29 September 2015
Court is now officially in session at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
President of the Queensland Court of Appeal Justice Margaret McMurdo opened a purpose-built moot court on campus on Wednesday 23 September in front of members of the Sunshine Coast legal community, USC staff and Law students.
The facility, which has a bar table, judges bench and witness box, will be used for hands-on teaching and student assessment activities. It will also be the venue for mooting competitions and other events run by the USC Law Students’ Association (USCLSA).
Justice McMurdo, who also delivered the inaugural USC Law Oration last week, said the moot court would be a valuable facility for students throughout their degrees.
USC Law School Co-Head Professor Anne Rees said the space was designed using the Caloundra Magistrates Court as a guide and had the look and feel of a real courtroom.
“It means that students will feel well-prepared and understand the correct protocol when they start appearing in court as qualified lawyers,” Professor Rees said.
“It gives them a sense of standing on their feet at the bar table, addressing a member of the judiciary and communicating with confidence.
“This semester, it’s being used by our first-year students in conducting bail applications for their assessment. The student mooting competition is also being run by the USCLSA, which adds another great feature to Law School life.”
The moot court, which can also be used as a tutorial and seminar room, is equipped with audio and visual equipment with four cameras positioned to capture different angles.
USC Law Students’ Association Secretary Michael Jefferies said mooting competitions were a fantastic chance for students to test their skills.
“Advocacy in a real or modelled courtroom is a very different experience from that of an ordinary classroom,” Michael said.
“When we transition to real practice, the court environment is already familiar and we will be better prepared to do our jobs effectively."
— Gen Kennedy