Students argue mock murder appeal

Exercise provides taste of courtroom

The appeal of a murder conviction requires intense study, not only of pertinent
law but also the facts of the case. This is true whether the attorney is
arguing on behalf of the convicted person or responding on behalf of the Crown.

Students of the Cayman Islands Law
School recently got a
taste of court room advocacy and preparation, assuming their place as
appellants and respondents in a mock Court of Appeal for the school’s annual mooting
competition. Mooting is arguing a legal matter in a simulated court session.

The finalists for the law school’s 2010
internal competition were Jason Clayards and Michaela Pultr, representing the appellants;
and Nan Erb and Nassim Give, who represented the respondents.

Students argued their cases involving
two grounds of appeal relating to a murder conviction.
Legal argument focused on whether the defendant could rely on the defence of
provocation and whether the defendant had legally caused or contributed to the
death of the victim by his actions.

Director of Legal Studies Mitchell
Davies was the judge hearing arguments. He said it was a very closely fought competition,
with strong performances by both teams. In his ruling, he determined Ms Erb and
Ms Give to be the overall winners of the competition based on their advocacy
and presentation.

The law school runs these simulated
courts each year in order to give students the opportunity to develop skills of
presentation and persuasion. The students receive feedback on their efforts.

Mr. Davies praised the students, all of
whom are in their first year, for their commitment, preparation and
performances. He hoped they would compete again, consider taking part in
overseas competitions and encourage other students to take part in this type of
educational experience.

He also thanked Ms Deborah Barker, the
professional practice course leader,
for her work in ensuring the success of the competition this year.