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April 27th, 2012
Students from the University of Liverpool met on April 26 at the Liverpool offices of Brabners Chaffe Street to participate in the first Charity Law Moot Competition.
A moot is a legal debate, based on a factual situation, where two teams of counsel, representing appellant and respondent, try to persuade the judges of the strength of their case by reference to legal authority. The moot problem is a pre-drafted factual situation in which a point or points of law are in dispute. In this particular moot, the debate was around the legal definition of charity. The task of each team is to support the side of the argument with which it has been presented. This is done with reference to legal authority, such as case law or legislation.
The judges weigh up the arguments presented and question counsel during the course of their submissions. At the end of the moot, the judges give their judgement on the law, and they also decide, in terms of mooting skills, who is the winning team.
Rachel Sephton and Lauren Easton were both respondents, whilst Amy Thomas and Michael Pinder were both appellants. Amie Harrison was the Clerk. John Picton and Warren Barr (both of Liverpool Law School) and Stephen Claus (Partner and Head of Charity and Social Enterprise at Brabners) comprised the judging panel. Debra Morris, Director of the Charity Law & Policy Unit, was also present for the event.
In this competition, the judges also chose one overall winner, Michael Pinder, whose prize is a week-long work placement at Brabners Chaffe Street, to be taken up over the summer holidays. The winning team (the appellants) and the respondent team will all receive a small gift from Brabners Chaffe Street to mark their overall achievement in the competition.
Debra Morris, Director of the Charity Law & Policy Unit, praised the students, all of whom are currently in the second year of their studies, for their commitment, preparation and performances.
She thanked the judges, and Brabners Chaffe Street for supporting the competition and for providing such a valuable prize.