A PAIR of Griffith University law students braved fierce international opponents in Hong Kong to win recognition at the Vis East Moot competition.
Michael de Waard and Cameron Lowe were given an honourable mention for their written claimants memorandum of argument, while de Waard was named first runner up in the best oralist component of the commercial arbitration.
The achievement was all the more impressive given the pair competed against teams with six speakers, and some with an additional six researchers. They made the final eight in a field of 60 international teams, only to be knocked out by Monash University, who progressed to the grand final.
“I was incredibly excited,” de Waard said about winning the runners up award. “I wasn’t expecting it, so it was a pretty big shock.”
Both Lowe and de Waard were helped to Hong Kong by team coach and senior law lecturer at Griffith, Therese Wilson, and partner Khory McCormick from Minter Ellison in Brisbane.
Minters provided sponsorship funds, as well as tactical help with regard to the written memorandum. Along with McCormick, Justice J.D.M. Muir of the Queensland Supreme Court offered pointers on the oral component of the arbitration.
“I definitely have a massive interest in international commercial arbitration,” de Waard said.
“It isn’t an area that’s huge in Australia at the moment, but it’s an area that’s really big in South East Asia and Europe,” he said. “Given that Australia does a lot of trade with South East Asia, I think it is growing in Australia, and could potentially be a pretty big area in the future.”
De Waard completed a clerkship with Minters last December, and will begin as a graduate at the firm in 2008.