News Item

September 2014

Auckland Mooting Competition Provides Valuable Advocacy and Courtroom Experience for Junior Lawyers

Photo of competition winners Campbell Herbert and Alexandra Sinclair
Twelve teams recently competed in the NZ Law Foundation Mooting Competition run by the NZLS Auckland Branch Young Lawyers’ Committee*. This was held during July and August and followed on from a similar competition run by the Wellington Young Lawyers’ Committee during May and June.

The competition was aimed at giving junior practitioners the opportunity to practice the craft of advocacy and develop familiarity with the courtroom. Thanks to the support of the NZ Bar Association, they were fortunate to receive training and mentoring from NZ’s top barristers.

In keeping with the Wellington competition, the moot focused on public law issues surrounding an electoral campaign. Participants came from a range of Auckland law firms, the Ministry of Justice and from the industry bodies. The teams participated in a training session and preliminary rounds, followed by semi-finals and a final moot.

The final moot, held 13th August in the Auckland High Court, was presided over by the Honourable Justice Stevens, from the Court of Appeal and the Honourable Justice Keane from the Auckland High Court. The appellants were Jacob Barry and Glyn Hughes (both from Meredith Connell), and the respondents were Campbell Herbert (Chapman Tripp) and Alexandra Sinclair (Ministry of Justice). The respondents were announced the winners at a prize giving sponsored by Shortland Chambers.

Interest in the Auckland competition was high this year with twenty-seven teams entering for just twelve spaces. In view of the success of the Auckland and Wellington competitions this year, it is hoped that in 2015 this Law Foundation sponsored competition will return as a national mooting event for young lawyers, with other centres eventually joining in as well.

*Full name is New Zealand Law Society Auckland Branch Young Lawyers (NZLS AYL) Committee

The Law Foundation has awarded up to $1,967 to the Auckland Young Lawyers Committee to fund this year’s NZ Law Foundation Mooting Competition in Auckland.