Griffith students make semis in national moot

Three Griffith University law students have knocked out the competition to make it into the semi finals of a national administrative law moot competition.

The students, Cameron Low, Peter Coulson and Michael de Waard are the only Queensland team left in the moot competition run by the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The Griffith team knocked out teams from Bond University, Southern Cross University and the University of New South Wales to secure a place in the semis, with the University of Queensland also being knocked out in the first round.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal National Mooting Competition (AAT) is run slightly different to other competitions, reflecting the difference between proceedings in courts and tribunals.

The moots are conducted like AAT hearings. Rather than being confined to appeals on questions of law, AAT moots involve questions of law, fact and policy.

Cameron said the nature of the competition had been quite challenging, but rewarding.

“The AAT Moot is a wonderful challenge and great practical experience,” Cameron said.

“We have less than a week to work on the case for the semi final, which will relate to a different area of administrative law to the previous rounds, so it’s a lot of work.”

Michael said the demanding nature of the AAT Moot also developed the team’s time management skills.

“It has been pretty challenging as you have to go through the preparation each time, which is also one of the positive aspects of the moot, as you get to learn different areas of law,” Michael said.

Peter said one of the strengths of the competition was it put the law into context.

“Studying law can become quite an insulated process. Once it’s put into context though it makes it more interesting and easier to learn,” Peter said.

The competition covers all areas of administrative law including immigration, freedom of information, social security law and employee’s compensation to name a few.

More than 30 teams from around the country entered the AAT Moot with all law students able to take part in person, or via videolink.

Griffith Senior Law Lecturer Therese Wilson said the students put together their own team and entered on their own initiative — wanting the opportunity to learn more about administrative law.

“This initiative demonstrates the capacity of Griffith students to be self-driven and high achieving,” Ms Wilson said.

If the Griffith team win the semi final they will fly to Sydney for the grand final, which will be held in the Federal Court before the AAT President, the Honourable Justice Garry Downdes.