First-year moots

As a component of the first-year Legal Research and Writing course, all first-year students will experience and participate in a moot. Mooting offers a forum for the development and presentation of legal arguments in the context of an appeal case, as well as a vehicle for the exercise of legal research and writing skills. Throughout the course of the moot experience, students will:

  • research and write a memorandum of law identifying and responding to the issues raised by assigned factual problems
  • prepare a factum of law modeled after the factum filed by practicing lawyers with an appellate court, and finally
  • present oral arguments as counsel for either the appellant or the respondent before a panel of faculty and upper year student judges

All members of faculty participate in the creation of the problems assigned to designated student groups, in the supervision of students engaged in the process of research and preparation of argument, and in the evaluation of and response to student performances. The program is designed to provide a constructive learning experience in legal advocacy for all first-year students.

Upper-year moots

Kawaskimhon means "speaking with knowledge."

The Kawaskimhon Moot is a national forum where questions regarding Aboriginal legal issues are debated and negotiated by law students from across Canada.

The moot is structured on the traditional Aboriginal circle consensus-building process. It is designed to allow law students to debate and discuss Aboriginal rights issues vital to Aboriginal peoples.

Students selected for the Kawaskimhon Moot will receive 3 credit units for the course in either the first or second term. Participation in the Kawaskimhon Moot straddles both terms, beginning in October with the selection of the team and receipt of the problem and culminating in the moot in late February or early March.

The Gale Cup Moot is argued in Toronto every year and is usually on a criminal constitutional program. Judges from the Supreme Court of Canada have traditionally been present to adjudicate the final arguments.

Students selected for the Gale Cup will receive 3 credit units for the course in either the first or second term. Participation in the Gale Cup Moot straddles both terms, beginning in October with the selection of the team and receipt of the problem, culminating in the moot competition in late February or early March at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto.

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot competition focuses on an international law topic. U of S College of Law students compete in the Canadian regional competition, and the winner of this competition goes on to compete with law schools from around the world. In 1991, the team from the U of S College of Law finished first in the international competition held in Washington, D.C. In 1999, our team won an award for best memorial (written argument) at the international level.

Students selected for Jessup will receive 3 credit units which they can designate in either their first or second term. Participation in Jessup straddles both terms, beginning in September with selection of the team and receipt of the problem. The selected students work toward the Canadian Jessup moot competition which takes place in late February or early March, and changes locations annually.

This moot was established in honour of the memory of Chief Justice Bora Laskin of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Laskin Memorial Moot is a bilingual moot which is hosted by different law schools in Canada every year. Students prepare appellant and respondent factums and, as a team, are expected to present oral arguments in both official languages (at least one mooter per team must present in Canada's other official language).

Students selected for the Laskin Moot will receive 3 credit units for the course in either the first or second term. Participation in the Laskin straddles both terms, beginning in October with the selection of the team and receipt of the problem, and culminating in the moot competition in late February or early March.

The course involves preparation and participation in a trial advocacy moot initially involving the six western Canadian law schools, followed by a national competition. Students selected will receive 3 credit units for the course in either the first or second term. Participants are involved in a juried trial relating to a problem in evidence, criminal procedure and/or criminal law. Participants are expected to prepare opening juror addresses, examinations-in-chief and cross-examinations of witnesses, and closing arguments. In addition, there is research in various evidentiary points which arise during the course of argument.

Unlike other moots, this moot is patterned after a trial rather than the argument of a case on appeal. The problem is likely to involve evidence, criminal procedure and criminal law. Students involved hone their skills in courtroom advocacy.

Recognized as the leading event of its kind in Canada, the Davies' annual Corporate/Securities Law Moot provides an opportunity for top students from Canadian law schools to debate current legal issues in corporate and securities law with senior practitioners from Toronto law firms and corporations, regulators from the Ontario Securities Commission and judges. In addition to the formal moot competition, students have the opportunity to meet and socialize with other participants as well as many of the senior lawyers, regulators and judges who sit as justices for the competition. 

Students selected for the team will receive 3 credit units for the course in either the first or second term.

The Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot is Canada’s first and only national moot court competition devoted to environmental law. Its goal is to promote awareness of the growing role of environmental issues in contemporary legal practice and public life, while enhancing law students’ written and oral advocacy skills.

The competition takes the form of an appeal before a Canadian court of last resort, bringing together law students, judges, leadings lawyers and legal academics to explore cutting-edge environmental law issues. The inaugural competition case focused on the measure of damages for contaminated land.

The moot is open to all Canadian law schools. Teams consist of two or three students enrolled in a JD/bachelor of laws or equivalent degree program. Each team files a factum for one party. At the oral hearing, teams argue one side of the appeal in their first match and the other side in their second. The playoff and final matches are judged by senior appellate judges. Teams present their factums and oral argument in English.

Students selected for the team will receive 3 credit units for the course in either the first or second term.

Note: The Environmental Law moot is offered every other year. The U of S first competed in this competition in the spring of 2015.

The Donald G.H. Bowman National Tax Moot is Canada’s first competitive moot on taxation. The Moot is named after the Honourable Donald G.H. Bowman, former Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada.

Five students will be selected annually to participate in the Donald G. H. Bowman National Tax Moot held in Toronto. The moot will involve research and advocacy, both oral and written, and will allow students from Canadian law schools to debate current legal issues in taxation law with senior practitioners from Toronto law firms and corporations and tax court justices. The seminar is recommended to those with an interest in advocacy, exacting research and taxation issues.

Students selected for the team will receive 3 credit units for the course in either the first or second term.

The Canadian National Negotiation Competition provides a means for law students to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. The simulations deal with the same general topic, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of the competition. The winners of the CNNC are eligible to advance to the International Negotiation Competition.

This is a non-credit moot. The team is chosen at the college-level competition held each October.

Mooting in the news

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