Nick Whittington is the winner of the 2004 Bell Gully Victoria University of Wellington Mooting Competition.
Whittington impressed the competition judges, Court of Appeal judge Justice McGrath, Bell Gully partner Jill Mallon and Victoria University Law Faculty Lecturer Antony Shaw at the event held in the Wellington High Court on Thursday night, 20 May 2004.
The winner was presented with the Sir Richard Wild Memorial Cup, and a cash prize kindly provided by English barrister John McLinden in memory of John Thomas, former Dean of the Victoria University Law School.
Whittington, runner up Ana Ilic and second runner up Chelsea Payne will represent the university at the Australasian mooting finals in Sydney in July.
The finalists will be joined by Richard May to represent Victoria University at the national competition, to be held in Wellington in August. The winning team from that competition will then represent New Zealand at the Jessup Competition in Washington D.C. next year.
A moot is a fictitious legal case argued by law students in front of a judge. Mooting was practised in England as early as the fifteenth century, and was once the principal method for training law students. Thursday's night moot involved an argument about Maori customary rights and the Bill of Rights.
Whittington and Ilic were the second placed team at the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna earlier this year.
Leading commercial law firm Bell Gully is a long-time sponsor of university mooting in New Zealand. The firm helps to organise mooting competitions at each New Zealand university and funds the national winners to attend the international competitions.