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Law students from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and the University of Sydney (USYD) will tomorrow night (15 September

Law students from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and the University of Sydney (USYD) will tomorrow night (15 September) compete in the inaugural Nicholas Cowdery Criminal Law moot.

The moot will showcase the universities' best mooters in front of an esteemed bench, including Justice Bell of the High Court, former director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery and Justice Fullerton of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Law student and vice president of competitions at UTS, Jonathan Ballo, founded the event along with the Rob Pietriche, a competitions director at USYD. The pair decided that a "really prestigious criminal law moot" had been a long time coming, especially given the two universities are just across the road from each other.

Ballo, who works casually at the Federal Court, said he "had a few contacts" and was very fortunate to have been able to arrange for such a well-regarded bench.

The competition will be based around a number of contentious criminal law matters focused on "substantial impairment of the mind".

"A murder has occurred, so it's up to the respondents to argue their case and direct the jury," explained Ballo. "The debate will be focused around mental health issues and what sort of crimes could arise from that. It will be a practical spin on criminal law."

Ballo said that the moot would forge a closer working relationship between both universities' Law Societies.

"The teams have no doubt worked very hard, particularly in the midst of their assesments and mid-semester exams...we are really looking forward to seeing them in action tomorrow night," he said.

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