Murdoch University law students have shone in an international mooting competition, with one legal eagle winning Best Speaker in the General Rounds of the contest.
Third year law student Reuben Pemberton-Ovens (pictured above) obtained the highest speaking scores in the four initial rounds of the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (IMLAM), which took place at Erasmus University in Rotterdam recently.
The Murdoch team of four students, supported by two volunteer alumni coaches, came second out of 31 teams in the general rounds and third in the overall memo rankings (based on each team’s 25 page written submissions). The Murdoch team were knocked out of the oral component of the competition by a team from Madrid in the preliminary finals.
Reuben said taking part in the competition had been a very rewarding experience which allowed the team to showcase their effort and understanding.
“I gained an immense amount of experience in constructive, competitive teamwork through doing the moot in addition to also significantly improving my own personal legal research skills, substantially refining my advocacy style, and gaining valuable subject-matter understanding of various aspects of maritime law,” Reuben said.
Mooting gives you a certain practical insight into aspects of litigation, legal research, collegiate teamwork, and formal advocacy that is difficult to gain elsewhere.
“Although the preparation is hard work, it is well worth the effort because it can give you an understanding and practical abilities which cultivate your skills both as a law student and more broadly as a person in competitive circumstances.”
Fellow team member Nick Troy said the moot had taught him more about legal researching and case management than any purely academic unit.
“I have learnt researching, drafting, speaking, critical thinking, and overall legal skills that have made me a better legal advocate,” he said.
“I absolutely recommend mooting to any law student.”
Jessica Rapana and Quinton Roberts made up the remainder of the Murdoch team. The volunteer coaches mentoring and guiding the team were Andrew Shinnick and Joshua Kain.
Competition in its 20th year
Now in its 20th year, IMLAM is an annual competition run by Murdoch’s Professor Kate Lewins and Michelle Barron for the benefit not only of Murdoch’s students, but all law students worldwide.
Many of the competing students go on to secure employment at maritime law firms or as associates for Judges specialising in admiralty and shipping matters.
This year, a record 31 teams took part including teams from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and Australia. Almost 60 arbitrators (including current and former judges, experienced maritime arbitrators, and commercial and maritime lawyers) judged 80 moots over the five days of the competition.
The oral rounds were won by University of Queensland, who have now won back to back titles.
In 2020, the competition will be hosted at Singapore Management University.