Competition rules

The primary purpose of the LSE LGBT Moot Competition is to provide an engaging and fun forum for law students to hone their advocacy skills, to learn more about sexual orientation and gender identity issues and their interfaces with the law, and to network with their peers and with legal professionals. The “competitive” aspect to the event is secondary.

This document sets out the rules of the competition. We ask that all competitors act in good faith. Enforcement of the rules is at the discretion of the organising committee

Timeline

The schedule detailed here is that which is currently envisaged. Elements of the schedule may be subject to change.

Registration

Registration will open at 0900 GMT on the 27 November 2015 and will close at 1700 GMT on 10 December 2015. Further details about how to register are available on the moot website (see here).

Publication of the problem

The problem is available on the moot website.

Clarification requests

All requests for clarification concerning the moot problem should be submitted by 1700 GMT on 4 January 2015. Please submit clarification requests via email. Responses to requests will be published on the moot website.

Submission of skeleton arguments

Skeleton arguments must be submitted by 1700 GMT on 15 January 2016. Should a team submit a skeleton after this time, the organising committee will decide whether to penalise the team. The organising committee reserves the right to disqualify any team for late submission of skeletons.

Notification of acceptance to compete in the oral rounds

The organising committee will endeavour to notify all teams whether they have qualified for the oral rounds by 1700 GMT on 18 January 2016.

Oral rounds

The oral rounds of the competition will take place on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March 2016, in the New Academic Building on Lincoln’s Inn Fields at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The first two sessions will run on the evening of Friday 4, with two further sessions running on the morning of Saturday 5. This will be followed by the semi-finals and final of the ompetition on the Saturday afternoon. A series of workshops, lectures and networking events will run alongside the competition. A full schedule will be released ahead of the competition.

Teams

Any given institution may enter up to two teams. Teams must consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of four competitors. Team members must be registered as an undergraduate or postgraduate student at the institution for which they are competing.

Each team is also permitted, although is not required, to have a coach. A coach may be another student or a faculty member.

Competitors may only be a member of one team, however, a coach may assist up to two teams from the same institution.

Registration

Teams must register all members, including any coach. If a team would like to add or substitute a team member, they should contact the organising committee. Upon registering, all teams will be given a team number. This number should be used in all further communications with the organising committee.

Skeleton arguments

Teams will be required to submit a skeleton argument if they are to qualify for the oral rounds. The deadline for submission of skeleton arguments is as stated above. Teams will be informed after the close of registration whether they should produce a skeleton argument for the appellants or the respondents.

Skeleton arguments must not exceed two A4 pages of size twelve font. Research and drafting of the skeletons must be undertaken exclusively by team members, with the assistance of their coach. No external assistance is permitted. Skeleton arguments must include the team number but should otherwise be anonymous. Further instructions for writing the skeleton argument will be released with the moot problem.

Oral rounds

As noted above, the oral rounds of the competition are scheduled to take place on 4-5 March 2016 in the New Academic Building at the London School of Economics.

Preparation

Teams are strongly encouraged to organise practice moots ahead of the competition. There is no limitation on the assistance teams can receive after skeleton arguments are submitted.

Rounds

All teams will moot at least twice – once ‘on skeleton’ and once ‘off skeleton’. Teams should be fully prepared to argue both sides of the case. The four highest scoring teams will compete in the semi-finals, and the winners of each semi-final will proceed to the final.

Format

In each moot, teams will be allowed twenty-five minutes to make their case. The appellants may reserve up to 5 minutes for rebuttal. There will be no surrebuttals. For each moot, there must be two speakers per team. Each speaker must speak for a minimum of ten minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes (including any rebuttal).

Marking of oral rounds

Teams will be marked on the fluency and persuasiveness of their arguments, their clarity of expression, and how they respond to questioning. A sample scoresheet will be released ahead of the oral rounds.

 

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