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International Roman Law Moot


Sunday, 6 September, 2020

The University of Cambridge defeated the Universität Wien to claim victory in the Thirteenth International Roman Law Moot Court Competition on 4 September 2020. The team consisted of Adam Brown (Q), Jared Foong (CHR), Caitlin Moore (CHR) and Tom Williamson (JN), all of whom only recently completed Part IA of the Law Tripos. Mr Jean Meiring, Prof. Wolfgang Ernst, Prof. Thomas Rüfner, Prof. Jean-François Gerkens and Prof. Joe Sampson presided at the Grand Final.

In addition to the team’s overall honours, Adam Brown won the Palma Optimi Oratoris (Best Oralist Award), a fraction of a mark ahead of second-placed oralist award-winner Jared Foong. University of Oxford mooter Ruth Flame took the third-place oralist prize, while Cambridge’s Caitlin Moore and Tom Williamson were ranked fourth and fifth. Professor Gerkens observed that the standard of advocacy this year was higher than ever; Prof. Ernst described the Cambridge team’s written authorities as ‘the model’ of their genre.

In the Small Final, before Prof. Richard Gamauf, Prof. Constantin Willems and Professor David Ibbetson FBA (Regius Professor of Civil Law in the University of Cambridge), last year’s winners the Université de Liège secured third place, ahead of the University of Oxford.

Cambridge last won the IRLM in 2011—though the University was placed second for three consecutive years from 2015. In 2020, they take home a horse-head statue modelled on an original from 465 BCE, as this year’s libellus concerned a transaction involving a dressage champion, as well as the manufacture of plaster figurines. The Universität Wien won the palma victoriae in 2014, and was placed third at the Twelfth IRLM hosted in Cambridge and Ely in 2019.

The Thirteenth IRLM had been due to take place in Tübingen in April but was postponed until September and moved online, on account of the pandemic. Professor Ibbetson commented that this was almost certainly only the second Roman law moot to take place by videoconference call—following the Oxford v Cambridge Roman Law Moot Court Competition in July, and ahead of the inaugural Cambridge–Edinburgh Roman Law Moot to be held later this month.