moot-meeting

LSE-Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Moot

 
The Department of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science is proud to host the 4th Annual LSE-Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Moot competition. The competition is dedicated to the consideration of areas of sexual orientation and gender identity law. Alongside the associated networking event, it brings bring together LGBT and ally students, campaigners, practitioners, and members of the judiciary. 2019 Competition: 22-23 February 2019 – register by 18 January 2019.

Competition and Wider Event

The LSE-Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Moot competition is dedicated to the consideration of areas of sexual orientation and gender identity law. The oral rounds of the moot competition run alongside an associated networking event during which participants engage with a number of workshops, discussions, and panels focused on the gamut of SOGI/LGBT+ issues and their interface with the law. Together, the moot competition and wider event bring together LGBT and ally students, campaigners, practitioners, and members of the judiciary.

The event was conceived by Oliver Persey. It emulates the more longstanding sister event hosted by the Williams Institute at UCLA. It was named in honour of Baroness Lynne Featherstone who, as a Minister in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government between 2010-2015, was the architect of the equal marriage legislation in England & Wales and commissioned the first ever UK government transgender action plan. She continues to campaign on SOGI issues and for LGBT+ rights internationally.

The inaugural competition in 2016 focused on a problem that highlighted the potential tension between LGBT+ equality and the freedoms of speech and religion in a scenario derived from the Asher’s Bakery case (which has since been determined by the Supreme Court). It attracted almost 50 teams from across the UK, and was won by a team from the University of Oxford.

The primary purpose of the LSE LGBT Moot Competition is to provide an engaging forum for law students to hone their advocacy skills, to learn more about sexual orientation and gender identity issues and their interfaces with the law, and to network with their peers and with legal professionals. The “competitive” aspect to the event is secondary.

 

2019 Competition Problem

Competition Rules

The following information sets out the rules of the competition. We ask that all competitors act in good faith. Enforcement of the rules is at the discretion of the organising committee.

Timeline

The schedule detailed here is that which is currently envisaged. Elements of the schedule may be subject to change.

Registration

Registration will open at 0900 GMT on the 10 December 2018 and will close at 1700 GMT on 18 January 2019. To register, see the ‘Registering a Team’

Publication of the problem

The problem for the 2019 competition is focused on issues of transgender recognition, and will be available on the moot website shortly.

Clarification requests

All requests for clarification concerning the moot problem should be submitted by 1700 GMT on 1 February 2019. Please submit clarification requests via email (here). Responses to requests will be published on the moot website.

Submission of skeleton arguments

Skeleton arguments must be submitted by 1700 GMT on Friday 8 February 2019. Should a team submit a skeleton after this time, the organising committee will decide whether to penalise the team. The organising committee reserves the right to disqualify any team for late submission of skeletons.

Notification of acceptance to compete in the oral rounds

The organising committee will endeavour to notify all teams whether they have qualified for the oral rounds by 1700 GMT on Monday 11 February 2019.

Oral rounds

The oral rounds of the competition will take place on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 February 2019, in the New Academic Building on Lincoln’s Inn Fields at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The first two sessions will run on the afternoon of Friday 22nd, with two further sessions running on the morning of Saturday 23rd. This will be followed by the semi-finals and final of the competition on the Saturday afternoon. A series of workshops, lectures and networking events will run alongside the competition. A full schedule will be released ahead of the competition.

Teams

Any given institution may enter up to two teams. Teams must consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of four competitors. Team members must be registered as an undergraduate or postgraduate student at the institution for which they are competing.

Each team is also permitted, although is not required, to have a coach. A coach may be another student or a faculty member.

Competitors may only be a member of one team, however, a coach may assist up to two teams from the same institution.

Registration

Teams must register all members, including any coach. If a team would like to add or substitute a team member, they should contact the organising committee. Upon registering, all teams will be given a team number. This number should be used in all further communications with the organising committee.

Skeleton arguments

Teams will be required to submit a skeleton argument if they are to qualify for the oral rounds. The deadline for submission of skeleton arguments is as stated above. Teams will be informed after the close of registration whether they should produce a skeleton argument for the appellants or the respondents.

