The Bond University High Schools Mooting Competition is a national competition involving student representatives from over 100 secondary schools around Australia. QAHS is honoured to be a participating member of this 'by invitation only' event since 2011.
A moot is a legal argument conducted by opposing teams before a panel of judges. The argument involves the application of legal rules to fact situations just like those dealt with by the courts every day. The contest is decided by assessing the advocacy skills of the participants, rather than on the merits of the case. Students can expect rigorous questioning and redirects from the bench.
I had the honour of coaching an exceptional team of mooters whose dedication over many months to growing their skills in mooting was matched by their acceptance of the challenge to master their advocacy skills whilst preparing for and undertaking Year 12 exams. The QAHS Bond University High Schools Mooting Team:
Senior Counsel Zoha Khan
Junior Counsel Zhuominna Ma
Instructing Solicitor Nicholas Hamilton
Co-coach Tanya Nagrani
In 2022, for the first time in the competition's history, student moot teams were required to moot via Zoom in the preliminary rounds and semi-finals rounds. This is reflective of the global trend to move arbitrations and mediations to similar modes to enable proceedings to continue during the pandemic. The QAHS team, acting for the Appellant in a negligence case, drew the Bond Ghost team, acting for the respondent, in their preliminary round moot. The Bond Ghost team is a team made up of current Bond Law students.
Selected as one of ten teams to progress to the semi-finals, the QAHS team then mooted against Saint Augustine's College, Cairns, for the respondent. Outperforming teams from Fairholme College, Grace Lutheran College, Scotch College (Melbourne) and St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, QAHS was announced as a national grand finalist competing against The King's School, Sydney.
The national grand final moot was held at Bond University's moot court on Saturday 4 June before (retired) Appeals Court Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland the Honourable Robert Gotterson AO, (retired) judge of the Queensland District Court, the Planning and Environment Court, Queensland, and of the Children's Court, Queensland, the Honourable John Newton and Bond University Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law Elizabeth Greene.
The teams were well matched in a high level moot with many commenting that their skills were already at first year Law school level, with little separating the two teams. We congratulate The King's School who were awarded the moot on the day. In the lead up to the grand final, our team enjoyed a coaching session via Zoom with Alumna Gabriella Roworth (Class of 2016) who is in her final year of Law studies and whose illustrious university mooting and coaching career had its beginnings as a QAHS mooter in the Bond University competition. The Grand Final was followed by a lunch event at Bond University's University Club enjoyed by the mooters, their families, the judges and coaches.
The mooting team students are now eligible to apply for a Judge John Newton Mooting Scholarship to study Law at Bond University.
Senior and Junior Counsel provide their reflections on the experience in the Bond University High Schools Mooting Competition:
Senior Counsel Zoha Khan:
When it comes to unique experiences I've had at QA, the Bond University national mooting competition is by far one of the most notable. Having taken part in a moot the year prior, I rushed at the opportunity to compete once again. Without any legal studies background and with the majority of the rounds taking place over Zoom, we faced a variety of challenges along the way. However, through perseverance and teamwork, we faced both small scale victories -- such as answering difficult questions from bench -- to making it to the finals out of 96 registered teams in Australia. Being in the court room and putting theory into practice is something I would encourage anyone to take part in -- no matter what pathway they want to go down in the future -- as the satisfaction of coming so far into nationals has certainly inspired me to continue persevering and exploring the world of law.
Junior Counsel Zhuominna Ma:
Bond University defines mooting as 'a simulated court hearing in which participants analyse a problem, research the relevant law, and argue their case'. Indeed, these were the quantitative components of the High School Mooting Competition. Qualitatively, however, mooting has been one of the most fascinating experiences this year. For me, the experience was akin to a combination of debating and formal analysis, albeit of law instead. It offered the opportunity for evidence-backed reasoning and quick thinking, along with all the satisfaction that comes with knowing an argument inside out. Mooting was an experience that tests writing, speaking, and analytical skills, and I encourage everyone curious to try out for the team next year, especially those with an interest in Law and advocacy.
Students interested in mooting will have an opportunity to consider the Griffith University mooting competition next semester.