MLS students off to Oxford to debate international media law

Speaking to a full house in an exhibition moot on earlier this week, the four student members of the MLS Price Media Law Moot team proved they are ready to head to Oxford.

Price Media Moot Team L-R:  Anna Saunders, Justin Brown, Elizabeth Flatley, Joshua Quinn-Watson

JD students Anna Saunders, Josh Quinn-Watson, Justin Browne and Elizabeth Flatley used the moot as an opportunity to practice before they take part in the prestigious Price Media Law Moot, to be held at Oxford University in April.

“The practice moot replicates the experience of Oxford, where nerves may be aggravated by the presence of crowds and additional judges on the bench,” third year student Josh says.

The esteemed panel consisted of MLS Dean Professor Carolyn Evans, Justice Bernard Bongiorno, Gavan Griffith AO QC and Justice Pamela Tate.

Speaking against each other in teams of two, the students presented their submissions and responded to questions from the bench. The question at hand was the scope of the right to freedom of speech at international law, in the novel context of a fictional social media app.

While their polished performance may have looked effortless, the four have spent their summer holidays researching, consulting with academics and writing their written submission.

Teammate Anna says it is the first time that MLS has sent a team to the Price Moot, “so we want to do it justice.”

Some of Australia’s best and brightest legal minds have generously aided the team in their preparations. The four have had practice moots with former High Court Judges including The Hon Mr Kenneth Hayne AC,  The Hon William Gummow QC, Federal Court Judges The Hon Ray Finkelstein QC and The Hon Michael Black AC QC and Dr Stephen Donaghue QC and Dr Matt Collins QC.

“The experience of conversing on legal questions with these type of minds is priceless. It is, irrespective of what happens in Oxford, a prize in itself,” says Josh.

Speaking to them after the moot, the four feel enriched by the experience, whatever result they achieve at Oxford.

“Public speaking has never been my strong point, and the moot has given me a great deal of confidence in both presenting and responding to questions on the law,” says Anna.

This advocacy training is eclipsed only by the networks and friends they have made in the process.

“You get to know people at a level of intimacy when you’re around them constantly for months on end, in various states of disarray. We’ll be friends for life,” says Josh.

By Blake Connell