Swansea’s LLM students at the Supreme Court: Lord Clarke judges moot final

Postgraduate students from Swansea University’s College of Law and Criminology recently took part in the final of an internal mooting competition at the Supreme Court in Parliament Square, judged by The Right Honourable The Lord Clarke.

LLM students at the Supreme CourtMooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge, and the Department of Shipping and Trade Law (LLM) students undertook the competition as part of their assessment for the programme’s new mooting module.

Image: Lord Clarke (centre) with the Swansea LLM mooting competition finalists at the Supreme Court.

Six finalists, comprising two teams each made up of two speakers and one researcher, were then invited to visit the Supreme Court for the competition’s final round.  In addition to the honour of appearing in one of the world’s most prestigious legal venues, the LLM students had the privilege of speaking before The Right Honourable The Lord Clarke and his judicial assistant, Kabir Bhalla.

After thorough arguments and highly challenging questions, the Respondents – comprising leading counsel Tom Goovaerts, assisted by his junior Breeda Okpo and researcher Liangyuan Xi – won the case on the merits.  

The Appellants – comprising leading counsel Kirsten Jackson, assisted by her junior Jacqueline Dammens and researcher Fransisco Camps-Bas – won the moot overall.

Lord Clarke noted his approval of the realism and complexity of the moot problem, but more importantly praised the quality of arguments offered by the students, commenting particularly on their ability to think on their feet and respond to sophisticated queries from the Bench.

The mooting competition was arranged by Associate Professor Dr George Leloudas, with support from all the LLM teaching staff, including Dr Nima Tabari and Tabetha Kurtz who provided training, and from Associate Professor Dr Theodora Nikaki, and Professors Simon Baughen and Andrew Tettenborn, who contributed to the success of the event as judges at practices and initial rounds in the competition.

Speaking after the event, Dr George Leloudas said: “The appointment of Elwen Evans QC as the Head of the College of Law and Criminology is a clear indication of Swansea University’s desire to cement the ties we have already formed between legal practice and academic education. To this end, the introduction of the new module on Mooting could not have come at a better time.

“We were enormously proud to have been invited this year to hold our internal mooting competition final at the Supreme Court.  We are especially grateful to Lord Clarke and Mr Bhalla, who chose to lend their valuable expertise to us by judging our final, offering unique practical and legal experience as well as invaluable training advice to our students.

“This is yet further recognition of the reputation our LLM degrees have gained within the last two decades for academic rigour and applicability to the practical world of commercial and maritime law.

“Last but not certainly not least, we have reason to be extremely proud of the efforts of our LLM students, whose enthusiasm for the new module and the course itself led them to give up long hours of their spare time in order to prepare for this event.”

The finalists received their awards from Lord Clarke at a reception held after the event.   In addition, a number of other prizes were awarded to Anna Basta, Fransisco Camps-Bas and Tom Goovaerts for the best skeleton arguments, and to Yeling Cheng, Chloé Guilfoyle and Hengming Ye for showing the most marked improvement in advocacy.

For more information on the LLM programmes at Swansea University click here.