OUP/BPP National Mooting Competition
by Abigail Sisnett
I was involved in the OUP/BPP Mooting Competition 2014/15. It was a tremendous journey, one filled with challenges. It required dedication, teamwork, commitment, determination, a willingness to learn and to do better, all of which made this a memorable and rewarding journey. Mr. Kesar Zaman, a third year law student at Bradford who graduated in June 2015, was our senior counsel; and myself, a first year law student, and naturally our junior counsel.
Our success would not have occurred without the tireless help from our lecturers namely Mr. Ian Miller, Mr. Edward Mowlam and Mr. Ned Sproston. A special thanks to Dr. Sanna Elfving who was very supportive all along this journey; Ms. Julia Cressey and Mr. Robin Lister who also provided the much needed direction in the third round and finally a special thanks to final year law student and member of University of Bradford Law Society Mr. Zeeshan Khan who provided support throughout every step of this competition.
Round 1 - University of Bradford v University of Portsmouth
This was our first round and it was a day filled with anxiety and nervousness since today we would put into play what we had practiced. We had home advantage and we were able to push aside our nervousness to deliver an excellent display of team work. This showed in the results as we outshone our opponents and came out victorious.
My ground dealt with three submissions; firstly that my client did not satisfy the requirement laid out in s.4(1) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Secondly, that the case R v Curtis was rightly decided on the basis that Parliament’s intention was being honoured. And thirdly that there must be a requirement to prove harassment for the s.4(1) offence which was supported by Parliament’s intention as demonstrated in the Protection from Harassment act 1997.
Round 2 - University of Coventry v University of Bradford
Riding high from the success from the first round we left Bradford and headed to Coventry
to compete against our next opponents. I found this round even more challenging largely
because we were competing away from home. We arrived after a long journey, and
delivered our submissions in a breath-taking auditorium filled to capacity with Coventry
supporters. We also looked the part as both teams were decked out in black gowns and
the judge in his full court attire. A novel experience for us. Unfortunately since we had to
catch the last train back home we were excused by the judge before he delivered the
actual points and comments of the round. But he did let us know that we won, quite
convincingly, and then we took off! It was a wonderful experience, and it was great to have
the opportunity to travel to a part of the UK I had not visited before.
My ground dealt with two submissions. Firstly, that the defendant did not satisfy two of the three fundamental elements that must be satisfied in order to be a secondary victim, and therefore the claim against my client should be dismissed. Secondly, the Court of Appeal did not place too restrictive an interpretation on the dicta from the case of Alcock and Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police  1 AC 310.
Round 3 - University of Bradford v City University London
Even though for this round we had home advantage it was by far the most challenging of the three rounds. The stakes were higher. But the timing of this round posed a huge challenge since it was around exam time and assignment time. However, we tried our best but our opponents outperformed us on the day.
My ground dealt with two submissions. Firstly, that my client did not satisfy the requirement laid out in s.1(1) and by extension s.4 of the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945. Secondly, that the appeal should be allowed on the grounds that my client’s impecuniosity was irrelevant and did not cause his loss and that he was not contributory negligent.
To bring my remarks to a conclusion; even though we were defeated in the 3rd round, we have much to be proud of. We took University of Bradford the furthest ever in this well regarded competition. Much was learnt from our victories, yet however splendid these triumphs were, much more was learnt in our defeat to City in the third round. Honestly, our opponents were simply outstanding in every category and we got a first-hand view of what we need to do to become to truly succeed in competitions of this sort, and in our professional life. It must be noted here however that I was not the only one that saw the excellence in our opponents because City University London was crowned the overall winners of the competition. That alone speaks for itself and explains where we will need to be in order to surpass the bar that they have set; not only in next year’s mooting competition but in every mooting competition that Team Bradford enters.
Copyright: Bradford University Law Society (2017)