Celebrating student successes at the David Jackson Mooting dinner

11 Dec 2019

In 2019, more than 52 University of Queensland law students participated in mooting and legal skills competitions across the world, demonstrating outstanding levels of commitment, collegiality and enterprise that were celebrated at the eighth annual David F Jackson Mooting Dinner.

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David Jackson (second from left) with award winners Julius Moller, Emily McClellend and Ben Teng

Academic Dean and Head of School Professor Patrick Parkinson said 2019 had been another successful year for UQ’s mooting teams.

“The commitment shown by both students and their coaches has been extraordinary,” Professor Parkinson said.

“UQ has one of the strongest mooting programs in the world, and this translates into continuing success in national and international competitions.”

- Patrick Parkinson, Head of UQ Law


The David F Jackson Award for Outstanding Advocacy was jointly awarded to graduating students Emily McClelland and Julius Moller.

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Emily McClelland and Julius Moller

Past competitor turned coach, Emily said the competitions run by UQ Law and the University of Queensland Law Society shaped her degree.

“Through participating in, organising, and coaching negotiations, client interviews, and moots I met my closest friends, travelled domestically and internationally, developed a sense of confidence, and learned a lot about niche areas of law,” Emily said.

Serving as the Competitions Vice-President of the UQLS during her third year, and subsequently as UQLS President, Emily said the best thing about the competitions program is the community it fosters.

“No student or team can be successful without hundreds of hours of input (and constructive criticism) from former participants in the program,” she said.

“I thank those students, academics, members of the profession, and judges who shaped my own advocacy and were always available, sometimes at the last minute, to judge a practice moot or negotiation grand final.”

- Emily McClelland

 Julius said he became hooked on mooting in his first year of university, competing in a number of domestic and international competitions before transitioning to coaching roles in his final years of study.

As a coach of the 2019 Jessup team—who were runners-up in Australia and in the top 32 internationally—Julius was exceptionally proud of their performance.

2019 Jessup Team

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Seated L-R: Kyle Eggins-Allman, Tom Fletcher, Joshua Halikos, Laura Heit
Standing L-R: Julius Moller, Olivia Duce, Elizabeth Stanley, Joshua McKersey

“There’s a saying passed down through the Jessup teams about competing that says ‘luck always plays a role, but our job is to reduce the role it plays to the greatest extent’,” he said.

“The team worked incredibly hard to reduce that role and I’m proud to have had the privilege of coaching such an intelligent bunch of people.”

Julius said that the skills gained through mooting, both as a competitor and a coach, are highly valuable to a student’s career prospects as they are transferrable to legal practice.

“Knowing the law is one thing, but being able to communicate it in an understandable and persuasive fashion is another,” he said.

“Mooting helps you learn how to do this; it enhances your critical thinking, strengthens your team-work skills and bolsters your written and oral advocacy.

“Mooting is one of those brilliant practical ways of learning the law, it’s been the best part of my law degree and I got just as much out of coaching as I did competing.”

- Julius Moller

The Bar Association of Queensland Award for Best Oralist in a Moot Competition was awarded to Laura Heit for her outstanding advocacy in both the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (2018) and the Jessup (2019) competitions.

The Queensland Law Society Best Moot Team Award was presented to the The International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot Team (Tessa Boardman, Jonathan Hohl, Matthew Singer, Mia Williams and coach Leo Rees-Murphy) for their Grand Championship win in Rotterdam this year.

Mr Todd Fuller QC, Deputy Director of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions addressed students and guests at the dinner, encouraging them to take an active role in mentorship and to commit themselves to finding a balance in their careers that allows for personal and professional satisfaction.

The annual David F Jackson Mooting Dinner is an opportunity for the Law School to acknowledge and celebrate both team and individual mooting performances, and to thank students, coaches and supporters for participating in the UQ mooting program.

The dinner is named after the School’s esteemed alumnus and pre-eminent barrister Mr David F. Jackson AM QC.

Media: Felicity Miller, media@bel.uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 9349