2016 Grand Moot a Resounding Success

Nick Papageorge (2L)

The Grand Moot, as ever, lived up to its name. This year’s event was especially monumental, for it inaugurated the Rosalie Silberman Abella Moot Court in front of everyone’s favourite judge herself.

Students began to line up over an hour before the event; by the time the doors opened, the throng extended into the atrium. The lucky ones took their seats amongst the notable alumni and other dignitaries in attendance to witness the spectacle.

This year’s mooters were Victoria Hale and Zachary Al-Khatib for the Appellant, and Giorgio Traini and Sarah Bittman for the Respondent. (Somebody must have neglected to mention this breakdown to the Dean before he gave his opening remarks.) The distinguished panel was comprised of Supreme Court Justices Rosalie Abella, Michael Moldaver, and Russell Brown. The all-SCC panel was a first in Grand Moot history.

The problem centred on access to justice and prosecutorial impropriety; the fact pattern featured starring roles by Officer Chiao of the Falconer PD and an appellant so sympathetic that he almost seemed fictional. The four mooters presented their respective cases perspicuously—much to the delight of the justices, who peppered the four with questions throughout. It was an all-round tour de force alloyed with just the right amount of levity and laughter.

The panel was effusive in its subsequent praise. Justice Brown found this moot was “among the very best” of the dozens he had judged, and with “a level of clarity we don’t always see in Ottawa.” Justice Moldaver concurred with Justice Brown—something that, by Moldaver’s own admission, doesn’t happen very often—and congratulated the participants on a “wonderful job.”

A glowing Justice Abella, all the more exultant because we were in her courtroom, proclaimed to the mooters: “You blew me away!” She continued that, “We see the future and we feel really good about the future,” and concluded that the courtroom had been consecrated with a spirit that made her very proud to have her name attached to it.

Higher praise could not have been bestowed. Congratulations to the mooters, the Moot Court Committee, and all those involved on their magnificent work!