Harcourt Chambers Oxford Family Law Moot 2023

The return of the Harcourt Chambers Oxford Family Law Moot in 2023 was a marked success. The moot problem concerned the topical issue of the deprivation of liberty of vulnerable children against the background of a national shortage of appropriate accommodation for such children, and the tension between Article 8 and Article 10 of the HRA in the context of reporting on this crisis. The moot rounds leading up to the Grand Final were judged by experienced family law barristers and KCs from Harcourt Chambers, and participants included undergraduate and graduate law students.

The mooters advancing to the semi-final rounds were Maxim Kasolowsky and Arya Arun (St Hilda’s College), Grace Burney and Lucy McCaughan (Exeter College, New College), Hugo Ho Cheung Leung (St Catharine’s College), and Zacharie Mouillé and Sherson Ng (Magdalen College, Merton College). Some excellent advocacy led Grace Burney, Lucy McCaughan, Zacharie Mouillé, and Sherson Ng to the Grand Final.

The Grand Final took place on the 11th of March in Trinity College and was judged by Lord Wilson of Culworth, former Justice of the UK Supreme Court. After an exciting Final between Grace and Lucy representing the appellants and Zacharie and Sherson for the respondents, Zacharie and Sherson won the competition and were awarded mini-pupillages with Harcourt Chambers. The announcement of the results was preceded by a panel talk and Q&A session by Harcourt Chambers on routes into family law and life at the family bar, and followed by a drinks reception at the Levine Café.

Reflecting on the moot, Vicky Reynolds from Harcourt Chambers stated: 'This year’s moot problem on press reporting and the application of the HRA in the context of the national crisis in provision of secure accommodation for vulnerable teenagers inspired some truly outstanding advocacy from the mooters and an insight into the cutting edge of family law. At the Grand Final, Lord Wilson's inspiring masterclass in judging and legal analysis gave the mooters, the semi-final's ‘judges’ and the audience plenty to reflect on and to gain from.'

The Faculty would like to express their thanks to Harcourt Chambers for sponsoring the moot, as well as to the participants, clerks, judges and organisers who made the event possible.