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The First Annual National Moot Court Competition – An Appraisal
Higgins, Noelle; Daly, Yvonne
Moot courts and mock trials are included in various ways in law curricula in different jurisdictions 1 to aid in the development of legal reasoning and advocacy skills and to prepare students for a career in law. The benefits and advantages of the use of simulation activities as a pedagogical tool are highlighted to a great extent in legal education literature. 2 However, such activities have not been particularly prominent in the curricula of undergraduate law programmes in Ireland to date. While such simulation exercises are seen as a vital component of the training of law students in other jurisdictions, the emphasis in Irish law schools is laid on the theoretical to the detriment of the practical. It is understandable that law schools in jurisdictions such as the United States, where students study law as a postgraduate degree without any further vocational training, place a much greater emphasis on mooting and other simulation activities than Irish law schools. However, Ireland still lags far behind other similar jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, that require vocational training in addition to a law degree for qualification to practice as a barrister or a solicitor, when it comes to the inclusion of simulation activities in undergraduate law curricula. In order to analyse and redress this gap in the curriculum, a project was undertaken in the Socio-Legal Research Centre (SLRC) in Dublin City University (DCU) in 2010. The project had two related aims: 1. to gather empirical research on the use and benefits of simulation activities from Irish undergraduate law students; and 2. to organise and run a National Moot Court Competition. This article provides an analysis of the results of this project, through an account of the current use of moot court activities in undergraduate legal education in Ireland and a description of the process of organising and running the FirstAnnual National Moot Court Competition. Section I of the article analyses the use of moot court activities, and the perceived benefits to law students who undertake such activities, outside of Ireland through a review of literature. This section also describes the current situation in Irish law schools with regard to the inclusion of such activities. Section II then provides details of the First National Moot Court Competition 2010 and the final section provides a conclusion on how future moot court activities should be incorporated into law curricula in Irish universities.
Keyword(s): Law; Ireland; Legal education; Mooting competitions; United States
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: No
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Higgins, Noelle and Daly, Yvonne (2011) The First Annual National Moot Court Competition – An Appraisal. Irish Law Times (29). pp. 112-116. ISSN 0021-1281
Publisher(s): Round Hall Press
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2020-01-31 06:24:37 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:58:28