Oras! Mooting Competition: Our two Essex representatives have now been selected!

Success among the frenchies

In case you haven’t heard, the Essex Board of the Association du Double-Diplôme Essex/France selected their first and second year Essex Representatives for the inter-university French and English Mooting Competition Oras!

On 11th December 2020, 16 enthusiastic participants from the French/English Law Double Degree fiercely competed with one another to win a place for the semi-final of the Oras! Mooting competition. Six first-year students argued against each other on Constitutional Law topics (afternoon session) while ten second-year students competed on French Contract Law (morning session). While the topics were undoubtedly technical, all competitors sailed through and provided a wonderful performance!

The two Zoom sessions were well attended, with an average of 35 people connected: friends and families as well as alumniof the Double Degree came to cheer on and support the participants; members of the prestigious FBLS and the President of the Alliance des Associations françaises en Grande-Bretagne, Jean-François Le Gal (barrister and French lawyer), also attended.

In order to select the crème de la crème as our Essex Representatives, the panel was composed of both professionals and academics. We want to thank Maître Jan Baudoin Lallemand (French lawyer), Dr. Xavier Aurey and Dr. Clotilde Pégorier who judged the performance of our first-year students in French Constitutional Law, as well as Maître Camilia Billon (French lawyer), Dr. Emmanuelle Lemaire and Dr. Laure Sauvé whojudged the performance of the second-year students in French Contract Law.

Given the outstanding performances from the participants, deliberations were long. Nevertheless, our two Essex representatives were finally announced: Ambre Schindler and Clara Prillard. Congratulations to them for a truly amazing performance!

Again, we want to emphasise how great all participants’ performance was: each participant displayed impressive public speaking and legal skills. We would like to pay special tribute to Marie Chaignier, Satheene Rahandi Chambrier, Calixte de la Presle (1st years), Alice Leroy, Alexandre Perin, Juliette Beynel and Yanis Aliouche (2nd years), who managed to win over their opponent!

It is our greatest pleasure to introduce our two Essex representatives:

First-year Representative :
Ambre Schindler.

Béatrice: Could you briefly introduce yourself  (name, age, area of law you’ll like to specialize in, what you want to do in the future/ Master’s degree you want to do after the LLB) and tell us why you decided to take part in the Oras! Mooting competition?

Ambre: My name is Ambre Schindler, I am 18 and I am currently studying in the double degree LLB English Law and French Law at the University of Essex. I want to specialize in the International Law field and maybe undertake a double Master 1 in Business Law at HEC/Sorbonne in France following this idea.

I chose to participate in this Mooting Competition not only because I think that learning how to plead is key to being a highly-skilled barrister, but also because I believe that this type of exercise can improve our understanding of how the law works in practice.

Béatrice: What subject were you given? Can you explain in a few sentences your core arguments?

Ambre: My topic was : “Do we need to remove the role of the Prime Minister in France ?”

I had to argue that the role of Prime Minister should not be removed in France. To convince the panel, I presented arguments which underlined the usefulness of this role in France; then I tried to counter-argument every point presented by my opponent. Finally, I persuaded the panel that the complexity of removing this important role would throw the French system into a constitutional chaos, which had to be avoided at all costs!

Béatrice: You have now become one of the two Essex Representatives in this Mooting Competition! Congratulations!!

This means that you will represent Essex in the next round, competing against students coming from King’s College, Queen’s Mary and Bangor Universities…How do you intend to prepare against such competition? What are your hopes/ dreams and maybe fears ?

Ambre: This is taking a much more serious turn as I now represent the University of Essex. In order to be well-prepared to face the other competitors, I will concentrate on developing my arguments in a very precise manner to lead the panel to the same conclusion as me. It would be a huge personal success to win the semi-finals and therefore I am quite apprehensive but at the same time super excited to start mooting again.

Béatrice:You will also receive the help of Mr Kingsleigh Viollett, alumnus of your program and now a successful barrister at College Chambers: what skills are you hoping to gain under his coaching?

