(Published Oct 2016, revised Dec 2016)

These rules are not exhaustive and may be supplemented by the UKLSA according to the needs of the competition. The smooth running of the competition is of primary importance and the UKLSA retains discretion to decide upon any matters that are not covered by these rules.

1.      Each team should have two law students.

  1. Each team will include at least two students at any stage of their legal education – one taking the role of Lead Counsel and the other of Junior Counsel.
  2. Roles do not need to be fixed throughout the competition and can be changed by a team.
  3. ‘Legal education’ includes students currently studying for their QLD, GDL, BPTC or LPC. For any other course to qualify, it must be a course of study that is a professional requirement for a person to become a barrister, solicitor, chartered legal executive, government lawyer, legal academic, patent/trade mark attorney or costs lawyer.
  4. Prospective law students may join the competition if their institution agrees that they may represent their institution.
  5. Teams should provide a volunteer (non-mooter) on the day of the moot in order to assist the Judge if required.

2.      Replacement mooters are permitted.

  1. On approval from the UKLSA, replacement mooters are allowed in cases where a mooter is unable to undertake a single moot for a valid reason. Replacements must be made before the day of the moot.
  2. If one of the two team members drops out and is not replaced, leaving only one person to make all submissions in any round, then, with the consent the Judge, the remaining team member can make submissions for that round, but the team should recruit a second person before the next round.

3.      Moots should be in English.

  1. Teams must submit documents and make oral submissions in English.

4.      Mooters normally have 15 minutes each.

  1. The UKLSA suggests that both Lead and Junior Counsel for both Appellant and Respondent should aim to keep their submissions to 15 minutes each.
  2. The Judge has ultimate discretion as to the time that is given to mooters during each moot.
  3. If there are any concerns over unfairness in timing, mooters are permitted to politely raise this with the Judge directly during the moot.
  4. A volunteer should be available to keep time if the Judge directs this.
  5. Both teams should discuss the format and details for the moot in advance.  The host team is responsible for ensuring that a plan for the day of the moot is circulated. 

5.      The clock is not normally stopped.

  1. The default position is that interventions by the Judge and the competitors’ replies to interventions are included within any time limits, meaning that ‘the clock’ will not be stopped for questions or responses.
  2. This position applies only if no other directions are given by the Judge on the day.

6.      The host team should find a Judge.

  1. The host team, on prior agreement with the opposing team, is to find a suitable Judge and communicate the name and occupation or background of this Judge to the UKLSA on the day of the appointment.
  2. If the opposing team objects to the suggested choice of Judge(s), it must give reasons for doing so to the host team and to the UKLSA.
  3. If the reasons for any objection are not expressly supported by the UKLSA then the appointment will stand.
  4. If the UKLSA supports an objection then a new Judge must be found.
  5. If a team fails to secure a Judge, the UKLSA may choose to take over the judging of the moot.
  6. The UKLSA can judge based on skeleton arguments, or can direct that the moot is to be judged remotely via video transmission (the host team is to find a suitable venue with video system in place).

7.      Judges must be independent.

  1. There are no requirements as to the qualifications of the Judge, but the Judge must be independent.

8.      The host team goes first.

  1. Teams can agree upon who is the host team.
  2. The host team goes first, but this can be changed on agreement between the parties, or by the direction of the Judge.

9.      The host team is responsible for administration.

  1. The host team must provide the Judge with information for the moot:
    1. the skeleton arguments of both teams,
    2. a copy of these competition rules,
    3. the moot problem,
    4. the lists of authorities of both teams, and,
    5. a copy of the UKLSA Judges’ score sheet.
  2. The Judge’s information must be provided to the Judge in good time before the Moot begins to allow the Judge reading time.

