Law students from Birmingham, Sussex, Nottingham and beyond met at the University of Law in London on Saturday 16 August to compete in the Open University Law Society’s second annual novice moot.
The students faced a panel of judges including Suzanne Rab, a barrister at Serle Court Chambers, and Open University graduate Rebecca Penfold who is a pupil barrister at Dyers Chambers.
The moot problem concerned the application of s.76 Sexual Offences Act 2003, which states that there is a conclusive presumption of rape where the defendant has impersonated a ‘person known personally’ to the complainant in order to gain their consent. Students had to argue whether this provision should include a situation where the defendant gains the complainant’s consent by impersonating a celebrity who the complainant is a fan of but does not have a personal relationship with.
After three rounds, Peter Savory, a W200 student from East Sussex, emerged victorious. Peter wowed the judges not just with his legal argument but also his impressive advocacy style. He wins £25 of Amazon vouchers.
Commenting on his win, Peter said: “Saturday’s competition provided a terrific opportunity to put our legal learning to the test. I’d like to thank the OU Law Society for organising the event and the judges for their insights and guidance as we progressed through the competition.”
Peter commenced his OU legal studies in 2013, following a long career in the classical music industry. He has found the structure and flexibility of the course – with its programme of regular tutorials – ideal for someone returning to formal study after such a long break and hopes eventually to make a second career in the law.
The Open University Law Society run a series of events for OU students throughout the year, including careers talks, mooting workshops and socials. They also enter teams into external mooting competitions. In 2013 OULS teams won the ICLR national moot as well as the Lexis Nexis Welsh National mooting competition. Membership is £5 per year.