Swinburne Law students take on the world in Oxford

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Maddie, Josh and Henry Carr in Oxford

Madeline Connolly and Joshua Firmin were commended for their performance by judges, including Mr Justice Henry Carr of the High Court Bench, Chancery Division, United Kingdom.

In summary

  • Swinburne was the only Victorian law school invited to compete at the world-renowned Oxford International Intellectual Property Law Mooting Competition
  • Swinburne Law students place third in the competition for their written submissions
  • This is the second year in a row Swinburne students have qualified

Swinburne Law School students have excelled at the 17th annual Oxford International Intellectual Property Law Mooting Competition, placing third in the world for their written submissions.

For the second year in a row, Swinburne Law School students qualified for the prestigious competition held at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, which attracts applications from law schools around the world.

Swinburne was one of 28 teams globally to qualify for the oral rounds, which is based on teams’ response to a legal problem in a written submission.

For those unfamiliar with mooting, it’s a competition where students are presented with an issue relating to the law and are required to deliver their argument against other teams in a mock court environment.

This year, the moot focused on issues in trade mark law, in a case involving skateboards and racing bicycles.

Madeline Connolly and Joshua Firmin represented Swinburne and were the only Victorian law school students to make the cut, going up against students from Cambridge University, the University of Oxford, National University of Singapore and the University of Ottawa.

The students were accepted to the competition in January, and spent the following months building and finessing their arguments.

They were put through their paces in a series of practice moots in front of academics, lawyers and trade mark lawyers, who volunteered their time in the lead up to the big event.  

Joshua was also a member of the 2018 moot competition team and was pleased to have another chance to compete on an international stage.

“The Oxford Competition was a great experience.  The fact we were able to come home with an award this year was even sweeter.  Mooting really has been the highlight of my law studies,” he says.

The trip was a first for Madeline, who says she was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel and participate in the competition.

“I feel really lucky to have experienced the Oxford Moot. It is a very impressive achievement, and something that I would encourage all Swinburne Law students to aim for,” she says.

While the team narrowly missed out on the finals of the oral rounds, the judges commented on the high standard of their performance and awarded them third place for their written submissions.