At Queen’s Law, training in advocacy is an integral part of our students’ legal education. First-year students often complete an oral advocacy exercise in their small sections and may participate in the Hicks Morley Moot in labour law. All upper-year students complete a course that enables them to develop essential legal research and written and oral advocacy skills. 

Upper-year students also have the opportunity to try out for positions on competitive moot teams and the chance to represent Queen’s in national and international competitions with other law schools. Queen’s mooters travel across the country and around the world, gaining valuable courtroom experience and meeting leading Canadian and international lawyers and judges. 

Our Moot Court Program is one of largest of any Canadian law school. Each year, teams from Queen’s Law compete in competitions in a wide range of legal areas including Aboriginal law, administrative law, commercial arbitration, constitutional law, criminal law, family law, human rights law, immigration and refugee law, international law, international trade law, intellectual property law, labour arbitration, securities law, tax law, trial advocacy 

Each year the number of mooters increases. At least one-third of all our graduates participate in a competitive moot during their time at Queen’s, with more than 75 students participating each year. This participation rate is among the highest of any law school in Canada. Our students’ record of success is remarkable, as evidenced by the number of trophies in our display cases.

2024-25 Moot Court Committee:

Alyssa King, Co-Chair
David Freedman, Co-Chair
Carol Johnson, Program Assistant
Jamie Milligan, Student Rep. 2023-24
Doug Ornawka Student Rep. 2023-24

 

Program Notices 2024-25

Competitive Moots


Not all moots are offered each year.  The Tryout Registration Form (aka Moot Ranking Form) found in Onedrive lists the pre-requisites for each moot we are participating in this academic year.

  • Adam Fanaki Competition Law Moot (3 credits)
    • An exceptional opportunity to tackle timely, complex civil or criminal issues in a growing field of law that strives to balance private economic incentives with the public interest. Held in Toronto.
  • Arnup Cup / Sopinka Cup (3 credits)
    • A judge and jury trial scenario in which each team examines and cross-examines witnesses, deals with evidentiary and procedural issues, makes opening and closing statements.  Regional Rounds held in Toronto. National rounds held in Ottawa.
  • Bowman Tax Moot (3 credits)
    • Canada’s first competitive moot on taxation and is administered by a committee of judges and practitioners. Held in Toronto.
    • Open to students on fall exchange
  • Corporate and Securities Law Moot (3 credits)
    • Of particular interest to students interested in business law. It is the only moot exclusively devoted to corporate and securities law in Canada.  Held in Toronto.
    • Open to students on fall exchange.
  • Fox IP Moot (3 credits)
    • An intellectual property law moot where the problem area annually rotates between trademarks, copyright, and patents. Held in Toronto
  • Gale Cup (3 credits)
    • The competition is based on a criminal law problem. In the preliminary round each school will moot twice, once as Appellant and once as Respondent
  • Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Law Moot (3 credits)
    • The IRCLM provides students with the opportunity to gain litigation experience. As participants, students tackle interesting, complex, and timely issues facing the immigration bar. Held in Toronto.
    • Open to students on fall exchange
  • Jessup Moot (3 fall credits and 3 winter credits = 6 credits)
    • The moot problem is usually based on some current yet controversial topic of public international law. Canadian rounds can be located in any province and hosted by a Canadian University. International rounds held in Washington, D.C.
  • John Jackson Moot (3 fall credits and 3 winter credits = 6 credits)
    • A simulated hearing in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system. Regional Rounds held in the Americas. International rounds held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Julius Alexander Isaac Moot (3 credits)
    • This moot focuses on an area of law in which issues of equity and diversity arise, often incorporating elements of critical race theory into the problem. It is named after the late Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, Julius Alexander Isaac, the first Black judge to sit on the Federal Court of Canada.
    • Held in Toronto
  • Kawaskimhon Moot (3 credits)
    • Kawaskimhon is a word of Cree origin roughly translated to “speaking with knowledge”. It is a consensus-based, non-adversarial moot that incorporates Indigenous legal traditions alongside federal, provincial and international law.
    • Documentary Film
    • Open to students on fall exchange.
  • Laskin Moot (3 credits)
    • The Laskin Moot is a national constitutional and administrative law moot named after the former Chief Justice of Canada.  It is required that there be at least one mooter pleading and arguing in each official language.
  • National Labour Law Moot (3 credits)
    •  A simulation of a grievance arbitration hearing before tri-partite panels. The moot rules restrict this competition to students in second year of J.D. program, as well as students combined degree program.
  • OTLA Cup (3 credits)
    • The competition involves the trial of a civil action and features opening and closing arguments, examination-in-chief and cross-examination of witnesses.
    • Open to students on fall exchange
  • Oxford International Intellectual Property Law Moot Competition
    • Queen's law school placed first in the Fox IP Moot in 2023 and have advanced to the Oxford IP Moot which takes place in the U.K. in 2024.
  • Tort Law (online) Moot (3 credits)
    • The moot problem generally relates to a recent decision of the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court.
    • Open to students on fall exchange
  • Walsh Family Law Moot (3 credits)
    • A competitve appellate moot dealing with current topics in family law. Held in Toronto at the Court of Appeal and judged by leading Ontario family law practitioners and judges.
    • Open to students on fall exchange
  • Walsh Family Negotiations Law (3 credits)
    • Students are given a complex problem and they must seek to negotiate a settlement with opposing counsel. Competitors are judged by the degree to which they explore interests, generate options and work effectively with opposing counsel to achieve a settlement that is as good as or better than their client's alternatives.
  • Wilson Moot (3 credits)
    • This moot will probably always present issues that raise or touch on section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as other provisions of the Charter and international human rights law.
    • Open to students on fall exchange

