OxHRH Managing Editor, Tom Lowenthal, Elle Tait and Surabhi Shukla (OPBP and OLA) came in runners-up in the 2nd National LSE-Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Moot held on the 3rd and 4th of March at the London School of Economics.
The moot problem was on the intersection of immigration law and sexual orientation. Before a hypothetical Immigration Upper Tribunal, the team argued whether the asylum claimant qualified for asylum in the U.K. on grounds that he faced a real risk of persecution in his home country owing to his sexual orientation. As the immigration law in the U.K. is positioned on this questions, the parties argue primarily on two points: 1. Whether the claimant is in fact gay, or perceived to be so, in his home country; and 2. Whether there is a real risk of persecution to the claimant if returned to his home country.
Accordingly, the team argued on these points from both sides, the claimant and the government in this competition which saw 5 orals rounds and 36 teams (drawn from a larger pool of at least 49 teams that had competed for a place in the oral rounds through a written submission).
Elle Tait and Surabhi Shukla got the opportunity to represent the government in the final before a panel of judges which consisted of S Chelvan (No. 5 Chambers and the architect of the DSSH Model which has been used since 2014 to determine gay asylum claims), David Bufton (Linklaters), Bojana Asanovic (Lamb Building) and Senior Immigration Judge Judith Gleeson (Upper Tribunal). Elle Tait was declared the best advocate.
Oxford was represented by another team, which emerged as the only undergraduate team to have made it to the semi-finals. Full story here: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-03-08-oxford-runner-second-lse-featherstone-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-moot