Since the 1960s, the University of Ottawa has been building a strong competitive mooting program at the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. In the 1960-1961 school year, only four years after the Common Law Section’s inception, The Honourable Lee Ferrier (LL.B. 1962) and his partner, the Honourable Roydon Kealey won the Moot Trophy from the Law Society of Upper Canada. The competition took place in Toronto and was the only moot competition at the time. Since then, The Common Law Section has continued to build a strong competitive mooting program. Over the past 20 years in particular, we have developed an international reputation as not only one of Canada’s top advocacy schools, but also one of the world’s leading advocacy programs. We have done this by investing in our mooting program, which has achieved success on the international stage that is unparalleled in Canada.
A moot court competition is an activity in which students take part in simulated court or arbitration proceedings. This usually involves drafting memorials or memoranda and participating in oral arguments.
In 1971/1972, Sheila Block (LL.B. 1972) and Joyce Harris (LL.B. 1972), of the University of Ottawa’s all women team, were the only women competing in the Law Society moot. They won the championship trophy and graduated as Gold and Silver medalists respectively. The Common Law Section has continued this trend of mooting excellence as the only school to have won the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot three times. The Vis is the world’s largest moot with over 300 schools participating. The University of Ottawa began participating in 2001 and has won the competition three times since then. We have also won the Canada round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot seven times in the past 12 years, a remarkable record. We have won numerous domestic and international moots and our mooters have garnered many individual awards.
The Common Law Section has trained some of Canada’s greatest advocates, including David Scott, OC, QC, LL.B. 1960, Stephen Victor, QC, LL.B. 1966, the Honourable Allan Rock, PC, O.Ont. QC, LL.B. 1971, Sheila Block, LL.B. 1972, Janice Payne LL.B. 1974, Michael Edelson LL.B. 1975, Peter Cronyn, LL.B. 1977, Lawrence Greenspon, LL.B. 1978, David Nahwegahbow LL.B. 1980 and Ronald Caza LL.B. 1987. Furthermore, we have trained advocates who are recognized as being amongst the leaders in the younger generation of advocates in Ontario, including Ranjan Agarwal LL.B. 2003 (Bennett Jones); Nadia Effendi LL.B. 2003 (BLG); Nadia Campion LL.B. 2005 (Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb); and Katie Black LL.B. 2009 (Edelson Friedman Black). We look forward to continuing to train top advocates, a large part of which comes from fostering student excellence through our mooting program.
We encourage any alumni who participated in the competitive mooting program to share their stories with us by emailing them, along with a photo, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tagging us in them on twitter @uocommonlaw.
Photo: The Honourable Lee Ferrier LL.B. 1962 and the Moot Trophy from the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1960-61.