The University of Ottawa’s common law team scored a first place finish at the national championships of the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition earlier this month in Toronto and will now head to the U.S. to compete against thousands of students in the international round.
The annual moot, organized by the International Law Students Association involves a fictional international law case argued before the International Court of Justice. This year’s case concerned a developing country’s attempt to enter an economic union of developed countries.
Previous topics at the Jessup moot have addressed issues such as human rights, extradition, and economic sanctions.
Coached by Professor Anthony Daimsis, Ottawa’s common law section team of Érik Labelle Eastaugh, Gerald Griffiths, Kirsten Odynski, and Hilary Young were undefeated, and ranked first after the general rounds of the competition, going on to win the final round.
The University of Ottawa students will now travel to Washington D.C. on March 25, where they will represent Canada at the Shearman & Sterling International round. The team will face 2,000 students from six continents for three days of preliminary moots with those achieving the highest scores advancing to the final rounds.
The university’s civil law section team of Kim Gauthier-LeBreton, Kim Heafy, Patrick Plante, and Juliette Yip also won the Ronald St. John MacDonald Award for best memorials overall at the national championships of the Jessup moot, and came in first for the best respondent’s memorial.
In other moot competition news, Queen’s University not only hosted this year’s Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Cup held earlier this month, but also won the Bergeron Clifford Award for best team. Four schools participated in this year’s event, with each team sending two advocates and one or two witnesses.
The annual competition, which has students participating in a mock trial before a jury, focuses on civil litigation and advocacy skills. This year’s event was presided over by Ontario Superior Court Justice Helen MacLeod, and included volunteers from the OTLA and the Kingston, Ont., legal community who sat as jurors.
Queen’s student Elle Morris also won the Tim Boland Award for best overall advocate and the George Bonn Award for best cross-examination, while the Paul M. Mann award for best closing went to Sean Warshawski, also of Queen’s.
The Will Barristers Award for best opening at the OTLA Cup went to Jessica Ko of the University of Windsor and the Greg Monforton Award for best examination in chief was awarded to Anna Szczurko of the University of Western Ontario.
While the competition is funded by the OTLA, financial prizes for the competition are donated by its members, with winners also invited to attend a special breakfast at the OTLA’s spring conference, says OTLA executive director Marsha Phelps.