Nikki Petersen and Emelia Baack, students in York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, are the winners of the first Twitter moot court (@twtmoot).
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, teams of students from law schools at Dalhousie University, University of Ottawa, University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, and York University argued a mock appeal entirely over the popular social media platform.
Judges Kathleen Mahoney, Omar Ha-Redeye, and William Deverell grilled teams in increments of 140 characters or less, in a case about First Nations, coal mining and an endangered caribou herd. Petersen and Baack (Team Osgoode) represented the West Moberly First Nations in the appeal, arguing that the nation's treaty right to hunt should extend to protecting a particular herd of caribou from coal mining impacts.
The moot's opening tweet set the tone for the lively debate that followed:
- All Rise – the Supreme #Twitter Court of Canada is now in session. @ProfMahoney @OmarHaRedeye @BillDeverell presiding
The best place to see the argument tweets alone is twitter.com/#!/wcelaw/twtmoot, scrolling back to see the competitors in the thick of their 140-character submissions. To see all posts, including those from outside commenters, search on the hashtag #twtmoot.
"Wonderful news about Team Osgoode's victory in the first Twitter Moot!" said Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin (@DeanSossin). “Congratulations to all of the participants, especially Osgoode students Nikki Petersen and Emelia Baack, on breaking new ground in legal debate."
Andrew Gage, staff lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law and Twitter Moot Administrator, congratulated Team Osgoode on their win on behalf of the organizers and judges.
“The Twitter Moot organizers and the judges would like to congratulate Emelia and Nicole on their win,” Gage said. “All of the teams did an incredible job and did their universities proud.”
In addition to bragging rights, Petersen and Baack will split a $500 prize. Team Osgoode was sponsored by Saxe Law Office. The event was organized by West Coast Environmental Law.
For more information about the Twitter Moot, click here.
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