A talented team of students from Scotch College Melbourne have proven their legal prowess beyond a reasonable doubt, winning the grand final of Bond's prestigious national mooting competition.
Scotch College’s Campbell Rickard, Andrew Kroger and Michel Nehme argued their way to the top of Bond University’s 2017 National High School Mooting Competition, which was held in its Faculty of Law’s state-of-the-art moot courts.
The St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace (Brisbane) team - Matthew Latter, Connor Wright and Xavier Clark – put up a valiant fight in the final, debating a fictitious issue involving the alleged contributory negligence of a 16-year-old girl involved as a passenger in a drink-driving accident, but were narrowly defeated by Scotch College.
Michel Nehme of Scotch College also received the Overall Best Oralist award, with teammate Andrew Kroger taking out one of two Runner-up Oralist Awards, along with Matthew Shaw of Darwin High School.
The Bond University High School Mooting Competition is the only national contest of its kind for aspiring young legal advocates wanting to sharpen their skills in a mock courtroom.
76 teams from secondary schools across Australia competed in the 2017 High School Mooting Competition, with the finals being held at Bond’s Gold Coast campus recently.
The students were judged by experienced and respected members of the judiciary: the Honourable Justice Robert Gotterson of the Queensland Court of Appeal and retired District Court Judge John E Newton, together with Teaching Fellow Katie Allan of Bond University’s Faculty of Law.
The competition was designed to challenge Year 11 and 12 students to prepare, articulate and defend complex arguments by introducing them to a courtroom environment, giving them insight into the workings of the Australian legal system.
The experience of standing up and making legal submissions in front of a judge is designed to help students develop the ability to think on their feet, formulate arguments quickly and express them clearly - skills that can be used in many different scenarios not limited to mooting or legal practice.
Bond University Executive Dean of Law, Professor Nick James, said the Bond University High School Mooting Competition had grown significantly since its inception in 1989, when just eight schools took part.
Professor James said it provided an excellent opportunity for young students to take the first step towards a legal career.
"We were so impressed by the eloquence and composure demonstrated by the students that it was difficult to believe that they were high school students," he said.
"After seeing the quality of the skills they already possess, I have no doubt they have what it takes to become outstanding law students."
All students who participated in the High School Mooting Competition are now eligible to be awarded one of three Judge John Newton Mooting Scholarships, covering 50% of their tuition fees.
For more info on High School Mooting click here.