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Feb 05

Space Moot

Nine days until our written submissions are due. Okay, I don’t think I’ve explained what this space moot thing is that has occupied all my time since I finished work last week. It’s an international law mooting competition, based on space law. It’s an international comp, with the first round being a regional one. There are three regions – America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest, sporting 33 teams this year from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, China, Japan, and several other countries. (The winner of each regional round progresses to the world finals, but those are a long way away.)

Two 12,000 word memorials need to be couriered down to Adelaide by Friday next week. This is followed by the actual round of oral submissions, which will see around 30 teams fly into Sydney to argue out the case. These start in mid-April and are held over four days. Each team competes in four moots, done in a round-robin format, and the top 8 go through to the quarter-finals and it turns into a knockout.

It’s a long, drawn out process and writing these memorials reminds me of writing a thesis all over again. We had to rewrite most of everything last week as well. It’s not all bad though. Our coach works at one of those big city law firms, so sometimes she manages to book a meeting room there for us to have group meetings in. They’re pretty cool actually, you get in and this waiter comes around and takes coffee orders(!). There’s also a little bar fridge in each room filled with drinks for the taking and a neverending supply of Kool Mints and Kool Fruits. In the last couple meetings, we’ve even managed to edit a document working off a projector which beats crowding around a computer screen. And the views:

I mean, if you’re going to be crammed up inside in a room doing work when you should be enjoying uni summer holidays instead, this at least eases the pain a little. Nothing like watching the sun set over the harbour.

It’s a challenge working on documents this big in a team – version control is an issue. Also, different working styles make things quite trying sometimes – some people like getting things done early (ie, me), some are last minute people and so on.