SCC justices preside over the 2002 Grand Moot
(l to r): The Honorable Justices Major, Iacobucci and Binnie

Grand Moot Welcomes Home Three Justices of Canada's Top Court

For law students, the art of courtroom advocacy and persuasion can be a daunting experience. But the stakes get higher still when they are expected to appear before three all-stars of the Canadian judicial system.

That's what four third-year law students discovered when they participated in the Faculty of Law's annual Grand Moot on Sept. 24, 2002.

Each year, four of the school's top oralists present legal arguments before three members of the Canadian judiciary who volunteer their time to sit as judges for the event. This year three of the nation's top justices from the Supreme Court of Canada participated in the event. The presence of Justices John Major ('57), Ian Binnie ('65), and Frank Iacobucci (LL.D. 1989) - law school dean from 1979 to 1983 - had a profound effect on student mooters.

"It was quite a thrill in a lot of ways," said David Patacairk, a third-year student and Grand Moot appellant. "In the normal course of our careers, most of us will be lucky if we ever stand before the judges of the Supreme Court, and those of us who do likely won't be doing so for a decade or two."

The collegiality and good natured humour of the esteemed judges marked this special occasion. Praising the students for their handling of the overzealous questioning from the bench, Justice Iacobucci read the final verdict to the mooters: "You are a credit to yourselves, a credit to the law school, and a credit to your fellow law students. Congratulations to all of you."

This article was first published in the Fall/Winter 2002 issue of Nexus.