Moot Court proceeds with COVID-19 protocols

Although COVID-19 has restricted many social activities at the University of PNG, the School of Law was able to continue with the Sir Buri Kidu Moot Court Competition after implementing the Moot Court Health and Safety Rules.

Moot Court is a “court” in which hypothetical legal cases are tried by opposing teams of law students who act as “lawyers”. The “judges” are actual practising lawyers from reputable law firms such as O’Briens, Dentons, Ashurst and Leahy, Lewin, Lowing, Sullivan Lawyers as well as the State Solicitors Office.

According to the President of the Law Students Society (LSS), Kim Roary, LSS was promoted to draw up the Moot Court Health and Safety Rules after COVID-19 caused the UPNG administration to cancel all social activities

“It was hard for us to book a venue on campus because of COVID-19. Our requests were being denied by the school admin. So the Law Students Society drew up the Moot Court Health and Safety Rules which regulates the conduct of students, spectators and judges during moot court. We are currently implementing this: we are providing hand sanitisers, limiting spectators and making masks mandatory.

“We started off with 16 teams. We had the elimination round last time and are now down to 8 teams. Today’s (Friday, Sept 25) moot is the quarterfinals. After that is the semi and grand finals,” said Roary.

Although the Moot Court is proceeding well, the LSS is in need of sponsorship.

“At present, we are able to cover administrative and logistics cost from our own budget and with some help from Dentons. But we are looking for sponsorship for our closing ceremony.

“If anyone is willing to help, do let us know. We need the money to fund prizes for the winning team, best mooter and best judge’s associate. It is important that we reward our mooters because this is an extracurricular activity where students dig deep into their own pockets to fund their participation, especially in terms of research and printing of papers.”

The Sir Buri Kidu Moot Court is in its 31st year of competition and is named after the first PNG national judge, Sir Buri Kidu. This year’s theme is “Cultivating transparency in litigation” as LSS believes that by cultivating transparent practices in school, students will be groomed to be better lawyers in future.

(In line with the Moot Court Health and Safety Rules, masks, hand sanitising and social distancing are mandatory for all students, judges and members of the audience. Pictured are members of the LSS implementing these protocols in front of the KD Buildings where the Moot Court is held every second Friday)

Press release