University of Auckland law students Jessica Palairet and James Rankin have won the 2017 Stout Shield and the Gary Davies Memorial Prize.
Jessica has also won the Geoffrey Powell Prize for best Stout Shield mooter.
Named after the late Sir Robert Stout – a former Premier of New Zealand and later Chief Justice - the Shield is Auckland Law School’s oldest and most prestigious mooting competition. Previous winners and finalists include former Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Justices Sir Peter Blanchard, Sir Robert Chambers and Sir David Baragwanath, as well as former Prime Minister David Lange.
The final, which took place recently in Court Room 1 at the Auckland High Court, was judged by Justice Courtney, Simon Mount and Julian Miles QC.
This year’s moot concerned two main issues: Whether expert witness immunity applied in New Zealand, and if New Zealand defamation law requires serious harm?
The other two finalists were Caitlin Anyon-Peters and Samuel Brebner.
Winners of the Stout Shield go on to represent the Auckland Law School at the Bell Gully National Mooting Competition during the New Zealand Law Students’ Association (NZLSA) National Conference. The winners of this Competition go on to represent New Zealand in the world’s most prestigious moot court contest, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition held in Washington DC in April 2018.