The New Zealand Law Students Association (NZLSA) conference each year represents the pinnacle for student mooters in New Zealand. A different law school hosts the conference each year, this year it was Victoria University in Wellington.
There are two mooting competitions at the conference, Junior Moot and Senior Moot both of which were sponsored by Bell Gully this year. The sponsorship of Bell Gully is hugely important to the strength of New Zealand Mooting; enabling a team to travel to the Australian National competition, and ultimately ensuring that the best New Zealand mooters travel to Jessup in Washington, USA each year.
The Junior Moot Competition is restricted to law students in their first year of “law school” which for Auckland University students is typically the “public and criminal” year. This year, James Penn and Ed Foley won the Auckland Bell Gully Junior Moot at the beginning of semester two, entitling them to go to NZLSA in Wellington.
James and Ed said this about their competition:
The Junior Moot provided an opportunity to make great friends from around NZ, and has motivated us both to become as immersed in the world of mooting and legal competitions as possible over the rest of our university years.
Danielle Houghton, who was the Best Speaker in the NZLSA Senior Moot, had this to say:
Mooting at NZLSA was a great experience. We had an awesome moot problem, about the government suing for defamation, which let us make all the big constitutional and free speech arguments. We were also lucky to meet loads of cool people from the different universities, and all the social events were sweet.
Aidan Lomas, who won Best Speaker in the Stout Shield in Auckland, said this:
NZLSA was an incredible competition; the top mooters from each University came together to compete. Each person had a different style and every team came up with different arguments. It was fascinating discussing the case with the other competitors. Appearing before two Supreme Court Justices, Glazebrook and Arnold JJ, was both exciting and terrifying. It was a great opportunity to test ourselves against top calibre Judges.
This whole process wouldn't have been possible without Bell Gully. Having summer clerked in their litigation team I know the difference between real and "moot" but the chance to put into practice what I learnt over summer in front of Supreme Court Justices was fantastic.
The success of our four mooters highlights what a great year it has been for mooting at Auckland University. Aidan and Danielle and two other senior students will represent New Zealand at the Jessup Competition in early 2015, a competition that Auckland Law Students have a great track record in. With the talent like James and Ed coming through the ranks there will be more mooting wins on the horizon for Auckland too!