Writing a good
moot problem is difficult and time consuming. It is best done by an
expert in a particular field of law, who can best identify contentious
Some examples of
mooting problems can be found here,
and also in the mooting books. This page aims
to provide some assistance for those who wish to try and write their
Where to start
A good starting
point is often a Supreme Court case featuring strong dissenting
arguments, or where the judges state that if the case was somehow
factually different, their decision might not have been the same. A
moot problem can then be formed around the facts of such a case, or by
combining the legal problems in two cases.
Keep an eye on
the papers or the Law Society Gazette for current case law - many legal
journals will publish articles giving useful case commentary on areas
of law which are not clear.
Laying out the moot problem
generally three sections to a moot problem:
- The facts
Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and
broke his crown and sued Wellmaker Ltd for the cost of crown repairs,
accusing them of negligence in constructing the hill.
- The [first
instance][Court of Appeal] judgment
Rhyme LJ in
the Court of Appeal found for Wellmaker, and stated that there was no
Nursery LJ and
Favourite LJ agreed.
Wellmaker could not have anticipated Jacks actions, since the use of
taps and buckets was now well established. i.e. The actions were not
Wellmaker could not be held liable for damage to property worn on the
head (Smith v Bloggs  All ER 3144).
- A statement
of the grounds of appeal
appeals to the [Court of Appeal][Supreme Court] on the grounds that
actions did not have to be foreseeable under Lord Holt's judgment in
Fishy v Case  AC 322.
Wellmaker was liable under the common law for damage to property worn
on the head since it was required ceremonial dress.
Good Moot Problem
The best mooting
problems have legal issues which are equally arguable either way, with
equally important authorities supporting each line of argument. The
result is then as much of a mystery to the writer, as to the mooters.
- There should
be at least two distinct, clearly stated, and equally arguable points
of appeal. This is necessary for mooters to easily divide their
- The facts
should be unambiguously stated as the facts may not be disputed. A
mooter should not be required to say 'We do not know from these facts
- The problem
areas should be legal rather than procedural. Although mooters can
argue procedural issues with reference to authority, a moot is usually
more interesting if a novel legal issue is raised.
- It is usual
practice to refer to a couple of cases in the text of the problem, with
references, to give the mooters a starting point for their research.
- The names of
the parties should be chosen with care. Amusing names can be used, but
similar names e.g. Peek & Poke, will cause the mooters problems.
written the problem, please do send MootingNet a copy, and we
can then make it available for other mooters to use.