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My name is Eógan Hickey and I am a first year BCL International student.

I am running for the position of Moot Convenor for the 84th session of the UCC Law Society. I would firstly like to commend the outgoing committee for their tremendous work this year. In particular, I would like to congratulate Cian Dennehy for the marvellous work that he put into Moot as Convenor. I have decided to run for this post due to the incredibly positive experience I had competing in the first year Moot this year, and in spectating the semi finals and finals of the main competition. I am also running as I believe I can bring many innovative ideas (outlined below) and much enthusiasm to mooting within UCC Law Society. Moot is one of the few activities which is peculiar to the Law Society within UCC and it is something which the society has a terrific pedigree in. I am strongly of the opinion therefore that it should be to the fore of Law Soc. Under my stewardship, I would ensure that this is the case. Experience: The post of Moot Convenor is primarily an organisational role, and as such I feel I would be well suited to it, having had much experience in similar, organisational positions. I was a member of the 2010/2011 S.H.A.R.E. (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) Executive. This involved organising activities for elderly people, visiting an elderly person weekly, organising and being part of a large-scale collection of money on the streets of Cork at Christmas time, and doing 90 hours of street collection. In fifth year of secondary school I was also a member of my school's Meitheal Team, to which I was elected secretary. This involved helping to organise a school open day and running various activities for first years including a soccer tournament, talent show and cinema trip. I also flyer for FLAC. Undoubtedly, interest and experience itself in moot is also essential for any moot convenor and I have this. I took part in the first year moot this year and (at the time of writing) have reached the semi-finals. I have also observed other moots, including those of the main competition and the Faculty-run Gala Moot Court Final. Training and Development: The current model of holding a mooting skills workshop at the beginning of the year functions quite well, giving prospective participants a taste of what mooting entails and teaching them skills which may prove very effective if put to use in the competition. Previous convenors must therefore be commended for their work in this area. However, two problems persist. The first problem is that, while the workshop does indeed give those with little or no mooting experience a taste of what moot is about, it is merely that, a taste. It is not until their first competitive moot that most first-time mooters really come to understand the concept of mooting. My solution to this is simple. I propose to stage an exhibition moot at the beginning of the year between two experienced teams (possibly a re-match of a moot that had occurred before) which could be watched by first-time participants. This, I believe would showcase to a greater extent some of the concepts of moot such as court etiquette, style, how to answer questions and would generally be conducive to an overall understanding of moot.

The second problem is that, while the information and skills taught in the workshop are extremely useful, they are often forgotten when it comes to actually writing a skeleton and presenting an argument. My solution to this would be two-pronged. I would firstly hold more regular workshops. Some of these would be specific to mooting skills and would be conducted by both experienced mooters and those who have judged moot, while others would be advocacy-orientated, with a possible link to speaker development. I would secondly propose that a Mooting Handbook be put together. While the current Moot Rulebook gives some direction in terms of language and etiquette, it does not cover useful skills such as how to format an argument, how to put together a skeleton, the much greater emphasis on application to facts in moot than in academic writing and so on. The proposed hand book would cover all of this and more but would be simple and concise. It would be ideal as participants at every level could refer to it as they prepare for their moots should they need to. Marketing Moot: Many law students express an interest in moot at the beginning of the year which they don't follow through on, and many more express regret that they didn't partake at the end. These people need to be targeted if we are to increase participation. Moot is a superb way to develop one's legal skills and knowledge of the law. Aside from this, it acts as great revision for law students and is impressive CV material for the legal professions. These benefits need to be brought to the attention of students and I intend to do this by running a large-scale PR campaign directed at those who have never mooted before. This would be done through posters around Áras na Laoi (with building-staff permission), class announcements and of course social media. This, I hope, would increase participation in what is one of the few activities exclusive to Law Soc in UCC. The First Year Competition: The first year competition is crucial in getting fresh talent involved in moot and it is also highly beneficial to the student. As a Peer Support leader next year I intend to strongly push the competition among first years. Given that it is quite well run at present, I would opine that there is little that can be significantly changed in terms of overall structure. However, a number of minor problems were apparent this year which I think really ought to be addressed. Firstly, the competition has been ongoing for a long time, and this is becoming more of an issue the closer we get to Summer exams. I would aim to have the competition done by January, by starting towards the end of October and holding a round every two weeks, with a break for assignments. This, I believe, would make it easier to get judges and would be more convenient for both participants and convenor. Secondly, I would lay out ground rules for judges of the first year competition. There have been incidences of judges being unnecessarily harsh, and near-abusive to participants in the first year rounds. Judges (particularly barristers) must understand that this is the participants' first time mooting and indeed it may even be their first ever attempt at any kind of public speaking. Additionally, the subject matter has only recently been learned and first years do not have the legal skills of a second or third year. Judges must be aware of this, and as a consequence, be more lenient on participants. A degree of respect should be shown toward participants at all times. If elected, I would ensure that all judges are made aware of the above in advance.

