Otago students surprised to win law moot

University of Otago law students Alicia Rosevear (left), and Amber Hosking, who recently won the Red Cross law moot in Wellington. Photo supplied.
University of Otago law students Alicia Rosevear (left), and Amber Hosking, who recently won the Red Cross law moot in Wellington. Photo supplied.
After a tough contest with a surprising twist, two University of Otago students have won the right to participate in an international law mooting event in Hong Kong this year.

Alicia Rosevear (21) and fellow Otago law student Amber Hosking (22) recently participated in a demanding Red Cross law moot on international humanitarian law, in Wellington.

Miss Rosevear, who is studying for an LLB and a BA, said it had come as ''a bit of surprise'' when she and her team-mate won the event, ahead of teams from four other New Zealand universities.

''We were quite surprised to be in the finals, in the first place'', given the Otago contestants had previously been unfamiliar with international humanitarian law, she said.

Such moots simulate a court setting and require student participants to make submissions to a panel of judges, last year including former prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

After surviving two rounds, each an hour long, in the morning, the Otago team also won the afternoon finals.

The moot had been held in the former High Court building, and it had been ''quite unnerving'' to have Sir Geoffrey looking down from the old-style elevated court bench and asking questions, she said.

The Otago duo had earlier adopted a ''structured'' approach, but later decided to throw their notes away for the finals, and respond more directly to the requirements of the judges.

Thinking on their feet had been a key factor, and team coach Matthew Mortimer had also provided valuable support, she said.

The Otago contestants will also compete in a larger-scale regional Red Cross international law moot, to be held in Hong Kong in mid-March. Contest organisers are paying for their air fares and accommodation.