Read the judge’s expression. Take a hint and gauge whether your argument is holding water. If the judge does not appear to be accepting your argument, move on!
It would be foolhardy to pursue a line of argument that is not convincing the judge.
It is advisable that you move on to another argument which is most likely to be stronger or finish your submissions altogether if you have nothing more to add.
Think about it, if the judge is making notes throughout all of the submissions, it makes sense for you to do the same.
More to the point, you may want to deal with your opponent’s arguments within your own submissions.
Further, if you have a right of reply, you may well need notes to make effective use of this time.
It happens to the best of us, you know that the case is important but your mind has gone blank and you cannot remember the facts or the ratio of the case.
You need to make notes on all of the cases on which you are relying and know them inside out. You should be fully prepared to provide the judge with a summary of an authority the first time it is cited within the moot.
Certainly offer to provide it anyway…
If you are running out of time, make sure that you have put forward your main and strongest arguments.
It is far better to leave your weakest arguments to the end which are not pivotal to your argument and make your strongest and most persuasive arguments in full first.
You may of course ask the judge for permission to have a moment or two longer to make any points that you think are important. Do not just assume that you can run over your allocated time as you will be stopped and this may cost you valuable marks.
Knock knock...Moot competitions are formal and should be taken seriously. Remember mooting is an opportunity for you to gain some valuable public speaking experience to prepare you for your future career.
That said, if appropriate, the use of some humour and wit may be OK.
It can create a good impression in front of the judge and increase your confidence.
It may seem like you have an unarguable case in which you are destined to lose, so what is the point of even trying? Well, some of the winners and runner’s up have had what appeared to be an unarguable case.
It is a testament to the mooter’s advocacy skills if they are able to present original arguments and demonstrate how they have applied their research skills.
You have spent all this time in impressing the judge with your knowledge and delivery of the arguments, so don’t forget the importance of a strong finish.
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:
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.