Organising a mooting competition is fairly straightforward and law students should endeavour to organise one themselves, if their law school does not have an intra-University competition already. Oxford University Press recommends the following steps:
- Establish the rules – Consider the rules which should be adopted for the competition, including the order in which the mooters are to speak, the timing of the moot speeches, whether or not the clock will be stopped during any questioning of the mooters by the judge, and whether the appellant team should be permitted a right of reply.
- Select teams and opponents – The names of all those interested in entering the competition should be listed and divided initially (insofar as possible) into teams of four. Each set of four mooters will argue together in a moot. Bear in mind the status of each mooter, that is their particular year of study and whether or not they have studied or omitted particular legal subjects. Where possible, it is best to choose opponents who are in the same year of study and who will have studied similar options.
- Set the moot problem – It is usual for the moot problem set to be concerned solely with a particular point of law. The facts are assumed to be as recorded in the moot problem and the legal issues on appeal should be clearly set out. The moot court will generally (though not always) be the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords. The mooters should be told clearly for whom they will argue and whether they are leading or junior counsel. [An archive of recent problems used in the OUP & BPP National Mooting Competition can be found here].
- Set a date, time and venue, and appoint a judge and clerk – The moot judge may be an academic, postgraduate student, or member of the legal profession as the particular competition requires. The judge should be sent a copy of the moot problem and competition rules in advance of the moot. A volunteer should be found to clerk the moot. The clerk will have responsibility for the timing of the moot and also for providing the judge with copies of the authorities (eg law reports) when necessary.
- Exchange of legal authorities – The usual rules of mooting require that these authorities be exchanged in advance of the moot. This means that each team should supply for the judge and the opposing team a full list of all the legal authorities upon which they intend to rely on in the course of their argument.
I glossed over preparing for a moot when discussing its contaminant benefits in the post below. The nitty gritty details of preparing for a moot and presenting it in a mock court is beyond the scope of this blog, so I would recommend reading John Snape and Gary Watt’s How to Moot: A Student Guide to Mooting 2e as well as visiting http://www.mootingnet.org.uk/first.html.
To conclude, a video on the peripheral benefits of mooting: