Canada had a strong showing at the 2013 Commonwealth Law Moot, finishing second in the preliminary rounds and third overall. The competition was held in Cape Town, South Africa, and coincided with the Commonwealth Law Conference.
Held once every two years, the Commonwealth Moot is one of the most prestigious international moot court competitions in the world, showcasing some of the top young advocates from throughout the Commonwealth in a battle of national advocacy styles. Participating teams qualify by winning a national or regional-level moot in their home country or region and travel to a rotating host city to moot an issue of public international law.
This year, four students from Osgoode Hall Law School were selected to represent Canada after winning the CABA-Lenczner Slaght Gale Cup Moot in February. The team consisted of Phi Nguyen, Lara Kinkartz, Ian Perry, and myself. It was coached by Brent Kettles of Lenczner Slaght LLP and Gillian Roberts and Kim Crosbie of the Ontario Crown Law Office and received generous support from sponsors Lenczner Slaght and the American College of Trial Lawyers, Canadian Foundation Legal Conference.
The problem involved a dispute between two fictitious countries — the Socialist Republic of Alpines and the United Republic of Utopia — over the legality of and state responsibilities with respect to development of nuclear technology. It drew heavily from many of the conflicts characterizing the Middle East today.
In the opening round, Canada defeated a team from Kenya representing Eastern Africa and came up just shy in the second round against a team from Australia. Notwithstanding the loss, Canada’s collective point-score was good enough for second place overall in the preliminary competition.
In the playoff round, Canada advanced to the semi-final where it again lost a heartbreaker to Australia by a single point.
At the end of the day, a team of students from Oxford University representing the United Kingdom took top spot after defeating Australia in the finals. Canada’s Lara Kinkartz was named the top oralist in the preliminary rounds.
Chris Hunter is a member of the Osgoode Hall Law School team representing Canada at the Commonwealth Moot.