Main Competition: Naturally the final of the main competition is the highlight of the UCC mooting calendar, and, having watched rounds of it myself, I know just how exceptionally high the standard of the main competition is. In light of this high standard, I would encourage more spectating of the main competition rounds, to showcase good quality mooting to all of law. Spectating would only be allowed with the teams' consent up to the semi finals. From the semi finals on, spectators would be allowed to attend regardless of the competitors' consent, as I believe that anyone who reaches such a level in moot is more than capable of performing well under high pressure. Again, as with the first year competition, certain rules ought to be laid down for Judges. Respect for participants, who have been brave enough to participate and who have put much work in, must be shown at all times. Judges ought to be courteous at all times and should not be allowed to interrupt participants mid-presentation, as has occurred previously, given that there is ample time allocated for questioning at the end. Additionally, I would encourage feedback from judges which is written as well as oral. The above would apply to first year rounds as well. Format of Both Competitions: Uneven numbers and team dropouts have caused headaches for many a moot convenor. Various ideas as to how to get around this have been suggested in the past, (some incredibly complicated) but at present there exists a system of awarding bys to counter this. I propose a tweaking of this system to ensure greater fairness. I propose that bys be awarded on the basis of merit, with those who have attained the highest average scores in previous rounds receiving a by. Where an odd number exists and no rounds have yet been held, I propose a three-way match system between the last three teams to sign up, which I will explain in better detail at hustings. These changes I believe would result in a fairer system, and would ensure a better quality of competition. Communication: A number of issues persist in this regard which I believe are easily solvable. I think the days of using email as the sole means of communication between the convenor and participants are over. Few students check their umail account more than once a day, and many even less. This can cause problems when it comes to sudden, last minute changes. In addition to this, there is no way of knowing if a message has been seen and communication between email recipients themselves is difficult at best. I simply propose a Facebook group for both competitions. This would solve all the above problems. Most of us are constantly wired into Facebook, allowing for immediate communication. Group communication is easily facilitated and it is possible to know who has or has not seen a post. While this may seem somewhat trivial, this would, I believe, overcome most communication difficulties. Irish Language Mooting: As someone who has much grá for my native tongue this will be of particular interest to me. Bréagchúirt Uí Dhálaigh is a competition in which UCC have a very good

record. I aim to do everything I can to continue this, and will advertise it to all law students with good Irish, particularly those who took Dlí Bunreachtúil in first year. Additionally, I would like UCC to host its own Comórtas Bréagchúirte. Given the high participation by law students in an Comórtas Díospóireachta run by An Chuallacht this year, I think there may be enough interest to run such a competition. The Jessup Moot: Cian Dennehy cannot be commended enough for taking the initiative to enter UCC's first ever team into the prestigious Jessup moot. It cannot be denied that the team did exceptionally well, particularly given their lack of preparation time compared with other teams, with one team member winning fourth-best speaker. It is my intention to build on this success next year. If elected, the first thing I would do as Moot convenor would be to publicise the availability of places on the team, and I would aim to have the team put together by early May at the latest. As with last year, participants would be chosen on the basis of CVs containing all relevant mooting, International and Human Rights Law experience. Again, the team would be chosen with faculty input, should they be willing. An academic incentive for partaking in Jessup (as exists in other colleges) is something which is badly needed, given the sheer volume of work required from participants. It has been suggested previously that the faculty give certificates to those who partake in Jessup, which would be available on their transcripts. This is something which, if elected, I will lobby heavily for. Expansion: Following on from Cian's success in expanding Moot in the direction of Jessup, I intend to grow it further. I believe that the time is now right for UCC to host its own Intervarsity Moot. I will firstly say, that I fully comprehend that this is no small task, however, I see no reason as to why UCC should not host its own Intervarsity competition. The benefits of doing this should not be understated. Such a competition would give UCC Law Soc the chance to showcase itself in a way that it never has before - both to the rest of UCC and to the visiting Colleges. It would also allow give all of law a chance to view a moot of a very high standard. As I have acknowledged, this would require a very significant effort. Faculty support would be essential and that is something that I would push for. An Intervarsity sub-committee would need to be set up and this would comprise of representatives from every year plus the Moot Convenor, Vice-Auditor and Advocacy Officer. I believe first year involvement in particular would be imperative and I would therefore reserve at least one third of the places on the intervarsity sub-committee for first years. If this were to be a success and become an annual event, as I see it, it would be essential for there to be a strong cohort of first years with experience of running it who could take over next year. Conclusion: Thank you for reading my manifesto. I hope I have conveyed just how enthusiastic and committed I am to developing Moot within the Society.

As I have previously noted, Moot is one of the few activities which Law Soc, and only Law Soc, offers within UCC. I believe it should therefore take a more central role in the society, and I feel that the ideas outlined above are the best way in which to do this. Some of my ideas, most notably for a UCC Intervarsity Moot, are big and would be difficult to implement. I acknowledge that. However, with the right level of enthusiasm, dedication and commitment as well as careful planning, all of my manifesto can be implemented. I think have all of the above, as well as the time (as a second year). Any experience I have had with Moot and with the Law Society in general has been wholly positive, and I hope that, with your help, I can give something back. If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at eogan.hickey@umail.ucc.ie, on the Law Society forum or at hustings. Again, thanks for reading!