Close to 85 students in Grade 12 from Rainbow District School Board and the Sudbury Catholic District School Board donned legal gowns to prosecute and defend the case of an accused charged with first-degree murder.
Second-place medals were awarded to the team from Lockerby Composite School.
Students from Confederation Secondary School will go on to the Northeastern Mock Trial Competition to be held in early March. Regional winners will compete in the province-wide finals in Toronto in the spring.
Other awards that were presented included:
Miller Maki Best Witness Award
Skyler Chartrand – Confederation Secondary School
Coaches: Karen Lische (Crown Attorney’s Office) and Brad Smith (Teacher)
Award Presenter: Lucille Shaw, Civil Litigation and Defence Attorney (Miller Maki LLP)
Lacroix, Forest Best Advocate Crown Award
Shelby Ernst – Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School
Coaches: Mike Gauthier, James Ross (Orendorff & Associates) and Terry Pagan (Teacher)
Award Presenter: Andrée Lacroix (Lacroix, Forest LLP)
Weaver Simmons Best Advocate Defence Award
Pavendeep Grewal – Lockerby Composite School
Coaches: Leonard Kim (Crown Attorney’s Office) and Shari Blasutti (Teacher)
Presenter: Berk Keaney (Weaver, Simmons)
Edward J. Conroy Q.C. Team Civility Award
St. Charles College Team 1 and 2
Presenter: Michael Macnamara (Edward J. Conroy)
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,” Dewar said.
“Many students have been inspired to pursue studies in the justice sector after secondary school. We commend the legal community for being exceptional role models for community service and student success.”
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.
“Open courts and open justice are necessary for citizens to have confidence in the administration of justice,” said Hennessy, who has been the Mock Trial project leader since the event's inception.
“Most people will not go to courts to watch trials. They are more likely to read about them in newspapers or other media. As these students prepare to prosecute or defend a serious charge, they can appreciate the importance of the fundamental principles of proof beyond reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence as the foundation of the society governed by the rule of law.
“This experience increases the students’ understanding of the legal process and allows them to follow media reports of local or national legal matters with a critical eye. It is our hope that these students will be engaged citizens, whose experience of the trial process will give them an understanding of important justice issues in the life of the community. We also know that this experience creates confident advocates, whether as students, citizens or professionals.”