National Shine Lawyers Torts Moot Competition

16 August 2010

From left to right: Rob Pietriche, Glenn Kembrey, Daniel Fletcher and Roisin McCarthy.

Congratulations to the Sydney Law School Team for its performance in the National Shine Lawyers Torts Moot Competition recently.

The team prepared this report:

During 2-6 August 2010, Roisin McCarthy (2nd Year Combined), Daniel Fletcher (2nd Year Combined), Rob Pietriche (2nd Year Combined) and Glenn Kembrey (4th Year Combined) represented the University of Sydney Law School at the National Shine Lawyers Torts Moot Competition held in Brisbane at the Queensland University of Technology. Eleven teams from a wide range of Australian law schools took part in the tournament. The problem question involved a negligence claim brought by a police officer who had suffered psychiatric injury during the course of her employment.

All teams completed four moots in the general rounds between Monday and Thursday. A bench of three judges presided over each moot and these judges were almost all practicing barristers and solicitors, academics or real judges. We were particularly startled when we discovered after one particular moot that the presiding judge had been his Honour Justice Douglas of the Supreme Court of Queensland and that we had been citing, in ignorance of his Honour's identity, cases in which his Honour had delivered judgments.

The team won three moots in the general rounds against the University of Newcastle, James Cook University and the hosts, Queensland University of Technology but were unfortunate against Macquarie University. These results propelled the team into the semi-finals after finishing in second place in the general rounds. Friday morning saw Roisin and Daniel moot against a competitive team from the University of New South Wales. The closely contested moot was awarded to the University of Sydney in a unanimous decision. Consequently, we qualified for the Grand Final.

The Grand Final was held in the Banco Court of the Supreme Court of Queensland before his Honour Justice Fryberg of the Supreme Court of Queensland and two distinguished barristers. Rob and Glenn represented the team against Bond University. The moot was a spirited affair with the bench raising many challenging questions about both the law and its application to the facts at hand. Yet despite Rob's piercing analysis and Glenn's offhand humour, the latter having drawn hearty laughs from the Bench, we were narrowly defeated in a high quality moot.

The Queensland University of Technology hosted a championship dinner on the final night which gave us the opportunity to socialise with law students from all the competing universities. At the dinner, Daniel Fletcher was awarded the prize for the best mooter in the general rounds despite many of his jokes having, by his own account, 'fallen flat' before the unsuspecting Queensland Benches.

We are very proud of our result as the Runners Up at this national competition, particularly since none of us had mooted previously at an intervarsity level. We greatly improved our oral and analytical skills in an enriching team environment. The competitive and social interactions with students from other law schools were a particular highlight. We all plan to continue mooting and hope to represent the University again in the future.

Finally, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Sydney Law School for their generous sponsorship which helped us attend the competition. We are also grateful to the Sydney University Law Society for organising our appearance at the competition and arranging several practice moots prior to the competition. We are indebted to Bibhu Aggarwal and Andrew Cong in this regard.

The team will revisit the moot problem question for a demonstration moot at the University of Sydney Open Day on August 28.

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 16102b48747c062e03105f240227370e05081703361f650e0b386b2316