Alternate title: Den[ton] there were 10
It’s that time of the year again – people, decked out in black and white, wondering if they could be of any further assistance to the court. We all know what we’re talking about – the dreaded LARC moots. Regardless of whether you actually pleased the court, or were just pleased that it was over, the LARC moots were definitely a special moment in everyone’s journey as a freshman and as a student of the law. Speaking of ‘special moments’, the same can also be said for this year’s edition of the Dentons Rodyk moots, as it enters into its tenth iteration. The best of the best duked it out in the moot court to decide who was the best mooter in the entire level.
Much like in previous years’ edition of the Rodyk Moots, a fortunate five would get to plead their case in front of a panel of esteemed judges. This year, we were graced by the Honourable Justice Choo Han Teck, as well as partners from Dentons Rodyk, Mr. Lek Siang Pheng, and Mr. Paul Wong. Fun fact: did you know that Justice Choo graced the first ever Denton Rodyk moots as well? What a great way to hold the tenth edition of the Moots!
It has been said that one should always start with your strongest case. We cannot vouch for the truth of that statement, but Natalee Ho was first up this year. Confident and composed, she deftly handled the judges’ questions on Zurich Insurance and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act, all the while managing to establish a rapport with the judges – over a double-sided bundle of authorities no less. Nonetheless, despite much questioning by the judges, time was on her side, and she left the stand almost unscathed. We were excited to see how the rest would handle the cases.
Up next, it was Abigail Fernandez, who demonstrated that she, too, could be cool under fire. Despite the sustained questioning, she showed her earnest belief in her position. Even when the discussion went into a tricky area of consent and abortion, she was unfazed and showed a good understanding of Singapore’s policy and of her (very detailed) bundle of authorities. In the background, the LARC tutors looked on, nodding in agreement.
The third mooter was Shaun Cheng, who was tasked with making a case for an objective standard for the mentally ill. He laid out his case decisively for the courts once he took the stand. His methodical approach and strong sense of logic seemed to win the judges over to his side as there was a lull in questioning. But once the questioning began, it was out of this world (literally), as the bench and Shaun discussed the foreseeability of a defendant who believed that he was on another planet. But the discussion finally returned to earth, after such a calm and collected performance, the stand was ceded to the next participant.
Last year, besides “Build a wall”, 2017 also brought us a “Lock her up” chant. Seeking to make a case for “crooked Hill”, Dion took the stand to clear her of any allegations of contravening the Organised Crime Act. While he might be Team “I’m with Her”, the judges were not immediately with him, as the questions begun coming relentlessly. However, Dion put on a valiant performance, clearly believing in the strength of his case. Soon after, the bell rang, signaling that his time was up, and Dion was ready to be of no further assistance to the court. But, his hope of being saved by the bell was short-lived as the judges continued their questioning regardless. The exchanges that followed thereafter had the audience roaring with laughter. But as with all fun times, it soon came to an end as he was done pleading his case.
Last, but definitely not least, it was time for Wee Jong Xuan to take the stand. Like the four before him, he was comfortable and his performance was undeniably conversational and measured. Even though Ally Azalea may not have won her case, Jong Xuan’s demeanor definitely won over the judges as he maintained his rhythm, even as the judges subjected him to the same relentless questioning like the four before him.
After a short deliberation, and possibly the shortest judgment one may ever encounter in law school, the results were released.
Champion: Natalee Ho
First Runner-Up: Wee Jong Xuan
2nd Runner-Up: Chan Khoon Hong, Dion
Consolation: Abigail Anousha Fernandez, Cheng Si Yuan Shaun
The event finally came to a close, but not before a short word by Assoc Prof Eleanor Wong, who on behalf of the faculty and the LARC department, thanked Denton Rodyk for their contributions and remarked that hopefully, the moots will go on another ten years more. Foreshadowing perhaps? Well, like any law student has been taught to answer, that depends.
Photos taken by: Amy
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