Letters //

Moot schmoot

A letter from Hannah Ryan.

Dear Honi,

I write in response to the segment of last week’s Manning Files titled ‘Shaking in Your Moots’, and its extended online version ‘SULS red-faced after moot plagiarism’, which revealed that the problem question for SULS’ international law moot had been lifted from a textbook.

While I applaud any coverage of my very niche hobby, I question the ethics of publishing this story. Mooting questions are regularly adapted from old questions or real cases, although they are usually attributed to the original source. While the ‘author’ probably should have mentioned it was taken from a textbook, this is not even the best scandal involving SULS and dishonest conduct to come out of Sydney Law School in the last six months.

Even if we were to agree that the ‘author’ acted reprehensibly, he’s just some guy. There is no suggestion that anybody on the SULS executive had a clue that anything was amiss. So why bother using Honi’s significant circulation (50,000 according to Wikipedia, although I could have sworn it’s actually 4,000) to embarrass him?

Anyway, the real question here is why so many people were consulting Hall’s Principles of International Law. It’s certainly no Brownlie’s Principles of International Law.

Hoping for some better go$$ this week,

Hannah Ryan
Arts/Law VII