Jack, who hopes to be a lawyer, said it had been one of the most intense experiences of his life, and that the team had spent hours researching past cases and preparing for the moot.
ACG Strathallan has won the Waikato National Secondary Schools’ Mooting Competition hosted by the University of Waikato’s Te Piringa – Faculty of Law.
Team members William Ford, Rawiri Mahue and Jack Lee receive a competition winner’s trophy, $3,000 scholarship towards tuition fees at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law for all members, and a cash prize and work experience at McCaw Lewis Lawyers’ Hamilton office.
It is the boys’ first year participating in the competition and the school’s first time winning the competition.
Jack, who hopes to be a lawyer, said the team had spent hours researching past cases and preparing for the moot, which debated whether an imaginary high school principal who lashes out and uses physical force to restrain a misbehaving student was guilty of physical abuse. The team argued both sides of the moot during the competition.
Jack said it had been one of the most intense experiences of his life.
“The pressure of speaking in front of a judge, and arguing your points under strict time limits has been frightening and exhilarating at the same time. The unpredictability of the judges and their questions never allowed us to feel completely confident and prepared as we needed to improvise and produce valid arguments on the spot immediately.”
He said confidence, the ability to improvise and diligence were the most important attributes of a good mooter.
The judging panel included Margaret Wilson, former Attorney-General, first female Speaker of the House and the founding Law Dean of Waikato Law School; Judge Peter Spiller, a former District Court Judge and Chairperson of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal; and Renika Siciliano, managing associate at McCaw Lewis.
Principal Danny O’Connor said the school was proud of the team and their success. “The team spent countless hours preparing for the final and they demonstrated a maturity beyond their years when addressing the judge at the Hamilton High Court,” he said.
University of Waikato Dean of Law Associate Professor Wayne Rumbles congratulated all participants and teachers on their hard work and dedication.
“We particularly want to thank all lawyers, judges and court staff throughout New Zealand for generously giving their time and for supporting the competition in many different ways. The feedback given to the teams was excellent. It will help hone the skills of a new generation of lawyers,” he said.