Osgoode moot team advances to Commonwealth moot in Hyderabad, India

A team from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School has won the 2010 Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) LLP Gale Cup Moot, Canada’s premier bilingual mooting competition.

The four-member team of Christopher Harris, Brent Kettles, Marc Rodrigue and Jesse Sherrett prevailed over 16 other Canadian law school teams in the competition, which took place Feb. 27 and 28 at Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto.

Above: From left, Meghan Thomas, vice-chair, FMC Gale Cup Moot; Osgoode alumni and moot coaches Ngai On Young and Frank Au; Brent Kettles; Jesse Sherrett; Christopher Harris; Marc Rodrigue; and Frank Bowman, chair, FMC Gale Cup Moot

The FMC LLP Gale Cup Moot saw teams argue their moot before judges from across the country. The team was coached by Osgoode alumni Frank Au (JD ’00), crown counsel with the Crown Law Office – Criminal in Toronto, and Ngai On Young (JD ’04), assistant crown attorney in Whitby, Ont.

Osgoode mooter Kettles received the Dickson Medal as the top oralist for his outstanding advocacy in the final rounds.

This is Osgoode’s fourth time winning the Gale Cup, having won previously in 1994, 2000 and 2007. It is also the fifth straight year that an Osgoode student has received the Dickson medal as one of the outstanding oralists and the fifth year in a row that Osgoode has advanced to the final round in the competition.

"This is a feat unmatched by any other law school in Canada and is a testament to the tradition of excellence in advocacy at Osgoode," said Osgoode interim Dean Jinyan Li.

Having won the 2010 FMC Gale Cup Moot, Osgoode will proceed to compete in the 2011 Commonwealth Moot in Hyderabad, India. The Commonwealth Moot is a biannual competition held concurrently with the Commonwealth Law Conference. This will be the second time an Osgoode team has represented Canada in the Commonwealth Moot, having participated In 2007 at the Commonwealth Moot in Nairobi, Kenya.

This year’s preliminary matches were tight, but Osgoode was able to advance to the finals against some very high quality competition: Moncton and Victoria. In the closely matched final rounds, the Osgoode team edged out its three opponents. Ultimately Queen’s University finished second, the University of Windsor third and the University of British Columbia fourth. The final rounds were judged by Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Stephen Goudge of the Ontario Court of Appeal, and Justice François Doyon of the Québec Court of Appeal.

This year’s Gale Cup was based on the 2008 R. versus Illes decision of the Supreme Court of Canada. The case, a murder case involving a “head in the bucket”, where the court split on whether an erroneous charge to the jury constituted a “harmless” error and whether certain non-disclosure led to an unfair trial.

Named after former Ontario Chief Justice George A. Gale, the FMC Gale Cup Moot provides a valuable experience for law students in that it uses real judges and occurs in a courtroom instead of a mock venue.