Ambre: I am deeply honored to benefit from the precious and valuable advice of someone who has achieved what I want to be able to do (becoming a Barrister). Learning from him will teach me to act as if I were already a real barrister for the next session of Oras!.

Second-year Representative:
Clara Prillard.

Béatrice: Could you briefly introduce yourself (name, age, area of law you’ll like to specialize in, what you want to do in the future/ Master you want to do after the LLB)? And tell us why you decided to take part in the Oras! Mooting competition?

Clara: My name is Clara Prillard. I am 19 years old, and I am in my second year of the double degree LLB English Law and French Law. I am highly interested in Public International Law. Working as a lawyer at the United Nations would be my dream job. I decided to participate in the Oras! Mooting competition as it is a great opportunity to exercise pleading.

Béatrice: You were given a case whereby your client, Mr. Bonsky, faced legal proceedings started by Mrs Spatul. Mrs Spatul acquired online what she thought was a limited reproduction of the ‘girl with the balloon’ made by Banksy for 1200 euros! Instead, she bought a reproduction of this painting made by your client, Mr Bonsky. Your opponent argued that this contract should be null and void and that your client should pay damages. You successfully defended that the contract was enforceable. Can you explain in a few sentences how you managed to convince the panel?

Clara: I started by demonstrating that Mr Bonsky made a valid offer that Mrs Spatul accepted. Then, I explained that Mr Bonsky could not be accused of misrepresentation. Moreover, the mistake made by Mrs Spatul could not void the contract, as the mistake made had not been decisive and above all was inexcusable. I used the reasonable person test. Finally, I highlighted the ramifications that the panel’s decision against my client would have both for my client but more importantly for the law in general. I concluded that as the contract could not be void because of a mistake or misrepresentation, the contract had to be enforced.

In summary, I tried to present a structured answer, well supported in law and, of course, I tried to persuade the panel through using humour.

Béatrice: Can you tell us about your experience of the competition so far? What did you like about it? 

Clara: Taking part in the Oras! mooting competition was a personal challenge for me. 

I was excited to write a plea and defend the interests of my client. I put all my passion in defence of Mr. Bonsky. I enjoyed writing the plea a lot, and then playing it to all of you, as if it was a theater play in which I had to embrace my role as an actor to convince you of the honesty and innocence of Mr Bonsky.

This experience allowed me to improve my public speaking skills and gain self-confidence as well.

Béatrice: You have now become one of the two Essex Representatives in this Mooting Competition! Congratulations!!

This means that you will represent Essex in the next round, competing against students coming from King’s College, Queen’s Mary and Bangor…How do you intend to prepare against such competition? What are your hopes/ dreams and maybe fears ?

Clara: I cannot wait to compete against students coming from other universities. It is undoubtedly going to be challenging, but that is what makes the experience so exciting. To prepare for such a competition, I am going to think about the subject early, write my first ideas, come back to it, and then exercise a lot!

Nelson Mandela said that ‘when people are determined they can overcome anything’. Well, I can assure you that I am more than determined to make everyone proud of Essex in this Oras! Mooting Competition.

Béatrice: You will also receive the help of Mr Kingsleigh Viollett, alumnus of your program and now a successful barrister at College Chambers: what skills are you hoping to gain under his coaching?

I am truly honored to meet Mr Kingsleigh Viollett. I am hoping to learn a lot from his experience as a successful barrister. Under his coaching, I would like to improve my eloquence, my hand gestures, my self-confidence, and learn some tips. All of this will be crucial to plead in English during the final round because ladies and gentlemen I promise you that I am going to do my very best for us to get there!

Béatrice: We want to thank you, Ambre and Clara, for your answers and of course, we wish you the very best of luck! Congratulations to you again!

Article written by Béatrice Lallemand
Founder and Organiser of Oras!
Essex President of the Association du Double-Diplôme Essex/France.

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