10.    Expect the problem seven days in advance.

  1. Teams should be prepared to receive the moot problem seven days prior to each individual moot.

11.    Exchange skeleton arguments three days in advance.

  1. Teams must exchange their skeleton arguments by 6pm three clear days before to the date of the competition.
  2. When exchanging skeleton arguments, the teams must send a copy to the UKLSA’s moot organisers.
  3. Exchange by email is permitted.
  4. Teams should use their judgement as to the length of their skeleton arguments.
  5. Teams must provide a list of authorities with their skeleton argument.
  6. Unless the moot problem instructs otherwise, teams should use their judgement when deciding upon the number of authorities that they will rely upon.

12.    The host team should find a venue.

  1. Unless otherwise directed by the UKLSA, the host team is responsible for securing the moot venue.
  2. Any disagreement in relation to the venue must be notified to the UKLSA.
  3. Should the teams fail to agree upon a suitable venue, the UKLSA reserves the right to make a selection, or to direct the teams as to how a selection should be made.
  4. The UKLSA normally expects moots to be advertised so that other law students, members of a University or the public can attend.

13.    Teams must accommodate the disabled.

  1. Both teams are both jointly and wholly responsible to make reasonable provisions for disabled participants or observers.
  2. Both teams must ensure that reasonable checks are made to ascertain whether reasonable adjustments might be necessary to allow participation or observation by any disabled person; and that reasonable adjustments are in fact made.

14.    Teams must keep the UKLSA updated.

  1. Both teams must share any updates or issues relating to the moot as soon as it is possible to do so.
  2. Notification can be via email. .
  3. Each team has its own responsibility to provide the score sheets with any judge(s)’ comments to the UKLSA.

15.    Mooters should be reliable.

  1. Except in truly extenuating circumstances, mooters must keep their commitments to participate in a moot, even if they are underprepared on the day.
  2. Opposing teams should remind each other of the date and time of the moot, confirm their attendance and co-operate to keep the moot on-track,
  3. both teams are responsible to keep a moot on track when problems arise.
  4. Mooters and volunteers must not simply fail to turn up on the day of a moot without truly extenuating circumstances.
  5. If a Judge becomes unavailable close to the scheduled date and time of the moot, then alternative arrangements must be made urgently.
  6. Mooters must ultimately be respectful to the fact that their counterparts, opponents and the moot organisers are committing time and effort to participate in and to facilitate the moot.
  7. Mooters should also be minded that complications can arise for the national competition overall when deadlines are missed or moots do not proceed at all – which can result in discrepancies in the numbers entering future competition stages. Furthermore, mooters should be aware that if they do not turn up for a moot, it usually becomes significantly more difficult for the proposed venue or Judge to be secured in future competitions.
  8. Extenuating circumstances are those where it would be unreasonable for discourtesy to be afforded in all of the circumstances due to a mooter’s failure to participate.

16.    Moots must take place on time.

  1. Moot times can be changed by agreement in advance between the teams.
  2. Moot dates are set in advance and cannot be changed to a later date.
  3. Teams can agree an early date for the moot, but must inform the UKLSA if they do so.
  4. If a moot takes place on an earlier date than the date prescribed by the UKLSA, the teams must exclude any non-competing mooting teams (who will have their own moot using the same problem at a later date).
  5. If one team fails to appear on the day of the moot then the team who does appear will win the moot by default.

17.    Moots are open to the public.

  1. All moots should normally be advertised within a college or institution and are to be open to anyone who wishes to watch.

18.    Points can be deducted.

  1. Failure to comply with any of these rules can lead to points being deducted from any teams at the UKLSA’s discretion.

19.    Mooters can be disqualified.

  1. At any stage of the competition, the UKLSA, including the competition organiser(s)/officer(s), have the discretion to disqualify any mooter or team(s) that fail(s) to comply with these rules, with the spirit of the competition, or who interferes with the running of the competition in any way.
  2. If a team is disqualified, then their institution cannot present another team in the same competition.

20.    There are no appeals.

  1. There is no appeal from any decision made by a Judge, or from any administrative or other decision made by the UKLSA, including its competition organising team.


Rules updated by: Alex Matheson

Oct 2016

Revised Dec 2016