Mooting is the ideal way to put into practice the academic knowledge of the law gained during study for the LL.B., and to develop skills in presenting legal arguments as effective advocates. It takes the form of competitive legal debating through simulated court hearings in which questions of law must be determined in relation to a hypothetical case. The hearings can be at first instance or, more commonly, appeal. Two teams compete, each consisting of a senior and junior counsel. They argue the case as though in the Court of Session, the Sheriff Court or the House of Lords, as determined by the problem. Apart from the teams having to research the relevant areas of law in sufficient depth so as to be able to justify their legal submissions, and the remedy, interlocutor or decree sought, mooting is primarily about fostering skills of advocacy.
Glasgow has an extremely active student mooting society. Every year, a number of teams participate in Glasgow University, Scottish and UK-wide competitions. LL.B. students beyond first year can enter the law school's own internal mooting competition, the Dean's Cup Competition. Normally there are up to 40 participants who compete in knock-out rounds until the best two teams reach the final, usually mooting in front of a Senator of the College of Justice, though in 2006 the judge was Roy Martin QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and currently an honorary professor at Glasgow University, and in 2007 Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in the House of Lords, is the judge for the moot final. During the earlier rounds of the competition, moots are frequently judged by visiting advocates and solicitors.
In addition, Glasgow is the host institution and administrator of the annual Alexander Stone Mooting Competition. This has traditionally involved the five traditional Scottish law schools - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde. This competition also results in a final held at Glasgow and judged by a Senator of the College of Justice, and attended by members of the Stone family, including Lady Stone. Strathclyde and Glasgow have a separate annual moot known as the Sheriffs' Moot, since it is held in Glasgow Sheriff Court by invitation of the Sheriffs and Sheriff Principal of Glasgow.
At a UK level, there are a number of national inter-university competitions. The two most significant are the English Speaking Union - Essex Court Chambers National University Mooting Competition and the Oxford University Press Mooting Competition. Over forty to fifty teams usually compete in these. Glasgow reached the national final of the ESU in 2004, held in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The judges were chaired by the Hon Lord Millett, and also included Professor Vaughan Lowe of Oxford University and Bernard Eder QC of Essex Court Chambers. In 2003, Glasgow won the OUP competition.
The Glasgow Graduate School of Law often competes in the Jessup International Law Mooting Competition. This is an international competition which Glasgow forms a joint team with Strathclyde, having in recent years progressed beyond the UK round into the international section of the competition. This aspect of mooting is administered by Strathclyde rather than Glasgow (currently by Ms Therese O'Donnell).
Any students interested in mooting should contact Mr John Macleod at the start of the academic year and sign up to receive postings issued on the Mooting Forum.