The Pan Pacific Moot (formerly known as the South Pacific International Moot Competition) originated in 1994, when the first event took place. It started as a bilateral competition between UPNG and QUT, organized jointly by Bob Sibley (then at the QUT Law School) and Ted Hill (then at UPNG Law School). A team of 4 from PNG traveled to Brisbane that year to compete in a friendly competition with a team of 4 from QUT.
The event was a great success and was followed the next year when UPNG invited a team to visit UPNG in Port Moresby. This event, also successful was marked by a power failure in the final event. Undaunted by the darkness in the moot court room, the teams continued the competition in a dark room, lit only by candlelight. This event was subsequently remembered as the Candle Light Moot.
In 1996, a team from UPNG again traveled to QUT for what was to be the last bilateral competition. In 1997, the University of the South Pacific joined the competition and hosted the event in Port Moresby Vanuatu. It was that year that the Sibley Hill Cup was first presented as the trophy for the best team at the competition. QUT was the first winner of the trophy.
In 1998, by invitation, the University of Waikato, by invitation joined the competition. Since then, the competition has comprised 4 teams from 4 universities in 4 Pacific countries. It has taken place in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
The competition has resisted the temptation to expand beyond 4 teams, preferring instead to maintain a balance among the cultures represented by the 4 law schools. The competition, in recent years has been very intense and the moot teams have competed to high international standards. However, the event has always retained its friendly and social aspect. It has always been an opportunity for neighbors from around the Pacific to welcome their law school counterparts from the three other law schools. The USP Law School which draws students from 12 Pacific Island Countries, together with QUT, Waikato and the University of Papua New Guinea give the event a truly “Pan-Pacific” character.
SP Moot last held in Vanuatu in 2003. Since then it has been held at Waikato in NZ in 2004, at the University of Papua New Guinea in 2005 and at QUT in Queensland in 2006. The current holder of the Sibley Hill Cup is UPNG. In this, the competition’s 14th year, the Law School of the University of the South Pacific is proud to one again host the competition and welcomes the team members, their coaches and other visitors from New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea.