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Guide to Mooting

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A GUIDE TO MOOTING

STRUCTURE

Mooting is done with two teams of two people competing, one person from each team taking a leading/senior role and the other being the junior. There will also be a judge and someone timing you.

Usually a mooting competition would require you to research the area of law in question and bring a prepared case to the competition. However, for the purpose of the workshops we will be practising the art of mooting using speed moots. This means that we will provide you with an outline of your arguments/submissions, allowing you simply to attend and moot straight away without having to do any preparation.

Usually a moot would follow the structure below:

Leading Appellant: 20 minute speech
Leading Respondent: 20 minute speech
Junior Appellant: 12-15 minute speech
Junior Respondent: 12-15 minute speech
Judge’s comments.

However, the nature of speed mooting means we will be shortening the length of speeches to 8 minutes each for leading counsel and 5 minutes each for junior counsel.

THE LINGO

Submission – your arguments (each counsel usually makes two – one legal and one based on public policy grounds)

Ground of appeal – basic legal point you are arguing (you usually have two of these per side)

My learned junior/senior – how you refer to your team mate

My learned friend – how you refer to you opponent

ETIQUETTE

Mooting isn’t like debating. You must always be polite and respectful to both the judge and the other participants, much like an actual trial in court.

When the judge walks in at the beginning of the moot, participants all stand and bow as he/she comes in, sitting only after him/her. The same is done in reverse as the judge leaves.

You must always refer to the judge as My Lord/Lady (instead of their name) and Your Lord/Ladyship (instead of ‘you’). Also ensure you cite cases fully.

If you disagree at any time, you must say that you ‘respectfully submit….’. Also, try to avoid speaking in the first person. Either say ‘we submit…’ or ‘it is submitted…’

You can be much more emotive when explaining your policy argument. It is good to say things like: “we implore Your Lordship not to allow such an injustice to be done”

Below is a rough outline of what each counsel might say in a moot.

Leading Appellant:

May it please Your Lordship, my name is Mr/Miss… and I appear as senior counsel, representing the appellant. My learned friend Mr/Miss… will be junior council for the appellant.
Across the way Mr/Miss … will appear as senior counsel for the respondent and Mr/Miss … will represent the respondent as junior counsel.

My Lord, there are two grounds of appeal in the instant case. I will deal with the first and … will deal with the second. They are ….

Would Your Lordship find a brief summary of the facts of the instant case helpful?

If Your Lordship has no further questions on the facts of the case, I shall proceed to my submissions.

My Lord, I have two submissions to make:
1…..
2…..

If it pleases Your Lordship I will begin with my first submission…

If Your Lordship has no further questions I will now move to my second submission (policy)…

My Lord, it is for these reasons and also those given by my junior counsel that I urge you to allow the appeal. If Your Lordship has no further questions, that concludes my submissions.

Junior Appellant:

My Lord, as has already been stated, my name is…. And I appear as junior counsel for the appellant.

My Lord, I have two submissions to make:
1…..
2…..

If it pleases Your Lordship I will begin with my first submission…

If Your Lordship has no further questions I will now move to my second submission (policy)…

My Lord, it is for these reasons and also those given by my senior counsel that I would urge you to allow the appeal. If Your Lordship has no further questions, that concludes the case for the appellant.

Leading Respondent:

My Lord, as has already been stated, my name is…. And I appear as senior counsel for the respondent. My learned friend Mr/Miss… will be junior council for the respondent.

My Lord, we argue two grounds in response to the appellant in the instant case. I will deal with the first and … will deal with the second. They are ….

My Lord, I have two submissions to make:
1…..
2…..

If it pleases Your Lordship I will begin with my first submission…

If Your Lordship has no further questions I will now move to my second submission (policy)…

My Lord, it is for these reasons and also those given by my junior counsel that I urge you to disallow the appeal. If Your Lordship has no further questions, that concludes my submissions.

Junior Respondent:

My Lord, as has already been stated, my name is…. And I appear as junior counsel for the respondent.

My Lord, I have two submissions to make:
1…..
2…..

If it pleases Your Lordship I will begin with my first submission…

If Your Lordship has no further questions I will now move to my second submission (policy)…

My Lord, it is for these reasons and also those given by my senior counsel that I would urge you not to allow the appeal. If Your Lordship has no further questions, that concludes the case for the respondent.

INTERRUPTIONS

Once you get used to mooting, we will be introducing interruptions to your speeches, as this is what a judge would do in an inter-varsity competition.
Don’t get flustered by questions. Take a moment to think and answer politely. We will discuss this issue at a later workshop.

Examples of good things to say:

I would thank Your Lordship for having raised that point and if Your Lordship will permit me, I shall endeavour to answer it by moving on to my second submission on public policy.

My Lord, may I have a moment to consult my notes? (If you are not sure of the answer)

If you really have no idea how to answer a question just apologise and admit it. Don’t let this throw you though. Take a breath and continue as before. The judge will usually only keep pushing the issue if he/she thinks they can talk you round to the answer.…...

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