Conor Kennedy and Stuart Sanders have won the Grand Final of the inaugural Herbert Smith Freehills Oxford Disability Mooting Championship, which took place in Keble College Chapel on 22 November, coinciding with UK Disability History Month. It has been established by Wadham College graduate students and the Oxford Faculty of Law.
The first Moot Court competition to be established by the Faculty which focuses solely on legal issues affecting persons with a disability, the Grand Final was judged by Professor Timothy Endicott, Dean of the Oxford Law Faculty, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers KG PC, former President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court, Mr Ian Gatt QC, Herbert Smith Freehills’ Head of the Advocacy Unit, and Ms Helen Mountfield QC, Matrix Chambers.
Conor Kennedy said, ‘Having not expected to progress past the group stages, it was an unexpected and quite intimidating honour to moot in front of the esteemed panel. The extremely interesting and finely balanced moot problem made it a thought provoking and fantastic experience.’ Stuart Sanders added, ‘We particularly enjoyed the stimulating panel discussion which followed the moot and were also very pleased to be able to be part of the wider disability awareness aspect of the event.’
The Grand Final was followed by a Conversazione moderated by Lord Macdonald QC, Warden of Wadham College and former Director of Public Prosecutions, on the theme: Building on the Paralympic Legacy: Social Attitudes, Equality Law and Participation in Public Life.
Lord Macdonald commented: ‘This was an outstanding event and I hope it will become an established part of the Oxford legal calendar. There is so much to be done to raise awareness of disability issues in Oxford and around the country and the Disability Mooting Championship is a brilliant and thought provoking contribution to this much needed work.’
The Herbert Smith Freehills’ Ability Network was set up to raise awareness of disability issues inside and outside the workplace, challenge perceptions and encourage sharing of information and dialogue.
Posted: 4 December 2014