Edinburgh University moot finals held at Court of Session

(L-R): Lady Smith, Isla Burns, Johnny Callender

The culmination of the University of Edinburgh Mooting Society’s Pinsent Mason Junior Mooting competition and LexisNexis Senior Mooting competition took place this week. The junior competition sees first year LLB students compete against each other over the academic year. This year saw the largest number of junior mooters (over 120) compete in the society’s history.

Making the final, held in the Court of Session before Lady Wolffe, were Daniel Dubeau, Kenny Young, Mark Watson, and Lucy Duff.

The senior competition sees 2nd, 3rd and 4th year LLB students compete. In the final before Lady Smith were Isla Burns, Johnny Callender, Eilidh Ducker and Rohi Shah.

The problem was based upon EU law and the right of non-EU nationals to remain in the UK. The case involved a decision by the Home Secretary to refuse a residence permit for a third country national.

Arguing for the petitioners, Daniel Dubeau and Kenny Young submitted that the petitioner’s status as the boyfriend of a woman battling drug-addiction and primary carer of her child were reasons mitigating his removal.

Further, that the girlfriend and her daughter’s article 20 TFEU rights would be breached by his removal – since they would likely follow him back to Peru – and that there would likely be a consequent breach of article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

For the respondents Lucy Duff and Mark Watson submitted that the legitimate aim of immigration policy in the UK is to protect the public interest. Examining the rights of citizenship in respect of the immigration, and looking at the distinction between British, EU, and third country nationals, they submitted that the Home Secretary’s decision was justified and that the petition should be refused.

After a closely fought moot there was very little between the two teams. Lady Wolffe handed the moot to the petitioners, Daniel Dubeau and Kenny Young and reserved her judgment on the law.

The senior problem focused on the law of evidence and particularly the use of hearsay evidence in a criminal trial. Arguing for the appellant, Eilidh Ducker and Rohi Shah submitted that the trial judge had erred both in admitting a prior statement and by not correctly directing the jury on the nature of such evidence.

The respondent, represented by Johnny Callender and Isla Burns submitted for the Crown that, as there were two primary sources of evidence, no question of hearsay arose. The witness had spoken to the truth of her statement, and had adopted it under both the common law and the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.

Lady Smith declared Johnny Callender and Isla Burns the winners of the moot by a narrow margin. The law was also decided in their favour; there was no miscarriage of justice and the appeal was dismissed.

The society said it was grateful to all those from the profession who have assisted it over this academic year. Without their time and commitment it would not have been able to run the two competitions for a record number of competitors.

Share icon
Share this article: