Triumph in London Universities’ moot

25 April 2008

UCL laws students carried off the inaugural London Universities’ Mooting Shield on Tuesday after a competition against three other London universities lasting over a year.

During the tightly-fought final against King’s at the offices of City law firm Allen & Overy, second-year UCL students Matthew Abraham, Marco De Sousa and Ronnie Dennis argued successfully on behalf of a fictional character’s right to dance naked at sunrise in her front garden letting off fireworks, despite her neighbours’ protests. The win meant that the UCL team won overall by a margin of 3.5 points, having won four of its six rounds.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Marco De Sousa said: “It was a very tight final, but we’re ecstatic with the result.” The moot was judged by a panel of barristers from Allen & Overy, Field Court Chambers and 3 Verulam Buildings, all sponsors of the competition. Panel chair Andrew Onslow QC said: “All three of us were exceptionally impressed by what we saw this evening.”

The London Universities Mooting Shield was set up by the law societies of UCL, King’s College London, the London School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Each of the four universities entered a team consisting of three competitors. Six were rounds of moots held throughout the year, so that each team mooted against another university twice.

Marco De Sousa explained: “A moot is basically a simulation of an appeal. Two teams of advocates argue a fictional legal problem in front of a judge. There are no witnesses: the moot is argued on points of law only. The team that wins the point of law is not necessarily the team that wins the moot: there are criteria such as presentation of argument, ability to answer questions and courtroom etiquette which determine which team wins.”

To find out more about the competition, follow the links at the top of this article.

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The UCL winners (from left) Ronnie Dennis, Matthew Abraham and Marco de Sousa, with their shield; Ronnie in action.

Photos:Nigel Davey/Lawyer 2B