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Moot Court Competition finalists (from left): Mr Tarun Sham, Mr Ndumiso Mlaba, with Mr Adrian Bellengere (middle), Ms Ayanda Dlamini and Mr Travus Louw.

For the past 50 years, the annual Ellie Newman Memorial Moot Court Competition has witnessed some of the best emerging legal minds among UKZN’s fourth year LLB students deliver legal arguments in front of esteemed judges from all spheres of the legal fraternity.

Celebrating the milestone anniversary this year with a maritime theme, the competition featured finalists Mr Tarun Sham, Mr Ndumiso Mlaba, Mr Travus Louw and Ms Ayanda Dlamini who displayed their legal prowess before Honorary Professor of the Law School, Dr Justice Malcolm Wallis; Honourable Justice Jacqui Henriques of the Durban High Court, and Executive for Maritime and Econometrics at the Moses Kotane Institute Dr Langa Dlamini.

Announcing Dlamini as the winner, the judges commended the four finalists for their commendable arguments and sharpened advocacy skills which will play a major role when they embark on their legal professions.

‘We liked the manner in which the finalists presented their arguments and the way they addressed the court. They obviously had taken lessons from their mentors on how to advance submissions,’ said Justice Wallis, adding that the high level of skill displayed by all the finalists made it difficult to choose the winner.

Dlamini says winning this year’s competition was an assurance sign she has been looking for in her Law career.

‘I have faced uncertainty and doubts as to my suitability to be an individual within the legal profession,’ said Dlamini. ‘I believe my performance in the Moot Court was good and I walked away from the experience determined to still improve as there is so much more I can learn.’

The Dean and Head of the School of Law, Mr Adrian Bellengere, said mooting was regarded by the School as an essential component of a well-rounded legal education and an important stepping-stone for entry into the legal profession. It is compulsory for all final-year students.

‘This year we were privileged to have the Honourable Dr Justice Malcolm Wallis – the winner of the inaugural Ellie Newman Moot Competition in 1972 – as one of the presiding judges in the Moot Court,’ said Bellengere.

The semi-finalists and four finalists received certificates and awards for their participation.

Words: Samukelisiwe Cele

Photograph: Albert Hirasen