Future Lawyer Blog

My mooting journey to the Supreme Court…via the Post Office

The final of the City Scholars Moot 2022-23, was held at the UK Supreme Court on the 28th November 2023 and featured Nouh El Ouaz (LLB3), Zara Satti (LLB3), Zoe Wheeler (LLB3) and Hannah Cuthel (now graduated from the LLB). All four put in fine performances but Zara Satti, LLB3, was announced the winner by our judge David Allen Green, lawyer and journalist. Zara tells us all about the experience…

Hannah, Zara, Nouh and Zoe

I began mooting during my second year of university because I did not want to go through law school without ever having tried it out. I had also recognised the crucial role of argumentation in the legal profession. Whether in court, in essays, in discussions of the law, or when persuading clients, lawyers argue, and I wanted to develop this skill.

I successfully passed the previous three rounds, and I honestly found the judges to be not at all intimidating and they were mindful of us being beginners. Mooting was a bit out of my comfort zone, but this was the perfect environment to try it out and build the skills. But up next was the final…

Day of The Moot Final

As the final approached, I prepared as best as I possibly could.  The venue, the esteemed Supreme Court, added a layer of significance to the occasion. The final was to commence at 5 pm, so after my last lecture of the day ended at 3 pm, I quickly had lunch and then took the underground.

This was my first time visiting the Supreme Court, so I sat outside for a bit admiring the intricate architecture before being forced inside due to the cold (it was late November after all). I went through the security and had a look around at the exhibition before making it upstairs to the courtroom. My ‘learned friends’ were all already there and so I quickly sat down at the seats reserved for us counsel as I awaited the commencement of the final.

I was the junior appellant in this moot and the problem was kindly written by the judge of the moot – Mr David Allen Green, a senior lawyer and legal journalist. The problem was heavily based upon the Post Office Horizon Scandal – one of the largest miscarriages of justice in UK history. So, whilst I enjoyed preparing for this (it was a million times more interesting than my previous contract law moot for instance) it was also quite difficult because it was based on the laws of evidence which I had not covered in my degree. Worried that the judge could perhaps pick a major flaw in my argument I therefore, faced the final with a mix of nervousness and excitement.

The Moot

The judge soon entered, he introduced the moot problem and the submissions swiftly commenced. Eventually, it was my turn. I got up and was quite nervous, but I reminded myself that I was proud to have made it this far, I never started mooting with the expectation of reaching the final. This put me slightly at ease. I began to present my submissions as planned to the judge, of which I had three. All was well until about fifteen seconds in when I was judicially intervened. This never happened so early to me before, but I appreciated that this was a fair question and after some quick thinking I answered.

As I went through my submissions judicial interventions followed. I managed to survive them all despite two of them being quite difficult to tackle, one was about whether it was for the courts and not Parliament to reverse the presumption and the other was to do with the presumption of regularity. I then moved on to the legal policy section of my third submission before concluding. I was quite pleased to sit back down because it was finally over. The judicial interventions were tough, but they made me think on my feet which I actually enjoyed (well, after I had done it, definitely not during it).

The Judge’s Decision

Following the conclusion of the submissions the judge took time to deliberate. As he did so, I reflected on the journey, acknowledging that I had given my best and I was proud to have come this far. However, the judge eventually announced that he had come to a decision and began to give generic feedback. During this feedback, he complimented my detailed skeleton argument and also said that one of us had convinced him on grounds he was originally disagreeing with twice through judicial interventions.

These gave me some hope that I had a chance of winning so I then, began to become quite nervous again. Despite nerves, the final announcement brought unexpected joy — I had won! I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely delighted. I later found out that I had won for the ability to think on my feet during the judicial interventions and the fact that I had persuaded his Lordship. The judge gave me some individual feedback later on and we also discussed the moot problem a bit, which provided valuable insight.


Looking back, I recall how afraid of mooting I was when I first started – I saw it as this nuisance that I signed up for because I had a fear of missing out. However, this was a tremendous learning experience; beyond public speaking, I honed my research skills which benefitted my course modules. That aside I even earned a cash prize that helped me finally buy a new phone! I look forward to doing more moots, after all as my journey showed, nothing bad ever comes out of mooting!

 Zara is a third year LLB student and aspiring lawyer hoping to practice in the fields of commercial law and dispute resolution. Outside of university she enjoys reading books of various genres, learning new languages and volunteering.

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