Competitive Moots Sharpen Students Skills

JFK Law’s Elin Sigurdson recently returned from the 2016 Wilson Moot Competition in Toronto, having co-coached this year’s Allard Law (UBC) team with Alison Latimer of Farris LLP.

The Wilson Moot is a national advocacy competition founded in 1992 in honour of the late Honourable Madam Justice Bertha Wilson.

Each year at the Moot, students from law schools across the country conduct mock appeals on a topic concerning equality rights and the Charter. This year’s problem surrounded the delivery of medically necessary health services to trans individuals seeking sex reassignment surgery, and involved challenging issues of discrimination, security of the person, and the responsible and proportionate delivery of public health care.

Elin said: “The competition is an opportunity for students to learn the practical, theoretical and strategic parts of advocacy. They learn many of the skills required to argue an appeal – from basics like how to address a court and how to use your voice effectively and clearly, to the difficult task of answering hard questions from an active panel of judges persuasively and respectfully without becoming flustered or lost. They learn how to present facts and law in compelling ways to advance their positions, and they have the experience of being more prepared than they will ever be for anything ever again in real life.”

The Moot values a collegial experience, and gives the students the opportunity to face colleagues from across the country and to forge ongoing relationships in the process.

Allard Law’s team, which included Jason Harman, Allison Morrell, Justin Manoryk, James Struthers, and Leah Whitworth, performed brilliantly to the great pride of their coaches. JFK Law congratulates them for their achievement and wishes them all success.

The Wilson Moot Team with Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada

The Allard Law Team with Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada