A team from City University London took the finals trophy in this year's hotly contested OUP/BPP National Mooting Competition. Competing in four earlier rounds secured the place at the final on the 25th June 2015, where they faced the Open University, Queens University Belfast and the University of Greenwich. In this piece Charlotte, one of the winning duo tells us about the competition from beginning to end.
We both found the OUP-BPP National Mooting Competition to be a great experience. Doing the competition throughout the year was an excellent way to get to grips with different topics – it’s a lot more fun than just sitting in the library (though there was a lot of that too!), as the objective of constructing the best possible case means you engage with the material in a purposeful way, and by the end you will know the subject inside out.
At times it was a challenge to balance the demands of the competition with our own work - we were preparing for the final round in the run up to exams, with the skeleton exchange in the midst of them! Luckily the final round was three days after our seventh and last exam, so we had plenty of time to prepare.
We had an engrossing selection of moot problems, which were often highly topical. These were written by barristers Ros Earis and Rory Clarke - interestingly Rory formed half of the team which won the OUP/BPP Moot for City back in 2010-11. Several were tort related – one highlight was our second round against Manchester Law School (in which Charlotte and John represented City) which involved a claim for psychiatric harm by a firewoman whose husband had died in a factory explosion – our judge, Geraldine McCool, had been involved as a solicitor in several of the cases we had cited in our skeleton (on Piper Alpha oil rig disaster), so she certainly kept us on our toes with her interventions.
A particular favourite has to be the semi-final against Plymouth, which centred on an obscure 18th Century tort for the intentional infliction of psychiatric harm. This tort was recently brought back into the limelight in a Supreme Court case involving the concert pianist James Rhodes whose ex-wife was attempting to prevent his publication of a semi-autobiographical work. That case was going on at the same time as we were doing our moot, which gave the round a great sense of immediacy. It was also very exciting to be judged by legal correspondent and blogger Jack of Kent (aka David Allen Green) whose particular interests in freedom of speech and social media made for some very searching questions and interesting conversation over cake and wine afterwards.
The JUSTICE Kalisher Trust Internship will take place over four months from October 2015 to January 2016, and will be based at the JUSTICE London office. Interns will be paid £5,000.
Here's the blurb on the role from JUSTICE:
The Kalisher Trust exists to help people qualify as barristers and begin their professional career at the Criminal Bar. Set up in 1996, the Kalisher Trust helps talented students otherwise unable to come to the Criminal Bar due to financial constraints. Kalisher scholarships are intended to encourage and assist those intending to practice at the Criminal Bar who demonstrate “exceptional promise but modest means”.
The Kalisher intern will work with our Director of Criminal Justice: conducting legal research; providing commentary on draft legislation; assisting with third party interventions; and supporting working parties of our membership exploring critical issues of law reform. The internship will provide the opportunity to develop research and drafting skills, to engage with litigation and law-making processes, and to be part of a small, friendly and committed staff.
Deadline is Sunday 12th July at 9pm - find out more.
On 25th June Charlotte Bellamy and Raphael Gray will be up against the Open University in the finals of the OUP/BPP National Mooting Competition. Charlotte and Raphael reached the finals after 4 rounds with other competing universities. Prior to the semi finals, City was represented by Charlotte and Raphael, along with John Platts-Mills and Emily Moore.
Then a week later, in early July, fellow GDL students Matt Henderson and Emma Rigarlsford will be competing at the University of Hertfordshire in the finals weekend of the UH/Blackstone's National Criminal Advocacy Competition.
Wish us luck!
The Law Reform Committee of the General Council of the Bar have released details of their 2015 Annual Essay Competition. This challenging competition asks law students and pupil barristers to put forward an idea for a law reform that is desirable, practical and useful.
Sponsorship comes courtesy of the Bar Council Scholarship and prizes are as follows:
£4000 for the winner
£2500 for the runner-up
£1500 for the best CPE/GDL student entry
£1000 for the best runner-up CPE/GDL entry
2 x £500 highly commended awards
Closing date for the competition is 17:00 on 6th October 2015. Prizes will be presented at the Annual Law Reform Lecture on 2nd December 2015 at Inner Temple Hall.
Want some insight into what previous winners have come up with? See full details via the Bar Council website.
The Postgraduate fora are becoming an integral part of the research calendar of the City Law School. They are showcasing the diversity of the areas of law explored by the young researchers, their passion and eagerness to contribute to academic debates.
The Fourth Annual Postgraduate Forum was held on 15 May 2015 and it is worth noting the proceedings of this lively event. It was a great opportunity for the City Law School’s PhD students to present updates on their research, to share challenging findings and provide fascinating presentations that led to lengthy and vibrant discussions. Dr Riccardo Montana opened this year’s Forum, welcomed all participants and extended best wishes from Dr Mauro Barelli. Dr Montana also chaired the first panel, which gave an opportunity to Hussam Alhmary to talk about the rule against gharar (uncertainty). His presentation was followed by a paper by Neshat Safari on the role of the derivative claim as a legitimate mechanism of protecting shareholders in the English legal system.
The second panel was chaired by Dr Carmen Draghici. Petya Ilieva provided an insightful talk on the sources of law in international commercial arbitration. It was followed by a presentation by Annabel Beales, on free, prior and informed consent and its challenges. Pinar Canga delivered a presentation on the review of the mechanisms and legal frameworks of the detention of minors in the UK and Turkey.
