High standard of advocacy leads to tense deliberations at the Fifth Oxford French Law Moot

The Oxford French Law Moot, sponsored by French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel, was held in Oxford on 11th March 2012.  Twelve teams from all over Europe competed in the prestigious competition, which has been growing steadily since its inception in 2008. For the second year competitors have come from outside the United Kingdom, and teams from Warwick, KCL, UCD, Madrid, UCL, Florence and Oxford participated.

The Moot saw teams go head-to-head in front of judges on a problem based on a real case that involved both French and European law. Counsels discussed the level of privacy remaining to an employee despite the right of control recognised by labour law to employers.

All of the judges agreed that the level of legal analysis and depth of research carried out by the participants was of an extremely high standard.

Given the number of teams, the competition was organised in stages. Preliminaries took place in the morning, and the four strongest teams met in the afternoon for knock-out style half-finals. Each team was made up of two participants, both of whom presented their arguments. The right of reply was used to great effect and counsel showed little mercy for their opponents' arguments. At all stages of the competition, the judges quizzed the students on the soundness of their submissions, to which elegant and elaborated responses were often given.

At lunchtime, lawyers from Gide gave a short presentation and were happy to answer any questions. Everyone eagerly awaited the results during the two-hour lunch break to see which teams would make it to the semi-finals.

The final took place in the Cube auditorium in the Law Faculty between Warwick and King’s College London with Mr Rupert Reece (Gide), M. Alain Lacabarats (President of the chambre sociale of the Cour de Cassation) and Professeur François-Xavier Lucas (Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne) on the judging panel. The stakes were high. The tension was palpable, with both teams demonstrating a very high standard of advocacy, control of the French language and engagement with the topic. After a long period of deliberation, the judges declared KCL the competition's winners.

All three judges stressed that the decision was not easy, and that all of the teams had impressed them with the level of participation in the Moot. Rupert Reece shared with the audience his own secrets to capture the ear and mind of judges when arguing in a real court! 

Photograph of french law moot winners 2012