BRISBANE ARGUES ITS WAY TO THE TOP
6 August 2014, Written by Laura Daquino
BRISBANE high school students have proven their legal proficiency and taken out top spots at a prestigious national mooting competition.
Bond University High School Mooting Competition awarded first place to Brisbane State High School (BSHS), the team of three outperforming year 11 and 12 students from 120 schools nationwide.
BSHS students Isaac Douglas, Joanne Chen and Eamon O’Shea (pictured left to right) argued their way to the top at the Bond University-held finals earlier this month, taking steam from 14 other student teams.
A team from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School and another from Padua College also went through to the finals.
The Brisbane teams scooped up notable accolades at the finals, both BSHS’s Douglas receiving the Most Outstanding Advocate award for the competition and St Margaret’s Josephine Booth receiving an Outstanding Overall Advocate award.
Bond University assistant professor Louise Parsons says the competition provides students with an opportunity to develop both soft and hard skills, and is becoming fiercer each year as it grows in popularity.
Parsons was on the judging panel, alongside Justice Gotterson and retired Queensland district court judge John Newton.
"The standard of advocacy skills displayed by the students has greatly increased over the years, so it is even more challenging for the students to put forward the best argument," says Parsons.
"The competition is all about encouraging students to prepare, articulate and defend a complex argument in order to solve a legal problem, like barristers do in court on a daily basis.
“It is a great challenge not just for those interested in a legal career but any student wanting to really develop skills in critical thinking, analysis, problem solving and oral communication.
"It is also a rare opportunity to meet and receive feedback from some of Australia's greatest legal minds."
The competition is carried out in a courtroom environment where two opposing teams conduct a legal argument by applying legal rules to factual situations.