Mooting is a competitive activity in which law students argue a hypothetical legal case at an appellate level. Moot court competitions are common within law schools, among law schools in particular jurisdictions, and internationally. Several courses in USP's School of Law have made use of mooting for assignments and assessment.
Mooting is an activity that builds research skills, public speaking, advocacy and teamwork. Because moot court students focus on a particular problem within a specific area of law, it also develops considerable expertise about that specific area. When students engage in a moot competition, they usually work together as a team of between two and four students. Mooting, particularly at an international level, requires weeks of intensive preparation. During competitions, teams are usually required to argue a specific case against several opposing teams and, in some competitions, are required to argue both sides of a case.
The School of Law has produced a number of very competitive moot teams, which have competed at an international level. This started in 1997 when USP hosted the South Pacific International Moot Competition, involving Waikato University from New Zealand, Queensland University of Technology from Brisbane, and the University of Papua New Guinea. USP has competed in this annual competition in most years since then - in New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and twice again in Vanuatu. In 2008 USP entered into an exchange agreement with Otago University (NZ). Part of this agreement involves the holding of an annual mooting competition between the two Universities. In 2010, this competition was expanded to include the Law School of the University of Auckland.
USP has also competed twice in the Commonwealth Moot-in Melbourne and in London. International mooting is an expensive exercise and requires considerable fundraising to successfully enter a team. In some years,intramural moots have been organised by the Students' Associations, which has solicited support from law school staff, local lawyers from Port Vila, and members of the Vanuatu judiciary. The Students' Association has also taken a leading role in organising teams and fundraising for international competitions.