Eligibility Rules

 

Second and Third Year Students may try out for oralist positions for which they have the prerequisites. For most teams, the work begins in the fall term but students can apply their 3 credits in either the fall or the winter term by enrolling during the relevant add/drop period.  The Jessup,John Jackson, and Vis moots are 6 credit moots for full year enrolment starting in the fall term (See (D) below)  Letter grade for all positions.

Moot supervisors will accept expressions of interest from students for researcher or student coach through an application process. Students who will be present in Kingston for the entire academic year (Sept-Apr) will be given preference when applying for researcher and peer-coaching positions.

Note the following:

  • (A) A student may enroll as an oralist a second time in a different academic year on a different team.
  • (B) A student may enroll as a student coach for a team, including a team on which they participated as an oralist the previous year.
  • (C) A student may not hold two positions in the same academic year nor volunteer significant involvement with another team without the permission of the supervisor for the team the student is receiving academic credit.
  • (D) There is a limit of 1 researcher and/or 1 student coach per team.  The exceptions are the 6 credit moots,  ELSA, Jessup and Vis Moots,  which may have a different student coach and/or researcher in different terms with each earning 3 credits in the term in which they serve.
  • (E) You must be earning a JD or Combined JD degree from Queen's University in order to be eligible to participate in the program therefore incoming exchange students are not eligible.
  • (F) Exchange students are eligible for oralist, researcher, peer-coach positions; however, students who will be present in Kingston for the entire academic year (Sept-Apr) will be given preference when applying for the researcher and peer-coaching positions.
  • (G) There must be no conflicts with the Experiential Learning Policy found in the Academic Calendar.

Adhere to the Add/Drop dates for the term in which you are adding and dropping courses. You can only add your moot course via submission of the Competitive Moot Form which can be obtained from the JD Form area of the Portal.  Contact sarahe.taylor@Queensu.ca in the Student Services Office if you have questions about add/drop.

Tryout Information

Team rosters were announced via upper year listserv on September 18.

Oralists, researchers, peer coaches add their moot course by submitting the Competitive Moot Form to sarahe.taylor@queensu.ca by the add courses deadline for whichever term they want the credits applied to. If you need to drop a course do so through Solus as usual.

Note: If you added a moot course for fall term credit your fall transcript will show GD (grade deferred) until after the competition takes place and your final transcript is released.

Future applicants should refer to Experimental Learning Policy in the Academic Calendar to avoid exceeding the experiential learning limits. Questions about the policy may be directed to sarahe.taylor@queensu.ca

Contact: lawmoots@queensu.ca if not able to access documents or have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I participate in a moot while on fall exchange?

Please see the list of moots on the Moot Court Program website to see which moots are open to students on exchange in the Fall.

Students away on fall exchange who are considering applying for oralist, researcher, and coaching positions should be realistic about their ability to take on the additional medium to heavy workload in the fall term, and consider the difficulty of working together co-operatively across different times zones with team members, supervisor(s), organizers, and law administration. For the majority of moots, the official materials are received in the fall term and work commences immediately. A student must commit to the position applied for once accepted. Students present in Kingston for the entire academic year (Sept-Apr) will be given preference for researcher and peer-coaching positions.

Does it cost me to participate as an oralist in the Moot Court Program?

The oralists participating in the moot are reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to transportation, accommodation, and 3 meals when not provided by the competition.

Do researchers and peer coaches receive travel funding?

At this time only the participating oralists chosen by the Moot Court Committee during tryouts to represent Queen's Law in competition plus one academic advisor may apply for travel funding.

If I am selected for a competitive moot team during the tryouts, am I automatically enrolled in the Moot Court Program?

To add a moot course, obtain the Competitive Moot Form and email it to sarahe.taylor@queensu.ca by the add courses deadline in whichever term you are adding the moot for credit. Oralists do not need a team advisor's signature on the form BUT researchers and student coaches do. An email confirmation from the team advisor will suffice in lieu of signature on form.

Does mooting satisfy the advocacy requirement?

Yes, if you are enrolled as an oralist. No, if you are a researcher or student coach.

When and how will the results be announced?

