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School of Information Studies student named winner SU London Fall 2006 Moot Court

Haddon Fisher '07, a senior at the School of Information Studies, was named winner of the Best Oral Advocate division of the SU London Fall 2006 Moot Court competition. More than a dozen SU London students participated in the intense competition held December 1 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The Moot Court is a final project created every semester by Amber Gebicke, an SU London law professor, for her US/UK Comparative Law class. The judges for the event are international barristers, solicitors, and judges from around the world.
An invitation to visit the Royal Courts of Justice is prestigious in and of itself, says Daeya Malboeuf, communications manager for SU Abroad. But to actually argue in a courtroom with real international judges and judges of her Majesty's court (dressed in robes and wigs) is truly extraordinary. This is the kind of signature experience that elevates our study abroad program above the rest.
In law school, students participate in a Moot Court competition in which they write legal briefs based on a problem. They represent either the petitioner or respondent side, and then argue their case in front of a panel of judges. Preparation is rigorous, including a great amount of research, writing, and oral argument practice. In the SU London version, students worked for several weeks to produce up to a 30-page brief. This prep work was followed by several rounds of oral competition, which culminated in the Friday night Final Round at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The result is an educational and cross-cultural learning experience like none other, Gebicke says. Students learned quickly to use the proper address and etiquette befitting the British courts, she says. Aside from the pressure of the competition itself, they had to remember to use correct titles such as Your Honour and Your Excellency—and they were reprimanded for not showing proper deference to the court. The students faced temperamental judges who posed ridiculously hard questions and tried to make them squirm with fear.

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