Budding trial lawyers make a point

The curious case of Mr Rabbitt, who crashed into a parked car, was debated at the inaugural Dunedin high school mooting competition on Saturday.

Possible future trial lawyers from Dunedin secondary schools tested their legal minds in mock trials as part of the event.

Competing in the final were identical twins Ella and Holly Barclay (17), from Columba College, and Bayfield High School pupils Grace Cook (16) and Wallace Pu (17).

The mock trial centred on the ''finely balanced'' case of Mr Rabbitt, who crashed into a parked car in Castle St, Dunedin, at 2am.

At question was whether Mr Rabbitt's car stalling as a result of the accident constituted his stopping to check if someone was injured, as required by law.

Grace Cook argued Mr Rabbitt's intentions did not matter and the fact he checked his rear-vision mirror while stalled meant he did not break that particular law.

Bayfield High School ended up coming away victorious and Wallace Pu won the award for best speaker.

Organiser Elisabeth Larsen, a third-year law and politics student, said the event was about getting secondary school pupils interested in taking up law.

She was blown away by how well the pupils performed, considering they only had one day of training, at a ''moot camp'' held the previous Saturday.

The Barclay twins said they had both planned to study health science, but after their mooting experience were now thinking about law as an option.

-vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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