The results will be communicated as soon as possible within one day of the tryouts ending.

Should a student wear formal attire to the tryout?

No. Your normal clothes are fine.

How should I address the bench?

"Justices."

What happens at the tryout?

Each student is given five minutes to present an oral argument on one of two cases to the bench composed of two faculty member plus two third year students who have mooted in the past but who will not be mooting this year.

Should I write out my argument in full?

Reading a prepared text detracts from the presentation. It encourages speaking too quickly, reduces eye contact, prevents smooth transitions after responding to questions etc. You should speak from notes containing points to be expanded in your oral presentation. If you are really nervous you can bring a full text but use it only in emergencies .

What are some of the procedures that I should be following?

State your name and which side you represent in this appeal from the judgment being appealed. You may wish to start with a very brief statement to really grab the Court's attention as to the importance of the case. Keep this short and not overly dramatic. Then provide the Court with a road map ie. an outline of your case. You could start by saying "Justices, I have two submissions". Avoid "I think" and "In my opinion". You are counsel making legal arguments. Briefly and crisply tell the Court what they are, and then start with your first and usually your best submission. Make sure you have a nice break between moving on to your next submission. Your submissions could be to support your main position or they could be alternative positions.

Sipping from a water bottle you bring may help your voice and to slow you down. You need to persuade the judges and get them engaged. Expect questions from the bench. Answer them straight away but do not be put off your roadmap. Expect to be cut off after 5 minutes.

Anchor your arguments in the present law but since this an activist court you may argue that the law should be changed.

How much research is supposed to go into this?

None. This is an advocacy rather than a research exercise so you are confined to anything in the edited version of the judgment under appeal.

What are the judges looking for?

In evaluating the tryout moots, the bench will consider the following factors, modified from the criteria used in competitive moots (in no particular order):

  • response to question(s)
  • clarity
  • ingenuity
  • persuasiveness
  • style and appropriate formality
  • choice of an argument appropriate to the allocated 5 minutes
  • familiarity with and use of the relevant authorities
  • knowledge of the substance of the topics at issue
  • correct and articulate analysis of the legal issues the case involves

The above can be stated in a different way:

  • Courtroom Manner - Did counsel demonstrate poise and composure in delivering his or her presentation; did counsel indicate the appropriate respect for the panel and the proceedings?
  • Legal Analysis - did counsel understand the issues and the law for and against his or her position; did counsel understand and deal with both his or her strong and weak points?
  • Organization of Presentation - Did counsel deal with the important issue and allocate time in an appropriate manner; did counsel organize his or her thoughts and present the argument in a logical manner?
  • Response to Questioning - Did counsel deal appropriately with questions asked; did counsel appropriately use the questions as an opportunity to put his or her arguments before the panel; was counsel able to return to his or her formal presentation after questioning?

Who decides which students will make the team?

Team members are selected by the bench on the basis of each student's performance at the tryout and on the information provided on the registration form.

How do I select which moot I want in the general tryouts?

On the Registration Form, available from the Moot Court Website, you are asked to rank each moot which you are interested in (and eligible for) in order of preference. Please submit the completed Registration Form by the add/drop date for whichever term you are enrolling for credit. lawmoots@queensu.ca 

Can a first year student try out?

Presently 1L's can try out for the Hicks Morley Labour Law Moot which is organized by the Labour Law Club in the winter term. Please contact them.
 

Researcher and Peer Coach Openings


Some team supervisors may wish to add a student coach and/or researcher to their team.  A list of open positions follow. Send your cv and unofficial up-to-date transcript to lawmoots@queensu.ca. Positions are open until filled in any case. Supervisors will reach out to the successful candidates.

We recognize the valuable contributions which researchers and peer coaches make to the program however our program funding is limited and can only be offered to the oralists who are actively mooting at the competition and one academic supervisor.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be enrolling in a graded course which has a written component which is memo length (10-15 pages). Read the description of duties stored in Onedrive (link is found under the tryouts tab)

  • Arnup Cup
    • peer coach
  • Bowman Tax Moot
    • peer coach
  • Corporate and Securities Moot
    • researcher
  • Fox IP Moot
    • researcher/peer coach
  • Gale Moot
    • peer coach
    • researcher
  • Immigration Moot
    • peer coach
    • researcher
  • John Jackson
    • peer coach
    • researcher
  • Julius Alexander Isaac Moot
    • peer coach
    • researcher
  • Laskin Moot
    • peer coach
    • researcher
  • Mathews Dinsdale, National Labour Law Moot
    • researcher
  • Walsh Family Law Moot (appellate)
    • peer coach
  • Walsh Family Negotiations Competition
    • peer coach
  • Wilson Moot
    • peer coach
    • researcher

Add your moot course by the add courses deadline of the term in which you wish to receive your credits (either fall or winter) by filling out the Competitive Moot Form found in the portal under JD Forms and submitting it to sarahe.taylor@Queensu.ca in our Student Services Office.