In July 2017 a team of UTAS law students travelled to Canberra to participate in The Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) competitions in mooting, international humanitarian moot, negotiation, witness examination, client interviewing and paper presentation.
The Faculty would like to extend congratulations to Nicholas Vialle and Justin Heng; Callum Jones and Laura Harle; and Jonathan Budgeon, who reached the quarter finals of the International Humanitarian Moot, Negotiations and Witness Examination respectively.
“The contestants have commented that the opportunity to go to ALSA allowed them to learn the intricacies of equity (Championship Moot), have the chance to improve their skills by competing in front of extremely qualified judges (International Humanitarian Moot) who had varied backgrounds and gave extremely useful and detailed feedback in each round (Negotiations)” – Charli Barclay (Competitions Director A)
Hear from the mooters themselves:
Why did you decide to attend ALSA?
“I wanted to join a moot competition to improve my advocacy skills as well as to beef up my resume. It was also an opportunity to go on a subsidised holiday to a part of Australia where I’d never been before.” – Justin Heng
“I decided to attend ALSA because I thought it would be an incredible experience and a way to develop my public speaking and arguing skills: I want a career as an in-court advocate and I thought witness examination would help me with that.” – Jonathon Budgeon
“We tried out for the ALSA delegation because we both wanted to broaden our experience and practical skills in a competitive environment. ALSA is the peak forum for Australian law students, and something we had both wanted to attend during our time at law school.” – Laura Harle & Callum Jones
What was the experience like?
“The event itself was a great opportunity to network. I met many interesting and passionate law students from other universities all around the region (They had representatives from Australia, New Zealand, the pacific islands, Singapore, India and USA). I also had the chance to bond with the other delegates from UTAS; many of them I’ve seen in lectures, tutorials and around school, but never before had I spoken to them and I must say that they’re all top lads. The competition itself required plenty of preparation. Nick and I were in the midst of our examinations when we had to start working on the moot problem and by the time exams ended, we only had a week left to prepare for the question full-time.It’s fortunate that Nick and I had pretty good synergy, we worked well together despite not having done so before. We also received plenty of support from former competitors and Faculty staff who provided us with feedback when we ran our arguments past them (special shoutout to Anja Hilkemeijer: thanks for everything!).Ultimately, we’re happy to have made it that far in the competition! 10/10 would go again.” – Justin Heng
“There were some serious struggles while I was competing. They ranged from the anxiety of thinking 'wow I am here from Hobart, there is no way I am going to do well over here', to only having an hour to prepare my opening address, examination in chief, cross-examination, closing address and preparation of the witness; that was a real struggle, to begin with at least. But I got to the finals, which I was honestly surprised about. Another struggle was that Witness Examination was done by myself, so it was difficult in the way as I couldn't bounce ideas off of anyone; I just had to be confident in what I did and be confident in my case theory.” – Jonathon Budgeon
“The whole experience was a mixture of stress and fun; the preparation and the competitions were intense, but fun and rewarding. We had the opportunity to meet law students from across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as professionals who attended and judged the competitions.” – Laura Harle & Callum Jones
What can you take away from this?
“It’s important to jump at every opportunity to improve yourself; there’s always someone else out there who is better than me and there’s so much to learn if I am willing.” – Justin Heng
“I think the biggest thing is the friendships I made. Not only making great friends from the law schools across the country, New Zealand, India and Singapore but also from the Law Faculty right here in Hobart. I only knew a few who were on the UTAS Delegation team, but by the second day of our week away we were literally a family, and that hasn't changed since we got back. So, friendship is the biggest thing I got out of my time at ALSA. The second biggest thing I took away from ALSA is the confidence it gave me in public speaking and it taught me the ability to trust my instincts.” – Jonathon Budgeon
“We’ve taken away greater confidence in our ability to think outside the box to solve problems under time pressures.” – Laura Harle & Callum Jones