MOOT COURT COMPETITIONS
A moot court competition is an extracurricular activity organised by law groups in order to expose law students to simulated court proceedings. This usually involves a lot of team work, research, drafting briefs and participating in an oral argument.
At the University of Malta, ELSA Malta hosts two Moot Court Competition events, one during Discover University together with the Dean of the Faculty of Laws, and another one as part of the Oral Advocacy credit. By participating in such activities law students are exposing themselves to hands on litigation, and opening their eyes to what it would be like to argue a trial in court. Whilst a mock trial usually refers to a simulated jury or bench trial, moot courts are usually with reference to a simulated appellate court of arbitral case.
The competition starts off by the Dean of the the Faculty of laws handing out the subject matter and theme of the case. After planning in detail the logistics of the event, students will apply to partake in the respective competition and will form groups ranging between 3 to 5 participants each. A mentor will be assigned to each group whether a lecturer within the Faculty of Laws or an expert in the field of such subject; this is an essential part of the competition since it is where students gain most knowledge by researching and being steered in the right direction by their mentors.
Various meetings will follow with each participant having particular tasks such as drafting the memorials, or arguing the case etc. The Dean of the Faculty of Laws will serve as the acting judge, and will decide whose arguments were most relevant, on this basis, some teams will progress into the competitions whilst others will be asked to drop out. The competition will progress to quarter finals, semi finals and so forth, along the way more clues about the case are revealed as the competition goes along. Certificates of participation are given to all students and a prize will be awarded to the winning team.
These Moot Court Competitions also serve as a stepping stone to take part in ELSA International’s Competitions, giving students the opportunity to travel and gain more experience in this field.