With a moot problem the facts of the case are laid out at the beginning of the problem but when looking to research the law it is often useful to go to the end of the problem to see what the points of appeal are as these are where you are going to find your key legal concepts and the research questions you will need to ask.

In this example (and in most of the LRMSP moot problems) the section 'Proceedings and Appeal' will be the thing to read.  In the example above you can see a number of keywords have been taken from the points of appeal and it is in black and white that the appeal is in regards to negligence.

The broad areas are the main headings (so “duty of care” etc.) and of course if you have already studied the area of law you may already know the relevant tests or some narrower key terms and maybe the main cases (as above).  There may even be cases mentioned in the moot problem to help.

However if you were completely new to the area there is no issue in starting with the broader headings, these tend to be chapters within books and as you will see from the next section, texts are one of the sources to start with.

It is useful to frame your research into questions you need to answer and you might have come up with these when doing your initial thinking.  For the above if we were junior counsel for the appellant some of the questions may be:

  • What in law constitutes a breach of duty?
  • Is there a test – what authorities set out the test?
  • Are there any exceptions or authorities that go against the ‘rule’?
  • What is meant by the damage being too remote?
  • Is there a test – what authorities set out the test?

Once you have the answers to these you can then look at questions specifically relating to the facts in your moot problem so:

  • What in law constitutes a breach of duty?
  • Is there a test – what authorities set out the test?
  • Are there any exceptions or authorities that go against the ‘rule’?

Does it apply to the situation set out (is there a breach)?

If yes – what facts support that?

If no – are there exceptions, can I distinguish?

  • What is meant by the damage being too remote?
  • Is there a test – what authorities set out the test?

What facts in the question can be used to pass the relevant tests?

What issues may there be in persuading the damage was not remote – can these be overcome?

 

These more focused questions can only be answered once you have done the background research.

 


Please Proceed to:

Making a research plan: sources