Two teams of law students demonstrated their ability to argue compellingly and think on their feet by becoming The College of Law in Birmingham’s mooting champions for 2009. Amy Jackson, from Far Forest, Kidderminster, and Carla Abrantes-Stanworth successfully grappled with the thorny topic of corporate manslaughter to win the final of the competition for aspiring barristers on the College’s Bar Vocational Course (BVC).
In a separate competition for students on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) course, which gives non-law graduates an entry route into the legal profession, Rebecca Butler and Tufail Hussain battled through four tough rounds of challenging legal argument before being crowned the winners.
Mooting tests the advocacy skills of students, who argue a fictitious case and demonstrate use of case law during simulated court proceedings. It demands the ability to think quickly and argue compellingly, and the winner is decided on the merits of how they present their case and apply the law to the particular set of circumstances.
Both competitions were judged by a combination of College tutors and practising barristers. The verdict on the performance of the BVC finalists was given by Her Honour Judge Elizabeth Fisher, who sits mainly in the criminal and family courts in the Midlands.
BVC winner Amy Jackson, aged 22, said: “I am thrilled to have won the competition. Many hours of hard work were put in by my teammate Carla and myself and to achieve success is a fantastic reward. I believe that mooting is invaluable to all intending barristers due to the real experience it gives of research and challenging advocacy."
Mooting competition winner Amy Jackson
The finalists in the GDL competition locked horns over the Criminal Law issue of what constitutes theft. One of the judges was Kate Iliffe, a barrister specialising in Criminal Law with St Philips Chambers in Birmingham.
She said: “It was a very difficult decision as the standard was exceptionally high. The mooters were tested and questioned extensively and had a very tough time from us. I was very impressed by Rebecca Butler’s performance as she anticipated the other side and her responses were excellent. Tufail Hussain demonstrated an excellent knowledge of the law and applied that knowledge very well."
Tufail received his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of the Punjab in Pakistan and went on to achieve a Master of Laws degree with Commendation from Birmingham City University. He said: “The competition provided us with an opportunity to practise our advocacy skills in a real court-like scenario. Mooting is a must-do activity for any aspiring barrister and I’m glad that The College of Law takes these kinds of activities so seriously."
Mooting competition winner Tufail Hussain
The College of Law is the leading provider of professional legal education and training in Europe with centres in London, Birmingham, Chester, Guildford and York and a new centre opening in Manchester in September.