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Sydney team wins Gibbs Moot

27 September 2018
Grand final success at Federal Court in Melbourne
Sydney Law School students Ruben Robertson, Joy Chen and Rowan O’Donnell have been named as the 2018 winners of the Sir Harry Gibbs Constitutional Law Moot.

The 2018 Gibbs Moot, held in Melbourne from 22-24 September, brought together the best constitutional law mooters from 18 law schools across Australia. 

The Sydney Law School team defeated the University of Western Australia team in the grand final, which was presided over by judges the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC (HCA), the Hon Justice Pamela Tate (VSCA) and the Hon Justice Karin Emerton (VSCA).

In addition to winning the competition, LLB student Joy Chen was also awarded Best Speaker.

Grand Finalists of the 2018 Sir Harry Gibbs Constitutional Law Moot

Pictured (Back, L-R): Ruben Robertson (USyd), Rowan O'Donnell (USyd), Joseph Sabbagh (UWA), Max Riley (UWA). (Front, L-R): Joy Chen (USyd), the Hon Justice Pamela Tate, the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC, Tayu Wilker (UWA) and the Hon Justice Karin Emerton.

"The team delivered a distinguished performance over the course of three days of intense mooting, which came after over two months of preparation," said coach Samuel Hoare. 

"They mooted both sides of a complex question concerned first with the implied freedom of political communication in the context of hypothetical legislation seeking to limit the spread of 'fake news', and second with whether a body was 'court of a State' within the meaning of section 77(iii) of the Constitution such that it was capable of being conferred with federal jurisdiction.

"All members of the team tackled these topical issues with aplomb, with their dedication and effort being clearly being reflected in the result!”  

The team were coached by recent Sydney Law School graduate and Associate to Justice Gleeson of the FCA, Samuel Hoare. Their practice rounds were judged by Professor Anne Twomey and barrister and lecturer Patricia Lane. The Sydney University Law Society generously covered the team’s registration fees, accommodation and flights.