No bucket required

No bucket required

Three men entered a van; two men came out. The third man’s severed head mouldered in a white bucket as it was carried from place to place following his murder.

These are only a few of the interesting facts found in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Illes.

Teams from 17 Canadian law schools took up the challenge to appeal the case at the 37th annual Fraser Milner Casgrain Gale Cup Moot competition, held on Feb. 26 and 27 at Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto.

The FMC Gale Cup is Canada’s leading bilingual mooting competition, featuring two preliminary rounds of oral argument judged by members of the judiciary from across Canada.

Osgoode Hall Law School received top honours, qualifying to represent Canada at the Commonwealth Moot in Hyderabad, India in early 2011. Osgoode and other top finishers (Queen’s University, University of Windsor, and the University of British Columbia) had the privilege of mooting in the final round before Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice François Doyon of the Quebec Court of Appeal, and Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Stephen Goudge, who kept the mooters on their toes with insightful questions.

Finishing just off the podium in the English and French runner-up positions were the University of Western Ontario and Université du Québec à Montréal.

Thomas Tongue of the American College of Trial Lawyers presented exceptional oralist awards (the Dickson medals) to three students: Brent Kettles of Osgoode for his excellent submissions in the final round; and, in an unusual turn of events, Tim Duncan and Ben Blay, who mooted together on behalf of Western in the preliminary round, obviously displaying superb teamwork as well as individual merit.

The University of Victoria, UBC, and Windsor demonstrated their written advocacy skills, each taking home a factum prize.

Aside from a delicious dinner in the Great Hall at the Law Society of Upper Canada, the 2010 awards banquet featured longtime master of ceremonies Senator David Smith, who entertained and charmed the attendees and helped build suspense as the awards were distributed.

FMC Gale Cup Moot chairman Frank Bowman toasted Justice Petra Newton on her 20 years of involvement with the competition, including chairing the committee and acting as a judge of the moot.

I had the honour of recognizing Bowman’s 30 years of service to the moot, and later introduced Binnie’s keynote remarks, which in his customary style were both humorous and inspirational.

After dinner, participants dashed across the street for a post-banquet reception in the Churchill Room of the Sheraton Centre Hotel.

All in all, it was another successful Moot featuring fascinating jurisprudence, excellent advocacy, and great networking opportunities.

For more information about the FMC Gale Cup Moot, check out its public Facebook page and become a fan to receive updates. Watch for news on the 2011 edition (with or without severed body parts!) this fall.

Meghan Thomas is vice chairwoman of the Gale Cup Moot Committee√¢‚ÃÆ’‡Â¨Â¬Â— and director of professional development at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.

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