Skeleton arguments must not exceed two A4 pages of size twelve font. Research and drafting of the skeletons must be undertaken exclusively by team members, with the assistance of their coach. No external assistance is permitted. Skeleton arguments must include the team number but should otherwise be anonymous. Further instructions for writing the skeleton argument will be released with the moot problem.

Oral rounds

As noted above, the oral rounds of the competition are scheduled to take place on 22-23 February 2019 in the New Academic Building at the London School of Economics.

Preparation

Teams are strongly encouraged to organise practice moots ahead of the competition. There is no limitation on the assistance teams can receive after skeleton arguments are submitted.

Rounds

All teams will moot at least twice – once ‘on skeleton’ and once ‘off skeleton’. Teams should be fully prepared to argue both sides of the case. The eight highest scoring teams will compete in the quarter-finals, with knock-out progression to the semi-finals, and the winners of each semi-final will proceed to the final.

Format

In each moot, teams will be allowed twenty-five minutes to make their case. The appellants may reserve up to 5 minutes for rebuttal. There will be no surrebuttals. For each moot, there must be two speakers per team. Each speaker must speak for a minimum of ten minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes (including any rebuttal).

Marking of oral rounds

Teams will be marked on the fluency and persuasiveness of their arguments, their clarity of expression, and how they respond to questioning. A sample scoresheet will be released ahead of the oral rounds.

FAQs

Is the moot open to people who do not identify as LGBT+?

Absolutely! Everyone with an interest in sexual orientation and gender identity law is very welcome!

Is the moot open just to LLB students?

The competition is open to all students, including LLB, LLM, LPC, and BPTC students. We expect that most team members will be studying for law degrees, but non-law students are also welcome.

How many teams can take part per university?

Up to two teams per university can register.

What is the LGBT+ faculty mentoring scheme?

We are encouraging LGBT+ faculty members (and ally faculty members with particular expertise in sexual orientation and gender identity law) to support teams from their law schools as they prepare for the competition. This can either be in a formal capacity as a team’s coach, or a more informal role, such as judging a practice moot or taking team members out for coffee. We are happy to try and put teams in touch with LGBT+ faculty members at their university.

I’ve never mooted before, can I take part?

Absolutely! This will be a fun and supportive competition and a great chance to get involved in mooting for the first time. That said, it may be that your own institution will impose criteria as to who can become a member of a mooting team in an external competition.

Is there a registration fee?

There is no registration fee.

How do I register?

Click here to go to the registration page.

Will there be any subsidy for travel expenses and accommodation costs?

We are currently looking into this, but cannot promise anything at this point in time. There may be funds available to support a team’s participation from your home institution.

If I register, am I guaranteed to take part?

Sadly not. We plan to select the 32 teams that submit the strongest skeleton arguments.

How much help am I allowed during preparation?

Only team members (and coaches) are permitted to research and draft skeletons. You are welcome to receive as much help as you can get after skeleton arguments are submitted! We strongly encourage teams to arrange practice moots.

What other events are happening alongside the moot?

We are planning a range of workshops, talks, and networking events to run alongside the moot. The networking events should be fantastic opportunity to meet LGBT+ and ally practitioners and members of the judiciary. We want to make the competition as educational and as fun as possible! We will be providing further details shortly!

Am I allowed to attend the events if I am not competing?

Yes. We anticipate that some panel discussions, workshops and so on will be open to everyone, but certain networking events will be restricted to competitors.

Will this be a really fun event that I shouldn’t miss out on?

Absolutely!

Judges

The event could not run without the support of the many judges who so generously give up their time to support the competition:

Bojana Asanovic, Lamb Building (UKLGIG)

