On 27 September 2017 the final of the Justice Sir Robert Chambers Memorial Moot for 2017 was held in Courtroom number 1 at the Auckland High Court.
The Moot is named in honour of Sir Robert Chambers, who was a Supreme Court Judge. He was Bankside Chambers member Lady Deborah Chambers KC husband. Sir Robert died in 2013 unexpectedly in his sleep. Sir Robert was a keen supporter of academic law and in particular the Auckland University Law School where he lectured after his return from Oxford having been awarded his PhD in 1978.
The Moot recognises Sir Robert outstanding legal career and his close association with the faculty of law. Throughout his life Sir Robert supported legal education and continuing professional development. He was appointed to the New Zealand Council of Legal Education as the Chief Justice representative. More to the point, he was an all-round terrific guy with a fantastic sense of humour and a great friend of many of Bankside members.
The Moot is for law intermediate students who are in their first year of university. It aims to foster a love of mooting at an early start in a law student career. The research indicates that the sooner student start mooting, the better they become. Auckland Law School is now recognised as a strong contender internationally in mooting competitions. This is in part due to the early uptake of mooting which is encouraged by the Dean of Auckland Law School and the Auckland University Mooting Society.
The Auckland University Mooting Society itself was formed by Sir Robert step-daughter, Caitlin Hollings, whilst she was a student at Auckland Law School, so there is a strong family connection. Lady Deborah Chambers KC sponsors the Sir Robert Chambers Moot and participates as a Judge each year.
This year there was another Bankside Chambers link to the Moot. Tiaan Nelson, who works for Kate Davenport KC as a junior and had also worked at Bankside Chambers for Lady Deborah Chambers KC whilst he was at Law School, wrote the 2017 problem.The four finalists were Bronwyn Wilde and Tate Fountain for the appellant and Zheng Tan and Andrew Mei for the respondent. Judging the Moot was Justices Christine Gordon and Gerard Van Bohemen, both of who sit on the Auckland High Court Bench, and Lady Deborah Chambers KC.
The Moot problem involved the law of privacy and an Elon Musk character. All characters were named from the Game of Thrones. The Judges commented that all four mooters were of an exceptional standard, particularly given they are so new to law. None of the mooters had the opportunity to study the law of torts. The Moot aims to encourage law intermediate students to see the practical application of their learning and experience the fun and challenge of mooting.
The winners on the night by a close margin were counsel for the appellant, Bronwyn Wilde and Tate Fountain.