Gold Coast students shine at Red Cross Moot

Griffith Law School students Paul Weaver and Marieanne Golubinski accept their award from the Red Cross's Heath McCallum.

Talented Gold Coast law students Marieanne Golubinsky and Paul Weaver have taken second place in the highly contested Australian Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot competition.

More than 20 teams took part in the competition at the Australian Law Students Association Conference in July. The conference attracts students from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific.

The talented third-year students acted as prosecutors and defenders of a fictional president accused of killing civilians and the destruction of cultural property.

They had just one round of experience before the national moot and were excited by the challenge.

“International Humanitarian Law challenges us because it is so different from domestic law which we study at Griffith,’’ Marieanne said.

“There are so many more considerations.”

While other universities offer electives in humanitarian law, Paul and Marieanne didn’t have that luxury, so had to research and review their material from scratch.

They were, however, able to benefit from Griffith Law School’s focus on mooting both through its curriculum and through student competitions.

To add to the pressure, they had to prepare while studying for their exams.

But their preparation and determination paid off — undergoing three preliminary rounds before winning the quarter and semi finals. In the final round, they were narrowly edged out by the University of Sydney team.

“While we already had a wealth of knowledge, the learning curve from experiencing a national competition was substantial and more beneficial than participating in internal events only,’’ Paul said.

“Feedback from the judges was immensely rewarding.”

Griffith Law School Deputy Head Dr Therese Wilson said the Griffith team’s effort was outstanding.

“The calibre of these students is testimony to their talent, knowledge and determination. These are qualities that will stand them in good stead throughout their careers. Griffith Law School is very proud of them.”

Indeed, Paul and Marianne are intent on pursuing a career in law — Paul as a barrister and Marieanne in international law.

In the meantime, they’re looking forward to challenging next year’s Moot competition.