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Rainbow Schools capture Gold and Silver at 2019 Mock Trial Competition
Rainbow District School Board students who showcased their analytical and critical thinking skills at the 18th annual Mock Trial Competition garnered gold and silver medals and captured a number of individual awards. The competition was held on Friday, May 10, 2019 at the Sudbury Court House.
Grade 12 law students from Rainbow District School Board and Sudbury Catholic District School Board donned legal gowns to prosecute and defend an individual charged with “the failure to provide the neccessaries of life to a child under the age of sixteen years and the failure to facilitate timely medical attention for injuries sustained,” contrary to s. 215 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
The Hennessy Cup was awarded to Lockerby Composite School, including Aiden Kuhn, Kaylei Cameron, Regan Toffoli-Thompson, Madison Moxam, Sam Pagan and Matthew Davenport.
Silver medals were presented to students from Sudbury Secondary School, including Hannah Golden, Taylor Labelle, Brittany Weise, Mia Valliere, Lexus Hoffman and Victoria Peripoli.
Students from Espanola High School, Lasalle Secondary School, Lockerby Composite School, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Sudbury Secondary School and St. Charles College competed for the Hennessy Cup. The top honour is named after Madame Justice Patricia C. Hennessy, Mock Trial Project Lead since the Mock Trial’s inception 18 years ago.
The Hennessy Cup is part of the OJEN/OBA Competitive Mock Trials, a provincial program of the Ontario Bar Association and the Ontario Justice Education Network. The OBA and OJEN support mock trial competitions like the Hennessy Cup throughout the province. The teams competing in Sudbury use the same case scenario and format as about 100 teams throughout Ontario.
The tournament is made possible with support from the Sudbury and District Law Association and local judges. This year, 20 lawyers and articling students from the Greater Sudbury area volunteered their time to assist and coach students as they prepared their cases. The local office of the Ministry of the Attorney General is also a strong supporter and accommodates the competition in the courthouse. To the extent possible, the students enjoy an authentic learning experience presenting their cases in actual courtrooms assisted by experienced court staff.
“The students who participated in the Mock Trials put in a lot of effort,” said Madam Justice Karen Lische. “They were focused and prepared for their trial, thanks to the mentoring and coaching by numerous local lawyers who donate their valuable time for this event. The skills they learn and practice during the mock trial process will assist them in years to come, no matter the career they choose.”
She added: “One of the cornerstones of our Canadian Criminal Justice System is the presumption of innocence. The standard to prove all of the essential elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt is a high one. Regardless of the outcome, guilty or not guilty, the students have a rare opportunity to gain skills that will serve them well in the future.”
Students participated in trials throughout the day with the top two performing teams participating in the Championship Trial. In addition to the Hennessy Cup, a number of other awards were presented. Students on each team determined the recipient of the team’s “Most Valuable Player” who exemplified leadership excellence.
Rainbow District School Board Chair, Doreen Dewar, thanked the volunteer coaches from the Sudbury and District Law Association and the Sudbury Crown Attorney’s Office who, year after year, provide hundreds of hours of time to this project. “Through the Mock Trial Competition, local lawyers make an invaluable contribution to student learning by bringing the classroom into the courtroom,” she said. “Many students have been inspired to pursue studies in the legal field after secondary school.”
She added: “We commend the legal community for their continued contribution to this project. They are exceptional role models for community service and student success. We also applaud the Ontario Bar Association and the Ontario Justice Education Network for making this opportunity possible for students across Ontario.”
The Mock Trial Competition is well established within the Grade 12 Law curriculum. In addition to meeting curriculum expectations, mock trials develop other skills in students, including public speaking, teamwork, presentation, preparation and critical thinking skills.
Tiffany Roberts, Curriculum Co-ordinator,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-523-3308, ext. 8209.