Team members after the first round of the Moot competition yesterday. From left: members of team FNU, Mr Joseph Daurewa (middle - judge for the round), members of team USP1: Zyesha Reynolds, Tanisha Lal and Jovilisi Liganivai.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) won the first round of competition of the Annual Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) Inter-Tertiary Human Rights Moot Court Competition which got underway at USP’s Statham Campus on 11 September, 2017.
Team USP (1) competed with Fiji National University (2).
Funded by the European Union, the competition’s main aim is to generate interest for law students to take up human rights and to take advantage of the opportunity in which they can openly discuss them.
Formally launched on Tuesday 29 August 2017 by the Attorney-General at an event held at Statham Campus, the competition is being contested by law students of the three main universities including the University of the South Pacific, the University of Fiji and the Fiji National University.
Mooting is an assessed competitive activity in which law students argue a hypothetical legal case, typically at an appellate level, building their research skills, public speaking, advocacy and teamwork.
Mr David Naylor, lecturer at USP’s School of Law said he was very proud of the way Team USP brought everything together and organised and made their submissions.
“In terms of the overall moot, both teams did very well. Our students have done all of their own research and delivered oral submissions which reflect their understanding of recent developments in Human Rights law in Fiji, including based on international law. We are very proud of them for rising to the many challenges posed by this competition” Mr Naylor said.
He explained that the format of the competition has changed substantially since last year. It has now expanded to multiple teams including all of Fiji’s universities.
“Last year, the competition involved just one moot between a single team from USP and FNU. This year, two teams from three universities will compete over two preliminary rounds, with the highest scoring teams progressing to a grand final which will be hosted by UniFiji on 9 October,” Mr Naylor said.
The Theme for the competition this year is “the Police First Hour Procedure”. The question, is designed to test two competing interests – Police powers to arrest for the maintenance of law and order versus the rights of detainees whilst under arrest and detained that are guaranteed under the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji 2013.
Ms Meline Buadromo, legal officer, Citizens Constitutional Forum said although it was apparent that the students needed to build their confidence more, the first round of competition went off to a good start.
“I must commend USP for their confidence and well-thought submissions and also the Fiji National University for being able to participate also at this level,” she noted.
“I look forward to seeing more principles being drawn from the Moot Court competition,” she added.
This year, in addition to entering teams in the CCF Human Rights Moot, USP’s School of Law has substantially expanded its legal competition programme.
USP’s law students have been fortunate to compete in three international mooting competitions held in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane hosted by partner universities, with modest success.
In addition, the School of Law had added three new types of legal competition for students this year: Negotiations – held in Semester 1, client interviewing and witness examination (Semester 2). This has been achieved in part through fostering a strong relationship with the Law Students’ Association and it is hoped that these competitions will continue to provide a source for extra-curricular development for law students’ legal skills into the future.
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