Year 11 and 12 students are learning how the law works without ending up on its wrong side.
Bond University’s High School Mooting Competition – which this year pitted more than 270 schools against each other nation-wide - placed students in a mock courtroom to confront real-life situations minus the real-life consequences.
Regional winners from around Australia, as well as two high school teams from Malaysia, will travel to Bond University on the Gold Coast for the finals on July 25.
For budding lawyers, the competition has proved an opportunity to hone their craft. For the not-so career driven, the competition offers lessons in morals and adult life, said Mooting Master and Associate Professor of Law David Field.
“There’s a moral to everything we do,’’ said Professor Field.
“We aim to give students an impression of how the law works and exposure to situations they could realistically face: we don’t bore them with issues like intellectual property law.
“For instance, we might create a situation where students have to appeal the decision against someone convicted of assaulting another person while drunk ‘Schoolies Week’ who, unknown to them, turns out to be plain-clothes police officer.
“There are plenty of high school students who may study Legal Studies, but don’t have any intentions to enrol in law at university. Those students still gain a lot from the competition.’’
Professor Field said mooting was an ancient method of legal training.
“It was known as the best method of training lawyers, even by the ancient Greeks,’’ he said. “By the Middle Ages it was standard practice in the emerging Universities.’’
However, Professor Field said many students confused mooting with debating.
“Mooting is an art, and it’s about selling a case to a judge through the use of principles of law and the facts of the case.
“Students have to use their personality in mooting and this is one of the hallmarks of a successful lawyer.’’
The final of the Bond University High School Mooting Competition will be held in the Law Faculty’s ‘state of the art’ courtroom in the recently opened Legal Skills Building.
Schools that will compete in the finals at Bond University include:
- Smith’s Hill High School (Wollongong)
- St Clare’s College (Canberra)
- Marist College (Canberra)
- Carey Baptist Grammar (Melbourne)
- Geelong Grammar (Geelong)
- Prince Alfred College (Adelaide)
- St Laurence’s College (Brisbane)
- Kingaroy State High School (Kingaroy)
- Glenmore State High School (Rockhampton)
- Ipswich Grammar (Ipswich)
- Somerset College (Gold Coast)
- Elanora State High School (Gold Coast)
Two schools from Malaysia will also travel for the event:
- Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (Kuching)
- SMK Teresa (Kota Kinabalu)