U of A Makes History Winning the Laskin Memorial Moot


Leah McDaniel (3L)


On March 2, 2013, the University of Alberta Laskin moot teamwas honoured to win the 2013 top school prize at this year’s Laskin Memorial Moot. The win was especially exciting for us for a couple of reasons: (1) Edmonton was this year’s host for the competition; and (2) it is the first time that any western Canadian law school has ever won this prize in the history of the Laskin moot.

The team – which consisted of myself, Kathy Drouin-Carey (3L), Francisco Marquez-Stricker (3L), Pablo Retamozo (2L), and coach Patricia Paradis -wasvery excited to find out that we had won this prestigious prize… and incredibly shocked! It took us a couple of minutes to figure out that this wasn’t just an elaborate prank being pulled on the host school.

The Laskin is a national, bilingual moot competition. This year, 18 teams from across Canada debated an administrative law problem centred on the issue of whether the Canadian Human Rights Commission should hear a human rights complaint that had already been decided by a labour arbitrator. The moot problem was challenging, but we all learned a lot in the process (and all know perhaps more than we will ever need to know about the duty to give reasons).

It was an absolute pleasure working with the team this year. This team struggled through some adversity, but between a switch in team members, a broken hand, and a burst appendix, we were able to pull through and enjoy ourselves in the process. Special recognition goes to Kathy Drouin-Carey who mooted (and wrote a portion of the factum) in French. We all know how terrifying facing a panel of real judges can be – imagine doing it in your second language!

The unique, collegial atmosphere of the Laskin is one of the things that makes it such a great experience. The judges and organizing committee have been involved in the Laskin for many years, and their expertise shows in a very well-run event. In addition, we were able to enjoy the many social eventsto relax and to converse with other law students, lawyers from across Canada, and several Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal judges.

The team has many people to thank for all of their assistance in our preparations. Most of all, we owe thanks to our incredible moot coach, Patricia Paradis, whose patience, guidance, and gentle leadership made the experience a fantastic one. We also want to thank all of the faculty members and members of the Edmonton legal community who judged practice rounds or gave us input on our factum.

All in all, the Laskin moot was a wonderful experience – and I encourage anyone who has an interest in mooting to check it out next year. We are all very proud of our accomplishment, but also happy that practice rounds, factum revision, and administrative law nightmares have come to an end (for now).