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University of Newcastle students prepare to argue their way through China’s largest moot court competition

by admin on 17/12/2018

Aspire: Courtney Parnell, Hannah Williams, Charlotte Walker and Kate Falkenmire say they are feeling “quietly confident”. Picture: Jonathan CarrollCOURTNEY Parnell describes moot court competitions as the “ultimate adrenaline rush”.
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“They’re so challenging,” Ms Parnell, 20, said.

“You get to put into practice all the things you learned in the classroom, which makes them easier to understand.

“Plus it’s just a lot of fun.”

Ms Parnell and her fellow law studentsKate Falkenmire, 22, Hannah Williams, 21,and Charlotte Walker, 20, have been chosen to represent the University of Newcastle at theMichael Kirby Contract Law Moot Competition, to be held in Melbourne from September 24 to 27.

Moot court competitions simulate court of appeal proceedings.

Facts are decided and participants argue on points of the law.

The team hasspent at least 10 hours every week for the past six weekspreparing for theircontract dispute between a mining company and an Indigenous people’s corporation.

They’veprepared written submissions and will also presentoral arguments, which they will have to adapt in responseto questions from the bench.

“It gets you thinking on your feet and builds your advocacy skills,” Ms Falkenmire said.

“You learn the law in a more practical way.”

Ms Williams said moot competitions helped to “cement knowledge and expand and build on it as well”.

Ms Walker said the opportunity to receive feedback from judges was “invaluable”.

“You can get more creative in problem solving the question than you can with assessments.”

The team will be up against at least 26 others in the preliminary rounds and are hoping to be one of the eight teams through to the quarter finals and possibly the semi finals and grand final, which former High Court Justice Michael Kirby will judge.

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