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DMU students moot in the highest court in the land

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EXPERIENCE: Finalists and organisers

Law students have described mooting at the Supreme Court in London as “an amazing experience”.

De Montfort University’s Law Society was given special permission to hold the finals of its mooting competition in Court No.1 of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

Will Tolcher and Shelly Pastakia and fellow third years Harry Taylor and Prabhjot Hunjan presented the case for the appellant and respondent respectively.

Judges – aka DMU principal lecturer Martin Morgan-Taylor and Professor of Criminal Justice Policy Gavin Dingwall – ruled Harry and Prabhjot won the case after hearing their arguments.

“It was a huge privilege to be mooting in the highest court in the land,” said Prabhjot, 20, from Leicester. “It was such fun – the judges were as excited as us.”

This year mooting at DMU has been revamped by master and mistress of the moot, Tom Jones and Farrah Khalid with the backing of the Law Society and staff representative Dr Nicola Jackson.

To prepare the students for the challenge, special weekly “moot camps” were set up at DMU and those students with experience led sessions on different principles of mooting.

This included court etiquette training, the best way to build a compelling argument from precedent and how to deal with a judge’s questioning.

Some 60 students from first years to third years entered the mooting competition. and it was whittled down to just two teams.

Will, 20, from Chesham, said: “It has been a great experience. The skills of mooting can benefit anyone.

“Thanks to Tom and Farrah it’s really taken off this year. It was an absolutely amazing experience to be mooting in Court No.1 of the Supreme Court. It’s something I will never forget.

“I can’t think of too many experiences as a law student to top that.”

Shelly Pastakia 20 from Luton, added: “It is probably a once in a lifetime experience and we are so grateful to Tom, Farrah and Nicola for organising it.”

Harry, 20, of Leicester, is also president of the Law Society. He said: “We said from the off that mooting was something that we wanted to do more of this year and it has been such a success.

“Hopefully, next year people will be going to the regional competitions.”

Nicola has been instrumental in organising this in such a short period. Just to see the fact that what we set out to do we have done

Tom said: “We have done what we said we were going to and so much more. We never, ever thought we would have the finals in the Supreme Court.”

Farrah said: “Last year, four people got to moot at DMU. This year, 60 people have done. That’s the best part, to see that people have got so excited and inspired by mooting.”

Vicky Holland helped organise the event. She said: “There were a lot of emails backwards and forwards between us and the Supreme Court. We had a really good contact there and were delighted they allowed us to moot.”

Simon Josiffe, Information Officer at the Supreme Court, said: “We were delighted to welcome De Montfort Law School to the Supreme Court.

“Moots are an important part of our education programme, giving law students a key insight into the highest court in the land, and the students performed brilliantly in the final. We hope to welcome them back– perhaps as a future Judicial Assistant or even Supreme Court Justice one day!”

Posted on Friday 22nd February 2013

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