2021 Varsity Roman Law Moot

The 2021 Varsity Roman Law Moot took place on 23 July 2021, and was judged by the Regius Professors of Civil Law at both universities, Professors Ernst and Ibbetson. The Oxford team comprised of Oliver Clement (BA Jurisprudence, Magdalen), Jake Emerson (BA Jurisprudence, Magdalen), Fallon O'Neill (BA Jurisprudence, Magdalen) and Joseph Khaw (BA Jurisprudence, Wadham).

The 2021 moot problem told the story of a slave, Pepo, attending an extravagant dining club, who took part in the ancient drinking game: denariatio. Sadly for him, he forgot to return the coin used in the game, and in his inebriated state, took the express route down a flight of stairs, suffering some serious damage to the knee. The problem required deep analysis of the Roman law in the time of Justinian as it related to furtum (theft) and liability under the lex Aquilia (wrongful damage). The Oxford team came to the moot armed with passages from the Digest (and the Codex!) ranging from the foolish slave who wanders onto a javelin pitch to the man who cowers in his house for fear of being killed by the thief.

Cambridge were awarded the victory, although Oxford did not leave empty handed: Oliver Clement was awarded the prize for Best Oralist.

The Oxford team had a great experience, and offer their thanks to the organisers, judges and our coach, Professor Joe Sampson (Magdalen). They are hopeful for a post-COVID return of the traditional post-moot dinner (though denariatio is unlikely to feature).