I am a second-year Law student at Trevelyan College and this year, with another student from Van Mildert, I took part in the European Human Rights Moot Court Competition. This involved competing against 100+ teams from the best universities in Europe in written and oral advocacy rounds over the last year, focusing on a case regarding violations of human rights during epidemics (as you can imagine this was a really interesting and topical case to work on!). In each round we were judged by European Human Rights experts, including several judges who sit in the European Court of Human Rights.
My teammate (Dara Foody) and I represented Durham University as a team of two, being the smallest team in the competition, and indeed some of the youngest and least experienced competitors. Most of the other teams consisted of four individuals who were taking masters in human rights. In March Dara and I were delighted to be informed that we had qualified for the final rounds of the competition, scoring as the 17th highest team in Europe. This would usually involve being invited to the final oral rounds in the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg).
These final rounds took place virtually from Monday 17 – Friday 21 May. These rounds consisted of preliminary final rounds involving the top 18 teams in Europe, followed by quarter-finals (the top eight), semi-finals (the top four), and the grand final (top two).
I am delighted to report that, despite having several years less experience than other competitors, Dara and I proceeded as far as the quarter-finals (top eight teams in Europe) and, in the preliminary rounds, were the highest scoring team (ranked first). I was also informed yesterday that I won an award in the preliminary final rounds as the highest scoring oralist from the 70+ participants, earning the title of ‘Best Oralist’ in the preliminary finals!
The competition was certainly a rollercoaster of emotions and very exhausting, having taken part in five oral moots and a written round over the last nine months. But I have learned a LOT from the experience and am excited to represent Durham and Trevelyan College in more legal competitions in the future!
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