The event, supported by Herbert Smith Freehills and organised by organised by Wadham students and alumni in conjunction with the Oxford Law Faculty, drew an audience of some 200 people.
Guests included fifty school students from Wadham’s link regions who are interested in studying law at university.
The moot highlighted interpretations of equality law as applied to a school student with a disability.
A senior panel of judges heard from two undergraduate teams, Matthew Hoyle and Samuel Dayan, and winners Katie Ratcliffe and Thomas Foxton.
Judging the event at the University Church of St Mary were Dame Elish Angiolini QC, former Lord Advocate of Scotland and current Principal of St Hugh's College; Professor Anne Davies, Dean of the Faculty of Law; Mr John Bowers QC, Principal of Brasenose college; and Mr Ian Gatt QC, Head of the Advocacy Group at Herbert Smith Freehills.
Oliver Mills, the Organising Committee Chair commented: “A moot comes alive when the mooters engage with the other team and the panel of judges in front of them. The finalists this year were particularly adept at this, giving detailed and insightful responses to the demanding questions levelled at them by the esteemed panel of judges. Congratulations to all those mooters who took part.”
“I left the event with a better understanding of the enormity of the challenges faced by persons with a disability but also the positive opportunities to address them,” he added.
The moot was followed by a panel discussion (conversazione) on the subject of Disabled people and employment: rights protection, career progression and fulfilling potential, chaired by Wadham alumna and Oxford Councillor Marie Tidball (DPhil Criminology), Oxford City’s Mental Health Champion.
The panellists were Amar Latif, award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Traveleyes, Niall Strawson, Accessibility Adviser at the University of Oxford and Sarah Hewitt, Trustee of Research Autism.
Marie Tidball concluded: “I am very proud of the work the Organising Committee has done this year in producing an Oxford University event which is at the forefront of raising awareness of the intellectually demanding issues involved in legal cases about disability, amongst both students with a disability and those without.”
This event is kindly supported by Herbert Smith Freehills and coincides with UK Disability History Month.
Photos by Oliver Braddy & Julia Banfield