UWS law students turn skillful advocates

Date: 07/11/2002

Two law students from the University of Western Sydney have stamped their mark on the 2002 national Butterworths Lexis-Nexis Constitutional Law moot.

Michael Bennett from Glenbrook and Ben Kasep from Chipping Norton ran second when they teamed up to front a panel of judges including Justice Gummow from the High Court of Australia, Justice Dowd from the NSW Supreme Court and Kyle Oliver from the UWS Law School.

The competing teams were presented with unseen facts in scenarios set on sections of the Constitutional Law. They were given roles of either appellants or respondents and were given time limits to argue their cases.

"We presented our arguments and articulated the case to show evidence of our capabilities. Sometimes it became stressful with little time to think," says Michael.

"The opportunity to appear before such an eminent bench and present our arguments was the biggest thrill yet in our law degrees," says Ben.

The students first won a UWS internal moot in order to determine who should represent the University, where they were declared winners. They then went on to compete against law students from universities around Australia.

Lecturer at the UWS School of Law, Stephen Janes, who was one of the judges at the preliminary round, says the team performed extremely well in a competition where the standard of all competitors was high.

"The competition gave the students good insight into Constitutional Law," he said.

Students from the University of Tasmania came first. The finals were held in the Banco Court of the Supreme Court of NSW.

"We had the opportunity to take up the cases from both sides and this gave us maximum exposure to such situations," says Michael.

"I have participated in two law moots and want to do as many as I can before I complete my studies in two years.

"I am privileged to be given a chance so close to the real world of cold facts," he says.

The two men want to become barristers.
UWS Law Students Society, representing around 1300 law students at the Parramatta and Campbell town campuses, organized the competition at the local level.
For more information or requests for interviews: Asha Chand, Senior Media Officer. Phone: 9678 7473, Email: a.chand@uws.edu.au