Congratulations to our Stout Shield winners

19 May 2017
Winners and shield - close up

Congratulations to law students Jessica Palairet and James Rankin, who have won the 2017 Stout Shield, and thus the Gary Davies Memorial Prize, with Jessica also winning the Geoffrey Powell Prize for best Stout Shield mooter.

Named after the late Sir Robert Stout – a former Premier of New Zealand and later Chief Justice - it is Auckland Law School’s oldest and most prestigious mooting competition. Previous winners and finalists include former Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Justices Sir Peter Blanchard, Sir Robert Chambers and Sir David Baragwanath, as well as former Prime Minister David Lange.

The final, which took place recently in Court Room 1 at the Auckland High Court, was judged by Justice Courtney, Simon Mount and Julian Miles QC. 

This year’s moot concerned two main issues: Whether expert witness immunity applied in New Zealand, and if New Zealand defamation law requires serious harm? 

The other two finalists were Caitlin Anyon-Peters and Samuel Brebner. All four students performed exceptionally well and dealt expertly with questions from the judges.

For James Rankin, who is currently completing his BA/LLB(Hons) conjoint degree, the contest was quite intense but ultimately an excellent learning experience.

“The opportunity to moot in front of very distinguished judges and knowledgeable practitioners teaches you a great deal about what real advocacy involves and the challenges it presents,” he said.

Winners of the Stout Shield go on to represent the Auckland Law School at the Bell Gully National Mooting Competition during the New Zealand Law Students’ Association (NZLSA) National Conference. The winners of this Competition go on to represent New Zealand in the world’s most prestigious moot court contest, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition held in Washington DC in April 2018.

The Law Faculty wishes to thank Simon Mount, Julian Miles QC, and Justice Courtney for judging the finals, and Simon Ladd and his team at Bell Gully who provided the mooting problem and kindly sponsored the finals.