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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Maritime law in action. International challenge for Southampton’s law students

Published: 16 December 2011

Southampton law students are preparing to test themselves against experienced mooting teams from universities all over the world at the 2012 Maritime Moot in Brisbane next July. They will analyse a knotty problem in maritime law set by the organisers, prepare their arguments and practise their techniques over the next few months, before flying to Australia.

During the first rounds of the gruelling Maritime Moot, each team has to argue their case (or ‘moot’) four times, twice for the claimant and twice for the respondent. The final eight then fight it out in knock-out rounds.

In the 2011 Maritime Moot in Singapore, the Southampton team were runners-up, despite having little practice at mooting at this level. They narrowly lost to the Australian Murdoch University in the grand final.
Oluwatobi Seriki was a member of Southampton’s 2011 team. She is proud they beat several more experienced universities in the contest. “It’s a lot of hard work and quite stressful but it’s all worth it when you get to the final,” she says. “You have to understand the problem thoroughly, you have to be convinced of your argument but you can develop it in the earlier rounds. It’s a great experience.”

In Singapore, Southampton law student Kate Law won the overall prize for best speaker.

Current undergraduates and postgraduates are being encouraged to take part by Research Fellow Johanna Hjalmarsson who co-ordinates Southampton’s team. She says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all the students involved and especially those who get to go to the final. It is a chance to wrestle with a real-life problem, with support from our experienced academic staff at the Institute of Maritime Law. Mooting is a tremendous skill to learn and practise and is invaluable in any lawyer’s career.”

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