By successfully arguing it was reasonable for the steering shaft of an antique car to snap one week after its purchase, a team of Griffith law students has taken out the 2012 National Intervarsity Women’s Mooting Tournament for the first time.

Kate Levitt, Sam Nean and Jessica Musulin from the Griffith Law School saw off the challenge of Latrobe University in the grand final at Sydney’s Federal Court to claim the prestigious title.

Knowing the cases and knowing the law inside out and upside down was crucial to the victory, according to Kate Levitt, who was also named best speaker in the final.

“It’s about knowing the facts. Once you learn your argument well, you believe it,” she said.

“It’s also important to say it well and sound like you know what you are talking about, and to be convincing and reasonable.

“By learning to anticipate the questions, you are not caught off guard.

“You also have to gauge the reaction of a judge in working out how far you can push your argument.”

Intense research into Australian consumer law and informed use of case law helped make the team’s argument irrefutable in the finals series where they also defeated University of Technology, Sydney, in the semi-finals.

Announcing the winning team, Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett described the team’s effort as “extraordinary” and said they had advocated at senior counsel level.

Kate, Sam and Jessica paid tribute to Griffith Law School mentors Dr Therese Wilson and Professor Mary Keyes, highlighting their immense support and knowledgeable guidance through a tournament that is aimed at addressing equity issues facing women at the bar.

It is the only moot in which all competitors must be female.

“Griffith Law School is very aware of the gender issues in law and is very proactive in addressing it and generating a legal environment where this has no place,” Kate Levitt, who completes a Bachelor of Laws this year, said.

The Sydney victory, in competition with 11 other major law schools in Australia, completed a very successful year for Kate who also represented the Griffith Law School with Chris Maher, Stephen Jones and Roger Allingham at the prestigious Vis International Mooting Competition in Hong Kong and Vienna.