A Memorial University student group will compete at the upcoming Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition, in Toronto, Ont., from March 15-17.
The competition is being hosted by York Universitys Osgoode Hall Law School. It is the first time Memorial has participated in the competition.
MUN Law was formed earlier this year by arts students Alex Marshall, Dan Kalbhenn and Tanisha Connolly. All three are interested in future law careers.
It is important for undergraduate students who are interested in becoming lawyers or just interested in the Canadian legal system in general to have access to legal education, be it legal mooting competitions, more legal courses at Memorial or whatever, said Mr. Marshall, a third-year economics and political science student, who will compete at the Toronto event. Undergraduate students at Memorial need more opportunities to engage in their legal system and the Osgoode Cup Mooting Competition does just that.
Mr. Marshalls fellow team members are Josh Carey (first-year physics and math), Emma Huang (second-year political science and Spanish) and Daniel Rees (first-year archaeology).
Arts alumnus Kyle Rees (BA 09, philosophy major and history minor, diploma in applied ethics, 09) is an associate at ODea Earle and is coaching the team. He explains that mooting refers to arguing a legal case in circumstances where the result will not have any real-world effect (making the argument more or less moot).
The case the students will argue at the Osgoode Cup is the case of R versus Gomboc, a case decided by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2010.
The students will be arguing both sides of a case concerning the admissibility of evidence seized by police officers who put a covert power meter on the site of a suspects home to determine if he was running a marijuana grow operation inside, said Mr. Rees. Its a case that asks students to engage in a discussion of the proper balance between the right to privacy of your home and utility data, and the ability of the police to effectively police the drug trade.
Mr. Rees believes that having a good understanding of oral advocacy is not only important for would-be lawyers, but for anyone who plans on contributing to the discussion surrounding crucial legal issues.
Undergraduates in arts, sciences and other fields can benefit from being able to cut to the quick of a dispute and get at the central issue at stake in any discussion. Undergraduates who have a good understanding about how the law works are well-placed to become leaders in their communities, and be informed voters, volunteers and mentors, he said.
MUN Laws moot court team is currently looking for sponsors at local law firms and other organizations to offset the cost of their trip and the personal expenses of team members. Those interested in helping the team compete can contact Kyle Rees at firstname.lastname@example.org