Law Society external mooting competition.
This was the first year that I began mooting therefore I was very new to the concept however, I found that the level of support and encouragement from the Law Society and Dr Amy Codling, who is the mooting coordinator, was exceptional.
The first round of the competition was against the University of Hertfordshire therefore, my mooting partner (second year student, Abhirami Babu) and I travelled to Hertfordshire and mooted in the Universities Law Court Building. Upon arrival we were greeted with a very warm welcome by both the staff and students. As I stepped into the mock court room I was stunned at how realistic it appeared. I felt as though I had been transported into a real court of appeal and was representing a real respondent.
During the moot there was an audience supporting our opponents which was initially extremely intimidating however, when presenting my submission I found that I became so immersed in my argument that I forgot that anyone was watching. Moreover, the judge was a local barrister who provided extensive judicial intervention which encouraged me to think quickly on my feet while remaining poised under increasing pressure. He also provided critical feedback at the end of the moot to aid personal improvement.
Overall, it was an unparalleled opportunity which allowed me to delve into the legal world and gain an insight which no book could possibly provide. Mooting requires a lot of hard work and long hours in the library, but it is a worthwhile experience which everyone should take advantage of!
by final year student Pauline Mutuc.
During week 10 of the autumn term (3rd December 2014) the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) at Reading held the finals for its first annual Human Rights Mooting Competition (HMRC). The competition was fierce, resulting in a two-point difference between the finalists. The winners, Alexander Powell (a second year student) and Ramona Thambiratnam (a third year student, who is on exchange from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia), were awarded with a guaranteed place on the ELSA trip abroad to Luxembourg in February.
This year, the ELSA Committee had initiated an internal competition in order to give its members the confidence, as well as the experience in order to form a Reading University team to compete at the ELSA International HMRC next academic year. Moving forward, this is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain exposure with mooting in an international human rights context. Every year, universities all over Europe send teams to put together written submissions, after which the top sixteen teams are chosen to compete in the oral phase at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The winners of the international competition are awarded a month-long internship at the Court in Strasbourg. ELSA Reading is currently open for sponsorship in this endeavour.
Overall, ELSA Reading’s first ever HMRC was a fantastic success! It provided law students from first year to post-graduate level the opportunity to work together in teams, as students from each year were paired in a randomly selected draw. During the final round, the finalists consisted of undergraduate students from first to third year, as all of the post-graduate participants were eliminated in the first round. The students have found it to be a ‘good learning experience’, as well as helpful in building their presentation skills and confidence.
ELSA would like to thank all of the wonderful lecturers who have helped out with the event – Dr. Amy Codling for all of her guidance, and Dr Katja Samuel, Dr Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne, Ms Nora Honkala, Professor Rosemary Auchmuty, Dr Dimitrios Kyritsis and Dr Ruvi Ziegler for all their help in judging.
Top left: Mooting Finalists with ELSA Committee Members
Top right: ELSA Committee Members with Judges
Bottom, from left: Winners: Alexander Powell and Ramona Thambiratnam
Mooting Finalists: Gabriel Shea and Simerjit Reyat