2023 Griffith Criminal Law Mooting Competition


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During Week 3 of this term, the annual Griffith Moot took place with QAHS competing with two teams. The Griffith Moot is an annual competition which is suitable for Years 11 and 12, with Year 10 students being able to compete as instructing solicitors. A moot is a mock or stimulated court hearing, which imitates procedures followed in a real court. Students consider the legal problem, in this case murder and arson, prepare written submissions and use their oral skills to present in front of a judge. The mooters were given a score out of 80 based on the quality of the written submissions, demonstrating a good understanding of the facts of the case and relevant law, presenting a well-structured, logical and persuasive argument, with clear signposting, and lastly, being able to depart from a script by answering questions and engaging in a conversational manner with the judge.

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It is the perfect opportunity for students who are considering a career in law. Students are able to engage with deeply interesting and topical legal issues as well as develop and enhance their legal skills in research and written structure. On the day competitors connect with like-minded students while learning and gaining a taste of what studying law at university could be like.

When teams are not competing in a moot, Griffith offers a bonus Criminal Advocacy Workshop. The workshop was hosted by Professor Ross Martin KC, who was very knowledgeable and delivered a presentation to the teams on the misrepresentation of law and court in film and television. He outlined rules of key concepts in the rules of evidence and witness cross-examination technique. This is a valuable opportunity for students competing in the moot as they are able to ask questions and interact with Professor Martin.

This year two teams entered the competition, consisting of two Year 11 students with one Year 10 student as instructing solicitor per team. The first team entered included Sara Shafei as Senior Counsel and Camilla Smatova as Junior Counsel, with Yanyan Zhang in Year 10 as instructing solicitor. The team presented their case for the respondent and placed first in the competition. On top of this, Sara and Camilla won first and second place for top scoring individual mooters. The second team consisted Josie Hamiliton as Junior Counsel and Allegra Nutley as Senior Counsel with Rihanna Patel as their instructing solicitor. They presented their case for the Appellant. Josie won third place for best individual mooter and QAHS outperformed many teams on the day.

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Both teams' amazing presentation of the case is not separable from their busy preparation alongside academic work, as well as the program director Mrs Rebegtz with her outstanding contribution and leadership. In addition, two QAHS Alumni, Daria Chernova (Class of 2021) and Josh Narain (Class of 2022) assisted the teams with their case as coaches using their expert knowledge as law students. We would like to thank both Alumni coaches for their time and effort in communicating and meeting with the teams.

Student reflections on this experience at Griffith Mooting Competition 2023.

''It was a great experience; we learned a lot through the process and mooters from other schools as well. The workshop provided by Professor Ross Martin was definitely worthwhile and inspiring for all of us, we gained new perspectives on those criminal laws in real life are very different to how they are portrayed in the media. We look forward to continuing our mooting journey next year for more opportunities in mooting. We congratulate other teams' success in other competitions and wish everyone the best for those who are going to compete in other mooting competitions. We would like to also express our appreciation to Mrs Rebgetz for her time spent with us and for everything she did to make it a great season for us this year."
Sara Shafei and Allegra Nutley

''Mooting was an interesting experience and I enjoyed it a lot, especially as a team with Sara and Yanyan. We relied on and helped each other throughout our preparation, which helped us grow as a team and is the main contributor to our success. QA prepared us with great critical thinking skills for mooting and allowed us to fully express our advocacy skills. I am really glad about our win, and everyone did a good job with their efforts. The Griffith Mooting Competition is a great opportunity to introduce students to the mooting structure and the presentation of oral arguments. I am looking forward to compete in the Bond University high school mooting next year as a year 12 student and am excited to moot again in the future."
Camilla Chernova

QAHS Mooters who competed in the Griffith High School Mooting Competition 2023 expressed their interest in continuing their mooting journey in the future. We look forward to seeing other QAHS mooting teams and wish them the best for their performances in the two coming mooting competitions at the University of Southern Queensland and Bond University in Week 5.

Rihanna Patel and Yanyan Zhang
Year 10 Instructing Solicitors 

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Last reviewed 19 May 2023
Last updated 19 May 2023