13th December 2017
Moots are commonly used to give would-be lawyers practice developing an argument by giving them the opportunity to examine hypothetical cases.
The Barking & Dagenham College students have a homicide module on their Access to Law course and so their tutor decided to teach them using a moot; some students acted as the prosecution and some acted as the defence lawyers in a realistic murder trial, with a judge presiding.
Students were presented with a hypothetical murder case and then they went through the entire process of doing a hearing and making submissions to the judges (who were ‘Moot Champions’ from London South Bank University).
They were expected to follow court etiquette, so that it was like a real-life experience of giving a submission in court.
This sort of activity is very common as part of a law degree, but is a rarity at college. Their tutor, Nadia Ali, who is qualified as a barrister, says that: “I did not take part in moots until I was studying to be a barrister, so this is a really special and valuable experience for our students. It gives them a feel for what it will be like at university.” As well as teaching at Barking & Dagenham College, Nadia is also a BBC radio presenter with her own show on Sunday evenings on the BBC Asian Network.
Student participant Elise Ernestine Del Rosario, 21, from Barking Riverside said: “Taking part in simulated court proceedings was such an incredible experience. It has given me perspective, because there can be two convincing sides to the same fact. Nadia (our course tutor) has been so motivating and supportive and has been a role model for us to perform to our highest ability, and I cannot thank her and the college for giving me such an opportunity!”
Another student Darakshaan Khursheed, 32, from Dagenham added his thoughts: “Unforgettable experience where I gained confidence and strength that made me realise that nothing is faraway. Every moment spent with the teachers and mentors like Nadia enlightened me to the worldliness that cannot be edified elsewhere. I cannot show my appreciation enough for the motivation and inspiration I gained through trials and reflections provided by this college.”