Ben Ball, Linklaters

Verity Bell, Free Representation Unit

Jennifer Blair, No5 Chambers

Sarah Bourke, Sarah Bourke Law

Michelle Brewer, Garden Court Chambers

Andrew Brown, UCL

Tom Brown, Cloisters Chambers

David Bufton, Linklaters

Ulele Burnham, Doughty Street Chambers

Catherine Callaghan QC, Blackstone Chambers

Ula Cartwright-Finch, Linklaters

Catherine Casserley, Cloisters Chambers

Parosha Chandran, 1 Pump Court

S Chelvan, No5 Chambers

Alex Cisneros, No5 Chambers

Emily Clark, Travers Smith

Stephen Clark, Garden Court Chambers

Jonathan Cooper OBE, Doughty St Chambers

Sir Ross Cranston, LSE

Sarah Crowther, Outer Temple Chambers

Eraldo d’Atri, Clifford Chance

Mark Dawson, Linklaters

Matthew Davies, Wilson Solicitors

Emma Dixon, Blackstone Chambers

Martin Downs, 1 Crown Office Row

Clare Duffy, UCL

Jeffrey Effah, Linklaters

Hannah Field-Lowes, Weil

John Fitzsimons, Cornerstone Barristers

Tatiana Flessas, LSE

Matthew Foley, Linklaters

Emma Foubister, Matrix Chambers

Ian Fox, Dentons

Rachel Francis, 1 Pump Court

Douglas Gibbs, Linklaters

Jonathan Glasson QC, Matrix Chambers

Judge Judith Gleeson, Upper Tribunal

Elliot Gold, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

Donnchadh Greene, Liberty

Gurbinder Grewal, Dentons

Victoria Halsall, 1 KBW

Sarah Hannett, Matrix Chambers

Caroline Harrison QC, 2 Temple Gn Chambers

Stephanie Harrison QC, Garden Ct Chambers

Louise Hooper, Garden Ct Chambers

Jeremy Horder, LSE

Alice Irving, University of Oxford

Dr Bianca Jackson, Coran Chambers

Ben Jaffey QC, Blackstone Chambers

Catherine Jaquiss, Goldsmith Chambers

David Jones, Garden Court Chambers

David Josiah-Lake, Josiah-Lake Gardiner

Srishti Kalro, Linklaters

Bernard Keenan, LSE

Ronnie King, Ashurst LLP

James Kirk, Doughty Street Chambers

Stephen Knight, 1 Pump Court

Michael Kotrly, Freshfields

Jennifer Lee, Pump Court Chambers

Emma Levin, Linklaters

Rachel Logan, Amnesty / Matrix Chambers

Guy MacInnes-Manby, Cleary Gottlieb

Chris Marks, Weil

Nick Marshall, Linklaters

David Massarella, Cloisters Chambers

Stuart Mason, Clifford Chance

Karen Maulhardt, Cleary Gottlieb

Claire McCann, Cloisters Chambers

Aileen McColgan, Matrix Chambers

Esther McDermott, Dentons

Ewan McGaughey, KCL

Karon Monaghan QC, Matrix Chambers

Rowena Moffatt, Doughty St Chambers

Tom Mountford, Blackstone Chambers

Michael Munk, Linklaters

Martin Nelson, Govt Legal Service

Barnaby Pinfield, University of Law

Gill Phillips, Guardian News and Media

Barnaby Pinfield, University of Law

Celia Rooney, Blackstone Chambers

Marguerite Russell, Garden Ct Chambers 

Jane Ryan, Bhatt Murphy

Max Schaefer, Brick Court Chambers

Shanti Sivakumaran, Lamb Building

Paul Stanley QC, Essex Court Chambers

Brie Stevens-Hoare QC, Hardwicke Chambers

Corey Staughton, Liberty

Chris Thomas, LSE

David Vitale, LSE

Malek Wan Daud, Garden Ct Chambers

Robin White, Old Square Chambers 

Aritha Wickramasinghe, K&L Gates

Keina Yoshida, Doughty Street Chambers

Mohsin Zaidi, 6KBW

If you are interested in participating as a judge for the 2019 competition, please contact us here.

Sponsors

The LSE-Featherstone moot is supported by the LSE Department of Law, but has also benefitted significantly from external sponsorship over time. Such support enables the organisers to maintain the gratis nature of team participation, to provide meals and refreshments, to fund mooting prizes, and to put on the celebratory party. We hope that in future we might also be able to provide financial support to facilitate participation by unfunded teams and individual mooters.

Should your organisation be interested in supporting the moot competition, please contact us here

Our major sponsors for 2019 are Linklaters, Garden Court ChambersDentons and Cleary Gottlieb.

Registering a team

Please go to the registration page for further details.

 

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Sponsored by:

linklaters

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