February 23, 2015

Peel board students tackle tough legal issues at annual mock trial tournament

Students from 11 Peel board schools participate in experiential learning opportunity

Law students in grades 11 and 12, representing the Peel and Dufferin-Peel Catholic district school boards, will grapple with concepts of law and justice during the 12th annual Peel Mock Trial Tournament, which takes place on February 27 and March 6 at the A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse in Brampton. 

"The Peel Mock Trial Tournament is a forum in which the classroom and the courtroom unite,” says Jeff deFreitas, superintendent of curriculum and instruction support services. “Students use critical-thinking, inquiry and communication skills to develop informed opinions on legal issues and apply this knowledge to argue a case that simulates a real trial in a Canadian courtroom. The experience helps to prepare them to become active, engaged and informed citizens, regardless of whether or not they choose to enter the legal profession."
 
On February 27, during the preliminary rounds, each school will be represented by a team of eight students—four lawyers, two witnesses and two alternates. The teams will each participate in two trials, once as the Crown and once as the defence. Team members will be assessed by judges and individual scores will contribute to the team's total score. The four teams with the highest cumulative scores at the end of February 27 will move on to compete in the semi-final rounds on March 6.  
 
The following schools will participate in the tournament:

Peel District School Board
  • Castlebrooke Secondary School
  • Central Peel Secondary School
  • Chinguacousy Secondary School
  • Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School
  • Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School
  • Humberview Secondary School
  • Lorne Park Secondary School
  • Mayfield Secondary School
  • Sandalwood Heights Secondary School
  • Stephen Lewis Secondary School
  • The Woodlands School

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

  • Ascension Of Our Lord Secondary School
  • St. Francis Xavier Secondary School
  • St. Joan of Arc Secondary School
  • St. Joseph Secondary School
  • St. Roch Catholic Secondary School

The tournament has been organized by the Peel Justice Education Network, which consists of members of Peel region's judicial, legal and education systems. Each school had access to two lawyers who volunteered to support the school team with its case preparation. In addition, members of the Peel Regional Police will also assist teams to prepare their cases. The Honourable Justice Nancy Kastner of the Peel Justice Education Network has arranged for prominent lawyers and justices from both the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice to preside as judges on each of the tournament days.

The tournament is supported by a generous financial contribution and other in-kind donations from the Ontario Justice Education Network. Financial and in-kind support has also been provided by Peel's legal community including:
  • The Canadian Association of South Asian Lawyers
  • The Criminal Lawyers' Association
  • Edmond Montgomery Publications
  • The Honourable Bill Davis and Family
  • Heart Lake Rotary Club
  • McCarney & Associates
  • The Office of the Crown Attorney
  • Ontario Justice Education Network
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • The Osgoode Society
  • The Peel Criminal Lawyers' Association
  • The Peel Law Association
  • Peel Regional Police
  • The Public Prosecution Service of Canada
A number of Canadian educational publishers have also donated resources as prizes for participating students.

The tournament will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on February 27 and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 6. The Honourable Justices Nancy Kastner and Steven Coroza of the Ontario Court of Justice will open the tournament on February 27. Former Premier of Ontario, The Honourable William G. Davis, will address those in attendance and present The Davis Cup, named in his honour, at the closing ceremony at 1 p.m. on March 6.  

The A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse is located at 7755 Hurontario St. in Brampton.

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Media Contact: Beverly McArthur, Instructional Co-ordinator, 905-890-1010 ext. 2569 or [email protected]

Reference: Avishka Juta, Communications Assistant, 905-890-1010 ext. 2098 or [email protected]   

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