Melbourne University Law Students' Society

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2017 Victorian Bar Witness Examination Competition


Do you want to be the next Harvey Specter? Do you have an inherent urge to rectify the beliefs of those who disagree with you? Are you the most persuasive person you know? If you answered yes to any of the above, we recommend that you enter the 2017 Witness Examination Competition.

The Witness Examination Competition is a simulated civil or criminal trial. Teams consist of two students: one barrister and one non-competitive witness. Teammates may alternate or swap roles for different rounds as desired, or may choose instead to focus on one role each for the duration of the competition.

Teams will be required to develop a theory of the case and to present this case to the judge. As the barrister, you will act as counsel for either the prosecution or defence. Your task is to ascertain the facts of the case through the examination and cross-examination of witnesses.As a witness, you must memorise the facts of the case prior to trial and must testify in accordance with those facts.

Registration Details

Time committment: Witness Examination does not require research.  A problem case will be sent out to the nominated first team member of each team approximately 48 hours prior to the competition. The barrister should commit two hours to read the problem several times and to formulate an argument. It is recommended that one or two more hours are used to rehearse your examination in chief with your witness. However, remember that the more effort you put in prior to trial, the more prepared you will be for whatever may happen in court.

The witness can spend considerably less time preparing. All that is required of the witness is the memorisation of the witness statement, and perhaps the rehearsal of answering questions. As such, it may be in the interests of each team to change which partner occupies the role of the witness and barrister in order to balance the workload and time commitment to this competition over the semester.

Team size: 2 members.

Attire: Please wear business attire to your witness examination.

Registration is closed for 2017 and will reopen in 2018!

Key Dates

Information Session:

Wednesday 1 March

  • Room G08 1:00PM-2:00PM
  • You can download the powerpoint slides here.


Wednesday 15 March

  • Room G08, 1:00PM-2:00PM with Andrew Palmer


Round 1: 

Semester 1, Week 4: Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 March

Round 2: 

Semester 1, Week 6: Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 April

Round 3: 

Semester 1, Week 8: Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 April

Round 3:

Semester 1, Week 10: Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 May

Quarter Final: 

Semester 2, Week 2: Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 August

Semi Final: 

Semester 2, Week 5: Monday 21st August

Grand Final: 

Semester 2, Week 7: Wednesday 6th September at 6:30pm for a 7pm start at Federal Court



Download the 2017 Victorian Bar Witness Examination Competition Guidebook here.

Score Sheet

Download the Score Sheet here.

Previous Winners

2016: Ruben Clark and Ishita Mattoo

2015: Marijana Banovac and Yusur Al-Azzawi

2014: Elizabeth O’Brien and Ash Perriman

2013: Zan Mazharullah and David Adam

2012: Julian Chant and Victor Lei

2011: Daniel Holmes and Jesse Winton

2010: Tom Ickeringill and Courtney Mclennan


2008: Owen Webb and Rohan Hockings