Peel - One hundred and twenty grade 11 and 12 law students, representing the Peel and Dufferin-Peel Catholic district school boards and one independent school, will grapple with concepts of law and justice during the 10th annual Peel Mock Trial Tournament on March 1 and 9 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 Ian Pettigrew, instructional co-ordinator, Canadian and world studies and co-ordinator of the Peel Mock Trial Tournament. “Students use what they have been learning about in their classrooms to argue a case that simulates a real trial in a real Canadian courtroom. The tournament reflects quite closely what might be expected to happen if the case were heard before a real judge. 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 March 1, 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 March 1 will move on to compete in the semi-final rounds on March 9.
The following schools will participate in the tournament:
Peel District School Board
• Cawthra Park Secondary School
• Central Peel Secondary School
• Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School
• Harold M. Brathwaite Secondary School
• Humberview Secondary School
• Mayfield Secondary School
• Port Credit Secondary School
• Rick Hansen Secondary School
• Stephen Lewis Secondary School
• Woodlands Secondary School
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
• Cardinal Ambrozic Secondary School
• St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School
• St. Edmund Campion Secondary School
• St. Joseph Secondary School
Mentor College will also be represented at the tournament.
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
• The Honourable Bill Davis and Family
• Heart Lake Rotary Club
• The Office of the Crown Attorney
• Ontario Provincial Police
• The Peel Criminal Lawyers’ Association
• The Peel Law Association
• Peel Law Chambers
• 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 March 1 and from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on March 9. The Honourable Justices Nancy Kastner and Steven Clark of the Ontario Court of Justice will open the tournament on March 1. 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 9.
The A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse is located at 7755 Hurontario St. in Brampton.