Key Phrases

From Learnmore

Jump to: navigation, search

Learn some key phrases

Having a stock collection of phrases is super valuable. Thanks to Rosie Scott, John Schmidt, Chris Harper, Adam Ross and Sarah Walker for this indispensable list:

YL = Your Lord/Lady ML = My Lord/Lady


Opening submission:

"May it please YL, I am Rosie Scott, appearing on behalf of the Appellant, my learned friend Ms X will appear on behalf of the Respondent..."

"ML, I will begin by..."


Assessing how much the judge knows

"Is YL aware of the facts of the case, and has YL had an opportunity to glance at our skeleton argument?"

"Are you familiar with the facts My Lord?"


Referring to the other side

My learned friend, my learned senior (more usually now just 'Miss X'), NEVER 'my learned colleague', 'my friend', 'my learned opponent' etc


Useful anywhere:

"I submit/suggest..."

"It is our/my client’s position that..."

"My client would say..."

"In the instant case.."


Referring to authorities:

"If I could take YL to tab 3, p45; this is the case of X v Y..."

"If I can direct your lordship's attention to... found in the first volume of the appeals cases of..."

"I respectfully adopt the opinion of [judge] in [case] which is at [tab no.] in the bundle."


Dealing with judicial interventions:

"I’m grateful for your assistance ML, and I apologise for not having expressed myself clearly"

"I hadn’t intended to deal with that point, ML, it is not a ground of appeal, however I am more than happy..."

"ML, I had intended to go address a different point with this authority, but should YL wish to hear argument on this..."

"Indeed My Lord, that is true for [case], though I would submit that the present case can be distinguished on the facts." (particularly useful to buy time in which to work out how that might be true)


Addressing other side's argument:

Note to avoid extravagant language when addressing the other side’s argument. Opponents' points are never “absurd” or “ridiculous” and will not “reduce the law to a laughing stock.” But...It may be “flawed”, “difficult to sustain in the light of the authorities”, “unlikely to be the kind of case which their Lordships had in mind” or “inconsistent with what I submit is the clear wording of the statute”.

"Although/as my learned friend suggests..."


Finishing submissions:

"Unless I can be of any further assistance...those are my submissions"

"Unless I can help the court any further, these are my submissions"


Disagreeing with a judge:

"My Lord, you make a good point however..."

Key phrases

Try not to say ‘I think’ – the court isn’t interested in your personal opinion, only in the case you are putting forward – so state your case like this ‘in my submission...’ or ‘I respectfully submit…’

If you absolutely have to correct/disagree with the judge, start your reply with ‘With respect…’ But never interrupt!!!


Respectfully disagree

Tricky to do but hugely important.



All our mooting clips were made with the help of our fantastic students - giving freely of their time to help others.

For the roundtable discussion clips we thank our GDL students of 2009-2010: Andrew Barns-Graham, Thomas Bradfield, Tessa Buchanan, Anita Davies and Thomas Hope. Big thanks go to our top man behind the camera Steve Parkes.

The spoof clips were made with Mike Purdue (judge), Mike Clarke and Rob Tiffen many years ago.

The real action was filmed as part of our Crown Office Moot 2010-2011.

Big thanks to all those who took part: Sara Beech, George Fitzgerald, Gareth Thomas, Edward Waldegrave, Alistair Godwin, Rebecca Taverner, Daphne Stamatopoulos, Jada Badu-Animboah, James Bull, Samuel Phillips and Beatrice Riley.

Huge thanks are also due to those from Crown Office Chambers who not only gave up their time to judge the different stages of the moot but also allowed us to use the footage. We are grateful to:

Elizabeth Boon David Myhill Siobhan Lambertsen

A final thanks to The Hon Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, who judged the final of the Crown Office Moot and Steven McCombe for his filming expertise and tireless editing.