Although only in its second year, the moot has become Auckland’s biggest mooting competition to date with 82 students signing-up to compete, easily filling the draw of 64 spots with a substantial wait list.
The Rt. Hon. Paul East QC opened the proceedings and introduced the three judges for the evening: Justice Raynor Asher, Paul Davison QC and Paul Wicks QC. Before the moot started, they took time to share personal memories of John Haigh QC, the leading barrister in whose memory the competition was named.
The moot problem, written by Associate Professor Julie Tolmie, focused on contemporary criminal law issues concerning the potential criminal liability of those who omit to disclose their HIV status prior to engaging in sexual intercourse. The problem focused on criminal law to reflect John Haigh’s practice area.
Hayden Hughes and Joy Guo represented the appellant and were the eventual winners (pictured). Ed Foley and Thomas Leggat acted for the respondent. There was some tough questioning from the bench, which all of the competitors handled very well. The judges emphasised how close the moot was and praised the competitors for their high level of oral advocacy.
A fund to endow the John Haigh moot has been established by the class of 1970, of which John was a member, with the intention of making it an annual event and a lasting tribute to an esteemed colleague.
The competition also provides a valuable opportunity for third-year and above law students to develop and enhance their advocacy skills.