Oxford Wins 2020 Varsity Roman Law Moot

In classic COVID-style, the 2020 Varsity Roman Law Moot was conducted online in July 2020.

The team from Oxford comprising Henry Fahrenkamp (Magdalen) Nicholas U Jin (Merton), Rhea Chopra (LMH), and Yun Kei Chow (Christ Church) were coached by Professor Joe Sampson, with input from past Oxonian winner Alexander Yean. They took on Cambridge from different parts of the globe via video call.

The moot involved two problems, set in AD 535, the time of Justinian. The first problem involved the cunning Balbus finding gold coins in the ground during a stroll across Aulus’ field, which preceded an ownership dispute. The mooters made submissions engaging the thesauri inventio (Treasure Trove) doctrine and rei vindicatio (Possessory) action. The second problem involved the sale of a poisonous cup from Aulus to Cassius, which brought up the ancient Roman institute of contract, culminating in an actio empti (action for purchase) against Balbus. 

The moot was judged by Regius Professors of Civil Law: Professor Wolfgang Ernst (Oxford) and Professor David Ibbetson (Cambridge), eminent academics in their fields. After two hours of intense mooting and deliberation by the expert iudices, the 2020 Varsity Roman Law Moot, in its very first virtual edition, was awarded to the Oxford Team.