Dr John Stanton chaired the third panel, which brought together three PhD candidates working under the supervision of Professor Jason Chuah. Aniekan Akpan provided a presentation on the Court of Justice of the European Union interpretation of art. 2(1) of Regulation 3577/92. Carlo Corcione contributed with an overview of his research on the third parties protection in carriage of goods by sea. Faizah Abd Rahman talked about the role of fault in establishing shipper liability for cargo under international conventions. A panel composed of Dr Elaine Fahey (Chair), Dr Enrico Bonadio and Dr Mazen Masri reviewed and marked all presentations. The Panel found the presentation by Annabel Beales to be the best and awarded her with the prize of £250. The judges commended the structure and coherence of the presentation as well as Annabel’s engagement with the audience.
The Senior Moot 2015 on 7th May was a resounding success showcasing the mooting skills of the four postgraduate Finalists, Edward Blakeney, Guy Olliff-Cooper, Mark Galtrey and Samuel Parsons.
Former Law Commissioner (and Moot Judge) Prof Jeremy Horder of the LSE, expert on the Bribery Act, had set a robust Problem on the subject for all students in the competition to grapple with. Fellow Finals Judge, Prof Peter Hungerford-Welch of the City Law School, presented the winner’s trophy to the new champion, Mark Galtrey. Samuel Parsons was the second place winner.
Moot Director Joanne Moss said:
“We record our thanks to Savills for their great generosity and enthusiastic support for the Senior Moot 2015. This year has seen an unprecedented level of interest in this extraordinarily tough competition. This year the glory goes to Mark Galtrey but worthy opponents and champion mooters from many countries in the world had competed. We are a major international Law School and this is a landmark competition.”
This year’s prize pot was £3,000 with the champion receiving £1650. Moot Director Emily Allbon, Law School Faculty, members of Savills, invited distinguished legal guests and student guests were pleased to celebrate together.
See the City University News page for another review of this event.
Francesca gives a brutally honest and humorous account of Pupillage 'warts and all'.
Audience: those who have obtained or are applying for Pupillage.
Location: City Law School, Room 13, 2-10 Princeton Street
Two fantastic events coming up in June so get booking!
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, examines the current pressures on the rule of law and human rights at the British Library, giving The Equality Lecture on 22nd June.
Tickets are just £7 for students - book now.
Don't forget to pay the British Library's current exhibition a visit - The Future of Liberty: Magna Carta and beyond - entry £5 for students. The exhibition is to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta and includes two of the remaining charter documents. The exhibition runs until the 1st September 2015.
On the same theme the Castle Debates are putting on an official Magna Carta celebration event on the 1st June. 4 speakers will consider the extent to which our current rights to a healthy environment, for example, clean air and clean drinking water, reflect the principles set out in Magna Carta 800 years ago.
Speakers include: Nicholas Vincent, University of East Anglia, Professor Duncan French, University of Lincoln, Richard Wald, Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers and James Thornton CEO ClientEarth.
This 2 hour debate will take place at Radisson Blue Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QD, with registration at 9am.
Book online for Magna Carta - Our Legal Right to a Healthy Environment, chaired by Jonathan Porritt CBE
The Commonwealth Moot 2015 held in Glasgow in April was won by Canada, after a close and hard-fought battle in the Finals against Australia. Two City Law School students, Matthew Sellwood and Daniele Selmi won this competition in Cape Town, the last time the Commonwealth Moot took place two years ago [read Matthew and Daniele's account of the thrilling final]. We extend our congratulations to this year’s outstanding winners, and commend the high standards and enthusiasm displayed by all participants during the chase for victory.
The semi-finals also featured strong performances from South Africa (beaten by Canada), and from India (beaten by Australia)
For all the competitors, each personal performance was something worked for and practised for many hours and over months of effort.
The excitement on the opening day of the moot was palpable as each team of national champions first encountered their opposition. The participating students from all countries made a great impression on their judges.
We take the opportunity to record our thanks to Patricia McKellar of the University of London International Programmes, whose tireless work and enthusiasm made everything come together for this rewarding competition.
Thanks to Joanne Moss, Lecturer and Moot Director, for this report.
City alumni and One Crown Office Row barrister Adam Wagner launched his new venture on Tuesday evening: the RightsInfo website. With the Conservatives keen to kick that pesky Human Rights Act into touch and regular misreporting in the UK media, Adam's mission is to improve public understanding of human rights.
Great mission aside, this is a fantastic site - content is both hard-hitting and wry, accessible but not dumbed down. Bright, colourful infographics bring the site to life.
Features present at the launch include:
What human rights do for us - cards with key cases and developments - each one linked to the relevant judgment and any commentary featured on Adam's other superb site, the UK Human Rights Blog. You can change the category to focus in on specific categories: Equality, Justice and Privacy amongst others.
The 14 Worst Human Rights Myths - this is brilliant. Featuring the myth (headlines from the UK press) and the actual truth, along with the relevant source. Included are the classics: "Police give fried chicken to burglar because of his human rights" "Human Rights cases being decided by unelected European judges" and of course "A man was allowed to stay in the UK because he had a pet cat".
50 Human Rights Cases Everyone Needs to Know About - based on recommendations from the legal community, RightsInfo have pinpointed 50 cases, summarised them and then linked to the full judgment. These will be released daily.
As an ex-librarian, what is very cool about this site is that every post is tagged with a category (or several) so if you find a particular subject intriguing you can just click on the category tag to find everything on the site related to this. Addictive stuff...