As part of the York Law School’s tenth anniversary celebrations, you are invited to a public moot featuring two teams of students from the School, with Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrbarti acting as judge.
A moot is an oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. The case will be appeal from the (real) case of R (on the application of AM and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKUT 372 (IAC). The case illustrates some of the current strains around the rule of law.
The rule of law is central to the idea of a free society. It holds that society is governed by law, and not by the arbitrary whims of individuals (and thus stands in contrast to tyranny) and that law applies equally to the governors and the governed (‘no-one is above the law’). Such is the commitment to the rule, and to respect for it and for cognate principles like the independence of the judiciary, that until recently it was impossible to imagine that its foundations were shaky and adherence to it a matter of choice. Yet, on both sides of the Atlantic, the rule of law has come under sustained pressure.
The case began as an application from four children who had survived for varying periods in the notorious “Jungle” in Calais, in northern France, until the camp was demolished in October 2016. In each case, the Upper Tribunal decided that the Home Office had acted unlawful in refusing then transfer to the UK. The Upper Tribunal ordered the Home Office to admit the children into the country and to remake the decision lawfully. Despite this, the Home Office decided that the four children did not have the right to enter the UK.
In a further hearing, the Upper Tribunal found that the Home Office had failed comply with the Tribunal's orders and judgments. Further, the Secretary of State's conduct in all of these cases had been inappropriate. It has failed to adhere to the high standards expected of government departments in judicial review litigation.
The moot will be an appeal by the Home Office against this decision, opposed by the applicants. There are two legal questions, so there will be two mooters for the Home Office and two for the applicants. Each mooter will have 10 minutes to make her/his case. The event includes a short judgment from Shami Chakrabarti as the Judge and an opportunity for the audience to ask the mooters about the case or the experience of mooting.
York Law School Ten Year Celebration Event
Shami Chakrabarti is Britain's leading human rights campaigner. Labour's Shadow Attorney General and a member of the House of Lords, Shami is an Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Bristol and the University of Manchester, an Honorary Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge and Mansfield College Oxford and a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. She was the Director of Liberty, the National Council for Civil Liberties from 2003 to 2016 and the Chancellor of the University of Essex from 2014 to 2017. She is the author of On Liberty, an impassioned defence of human rights, published in 2014. Her latest book is Of Women: In the 21st Century (Allen Lane).
York Law School
York Law School at the University of York is an inspirational place for study and research. Its innovative teaching and forward thinking approach keep it at the forefront of legal education.