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Hughes Hall Moot Final

Congratulations to first-year law student, Matthew Lee Pak Shen, announced as 2023 winner.

The Supreme Court in London was the venue for the Hughes Hall highly regarded Mooting Competition last week as Hughes Law students followed the tradition of mooting as a key part of their Law studies.

This year’s competition saw Hughes Hall’s top law students being judged by The Rt. Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury. Lord Neuberger served as the president of the Supreme Court from 2012 to 2017 and is known for his outstanding contribution to the field of law and has presided over some of the most significant cases in recent times.

The moot final took place on 19th April 2023 and is the culmination of months of hard work by our students, who have been honing their legal skills and refining their arguments to reach this point. This year’s competition was as thrilling as ever, with our top students showcasing their expertise and knowledge on the ‘moot problem’. The problem related to a constitutional dispute over the removal of a judge and was kindly prepared by Dr Matthew Psycharis of St Edmund’s College.

Finalists from left: Sarah Jaff, Dante Frett, Matthew Lee Pak Shen (winner), and Hannah Bowcock, with The Rt. Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury (centre) who judged the final.

A moot court competition simulates a court hearing – usually an appeal against a final decision. Participants are presented with a problem which they must analyse, research and prepare written submissions for (known as Skeleton Arguments) before presenting oral arguments in a simulated court.

Jelena Solovjova, President of the Hughes Hall Law Society, said: “The quality of the pleadings this year has been truly outstanding. Considering the moot is specifically tailored to those with no mooting experience, it was truly inspiring to witness every student’s progress over the journey.”

The competition commenced in the Autumn of last year with a mooting workshop, where the rules and structure of the competition were explained. Participants were provided with tips and advice from previous moot finalists, winners, and practicing barristers. This was then followed by three rounds, all with varied problem questions, from Tort Law and Constitutional Law to Criminal Law. The rounds were judged by specialists in each field: Liam Ryan (LLM), Dr Matthew Psycharis (Fellow, St Edmund’s), Carly Whelan (Senior Crown Prosecutor, Australia).

After careful deliberations, first-year law student Matthew Lee Pak Shen was announced as the ultimate winner of the 2023 Hughes Hall Mooting Competition. The finalists included Hannah Bowcock, Dante Frett and Sarah Jaff, who joined guests and Lord Neuberger, to celebrate with a post-event dinner at the Athenaeum Club.

“The Hughes Hall Law Society is very proud of everyone who took part and all those who gave their time to make it such a success. The courage, knowledge and poise shown by entrants under tough questioning was exemplary, and the finalists represent the very best of mooting at Cambridge. We wish them a successful end to their courses – and successful legal careers!” Moot Officers Rohan Bainbridge and Aiden Crawford-Tamasauskas commented.

Hughes Hall Law Society Moot Officers, Rohan Bainbridge and Aiden Crawford-Tamasauskas, at the Supreme Court, venue for the Moot Final 2023

The Law Society would like to thank Hughes Hall and the MCR for supporting this event. Also, a special thanks to the team involved in organising the moot: Rohan Bainbridge (Moot Officer), Aiden Crawford-Tamasauskas (Moot Officer), Laryssa Mariano (Vice President), Jelena Solovjova (President), and Liam Ryan (Postgraduate Officer).

A special thank you to Dr Martin Steinfeld and Mahnaz Malik for their unwavering support.