Scholars Win Prestigious Competition

24 September 2021

Congratulations to Tuckwell Scholars and ANU law students Tom Dunbabin (2018), Ben Durkin (2018) and Maddy McGregor (2016) for jointly winning the Sir Harry Gibbs Constitutional Law Moot - Australia’s premiere mooting competition!

The competition brings together the nation’s top constitutional law mooters. This year, it involved teams from nineteen Australian universities and ran from 18 - 20 September. It involved a four moot round-robin, followed by knockout quarter, semi and grand final rounds.

As Team ANU, Tom, Ben and Maddy were announced as joint-Winners of the 2021 competition. It was the first time the competition has seen a drawn final, and the second win for ANU ever in this competition. Team ANU faced tough competition, knocking out University of Queensland in the Quarter Finals, University of Sydney in the Semi-Finals, and sharing the win with the University of Melbourne.

The problem, written by the Hon Justice Kristen Walker, concerned constitutional issues surrounding COVID-19. In particular, it raised issues around preventing entry of Australian citizens back into the country and co-opting State officers to implement Commonwealth policies.

In the Grand Final, Team ANU had the privilege of appearing before the Hon Justice Stephen Gageler QC AC of the High Court of Australia and the Hon Justices Perry and Moshinsky QC of the Federal Court of Australia. A recording of the Grand Final is available here.

The Semi Final also comprised of a formidable bench: the Hon former Chief Justice Michael Black QC AC FAAL of the Federal Court, former Justice Pamela Tate of the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal and former Solicitor General for Victoria, and Hon Justice Michael Wheelahan of the Federal Court of Australia.

Many Tuckwell Scholars studying law at ANU take the opportunity to engage with national competitions that put their skills to the test. Well done Tom, Ben and Maddy! 

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