A team of Malaysian high school students have taken out Bond University’s national High School Mooting, beating a host of prestigious Australian schools for the annual title.
Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School from Kota Kinabalu won the weekend final at Bond University on Australia’s Gold Coast – the first time an international school has competed.
Bond University’s High School Mooting Competition – which this year pitted almost 300 schools against each other in Australia and Malaysia - placed students in a mock courtroom to confront real-life situations minus the real-life consequences.
The Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School team, which included Annabelle Yap Yang Ling, Averyl Bachi and Jonathan Lee Yung Sheng, won the title ahead of Sydney’s Regional Round winner, Smith’s Hill High School.
Adding further distinction to the win, Annabelle was named Overall Outstanding Advocate on the day.
While Malaysian schools have competed in the regional rounds previously, this was the first time schools had travelled to Australia for the finals. Joining the Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School for the trip was Kuching school SMK St Teresa.
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.
Bond University Mooting Master and Associate Professor of Law David Field said the competition organisers were expecting a high standard from the Malaysian schools.
“This was the first time international schools travelled to Australia for the event,’’ said Associate Professor Field.
“We already have many students who travel from Malaysia to study Law at Bond.
“We aim to give students an impression of how the law works and exposure to situations they could realistically face.’’
Associate 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 was held in the Bond University Law Faculty’s ‘state of the art’ courtroom in the Legal Skills Centre.