On 10 September 2011, the Inaugural Oxford-Hong Kong Mooting Competition was held at the Excelsior Hotel in Hong Kong. Over 40 current and former Oxford students watched the judges firing probing questions at the mooters, the mooters responding with characteristic wit and composure. This was not an unfamiliar experience for the mooters. It was something that they had encountered in the Oxford tutorial system.
The competition was generously sponsored by Clifford Chance Hong Kong and was organised by Justin Lam (Magdalen), Kerby Lau (University), Jason Yu (Wadham) and Eva Leung (HMC). Motivated by an interest in mooting, the organisers hoped to the event would promote mooting among Oxford students in Hong Kong. The moot problem was set in the context of a highly profitable commodities market in Brazil, driven by a voracious Chinese appetite for raw materials, and somepolitically-motivated export bans by the Russian government. The problem raised two topical issues: the availability of a proprietary remedy for breach of fiduciary duty, and the Hadley v Baxendale remoteness rule for contractual damages.
In the preliminary rounds, which were adjudicated by experienced barristers Frances Lok (St Hilda’s) and William Wong (Wadham), four pairs of mooters vied for a place in the Grand Final. The participants were all current Oxford students or recent Oxford graduates, but the quality of their submissions was uniformly impressive. Mooters fortunate enough to reach the Grand Final faced the tough interrogation of the Hon Mr Justice Reyes of the High Court of Hong Kong, which proved to be challenging but valuable training for any student of advocacy. After a closely fought battle, Eva Leung and Ruby Chik (both HMC) emerged as the champions. The final was followed by a 10 course Chinese dinner, which concluded an exciting and stimulating evening.
The organisers would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Clifford Chance and the esteemed judges. They hope that the competition will become an annual event with the support of the Oxford Law Faculty.