This is the second year for the competition to be held on the Coleg's exhibition stand at the National Eisteddfod. After much vigorous competing, two undergraduate students from Aberystwyth University, Siân Jones and Martin Jones, made it to the final. Judging the final was the solicitor Emyr Lewis who awarded the first prize to Siân Jones. Congratulations to her!
This competition was established in 2011 to develop the ability of Law students to deal with legal material in both languages and to develop their confidence in discussing legal matters through the medium of Welsh. The competition provides an opportunity for competitors to develop their professional skills and it also promotes the use of the Welsh language in Law. It is part of a wider moot project run by Aberystwyth University which includes training sessions via video network with academics and professional practitioners from the world of Law. Learning resources for the project are also available on the Porth. The project has seen students from Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Glamorgan Universities take part in training sessions. Dr Catrin Fflur Huws, Director of the Centre for Welsh Legal Affairs and moot project manager said, “In legal history, the talent of the people of Wales as natural public speakers is very evident. The idea of competing orally also figures prominently in Wales’ cultural history. Therefore what could be better than a legal moot as training for future lawyers? And where better to compete in a moot than at the National Eisteddfod as a pinnacle for this activity?
The moot project has many objectives. Firstly, it is an opportunity to bring together Welsh speaking students from different areas of Welsh law, and to benefit from the friendly rivalry between us. It is also an opportunity for students to develop their legal research skills, and their presentation skills in a safe environment – no one has to worry about making mistakes, or feel uncertain about the standard of their presentation skills or the absolute accuracy of their language style. Everyone has their own tongue, and everyone has the right to speak the language that comes naturally to them. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity for development – to practise skills week in week out and to improve through practise and become comfortable using formal Welsh to discuss legal concepts. Thirdly, it is an opportunity to receive training from experienced practitioners – the lawyers, barristers and judges who will be colleagues and adjudicators of cases when students join the world of work. And finally, to quote one of the students who took part “Well, it’s fun isn’t it. It’s good for the CV, but the most important thing is that I’m enjoying myself.” That is the aim of the project, and that is why it exists.”