STU Moot Court Students Kelly Brennan and Brianna Workman Win Osgoode Cup

Kelly Brennan and Brianna Workman have been crowned national undergraduate moot court champions.

The pair won the Osgoode Cup—an annual competition for undergraduate students held at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto—after facing teams from the University of Toronto, York University, Carleton University, and Humber-Guelph.

“We had a lot of judges asking ‘who this New Brunswick team is,’ but they aren’t asking anymore,” Brennan said.

“We had the chance to show the rest of Canada how St. Thomas moots and how incredible our team and program really is. It really was a huge privilege,” Workman added.

The case the mooters were arguing throughout the competition was R v. Le, which deals with three sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—section 8, an individual’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, section 9, the right to be free from arbitrary detainment, and section 24(2), which demands that evidence obtained in a manner that infringes on an individual’s rights be excluded.

The competition presented a unique challenge for the STU mooters as they’re used to competing in the American Moot Court Association and arguing US Constitutional Law.

“The biggest change was terminology,” Brennan said. “I had to really focus on making sure I had the terminology in my head, especially to ensure that with competition day nerves we didn’t fall back to the phrasing we’re used to.”

The STU duo are also accustomed to having months to prepare, but had only two weeks to gather information, form arguments, and rehearse so they wouldn’t have to rely on notes.

“I think speaking without notes gave us a huge edge and I’m glad we prepared and performed the same way that we do for American Moot Court even though we had a much shorter period to do it,” Workman said.

Their hard work was noticed by the judges and their competitors.

“As we advanced we had judges coming up to us and sharing how impressed they were,” Brennan said. “A team we went against the first day and then again in the semifinals came up to us after and said that we truly deserved to be in the final round with the work we had put in.”

On top of winning the cup, Workman was recognized as one of the top speakers at the event, finishing among the top 10 of the 218 attendees.

“Participating in Moot Court will always be one of the best experiences I’ve had during my time at STU and this weekend was the best way to conclude it,” Workman said.

The STU moot court experience has been made possible, in large part, thanks to a generous donation from Frank and Julie McKenna to create an endowment fund in the name of McKenna's longtime assistant Ruth McCrea.

To learn more about Moot Court at St. Thomas University, click here.