A life at the Bar can be a very rewarding one. For the advocate, though, a significant challenge of appearing in Court may lie, not in any lack of ability to understand the law or to identify the submissions that need to be made, but in the need to develop an effective delivery and a capacity to respond readily and appropriately to the Bench’s questions. For the few, these skills are innate: for the majority, these are skills which must be learnt and which require many years to refine. A useful beginning in learning these skills is in the Moot Court, under the direction of Moot Coaches who mentor and support their charges.
Mr Mark Thomas, a barrister, and Dr Lucy Cradduck, a solicitor, are two such coaches. Mr Thomas is the Director of Mooting for the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and has coached teams in national and international competitions, including the International Criminal Court Moot Competition (ICC). Dr Cradduck has also coached teams nationally and internationally, including as QUT’s coach for the Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot. Both have been members of judging panels, in the ICC and Oxford Competitions respectively.
In this work, Mr Thomas and Dr Cradduck engage in a detailed examination of the theories relevant to the development of the skills necessary for effective participation in competition moots, including a consideration of the requirements and importance of written submissions. In addition to developing a mooting-specific theoretical framework, they provide relevant practical examples, drawing upon the ICC Moot Problem from 2017.
I commend their work to: mooters seeking skills to improve their performances; those who might be considering life at the Bar or as a solicitor advocate; coaches of mooting teams; and practitioners who merely wish to improve their skills.