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UofGH hosts its first international mooting competition

The University of Guelph-Humber recently hosted the GH Cup – the university’s first ever international mooting competition.

Presented by the Guelph-Humber Pre-Law Society (GHPLS), the inaugural competition included students from York University, Carleton University, Humber College, UofGH, and Ulster University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Teams of two paired up to debate the R. v. Goldfinch case from the Alberta Court of Appeal, with one team arguing for the appellant and the other arguing for the defendant in front of panels of judges.

Emily Tessier, graduating UofGH Media Studies student and outgoing President of GHPLS, was the lead organizer of the event. She says GHPLS had wanted to host a mooting competition for some time, but when she became President in her fourth year, she was determined to make the dream a reality. “It was something I always wanted to do,” she says. “I was determined to host our own mooting competition, because I wanted to put the University of Guelph-Humber on the map, and when I became President in my fourth year, I really wanted to make it happen.”

“It went extremely well,” says Dr. Glenn Barenthin, UofGH Justice Studies instructor. “Emily did a great job putting everything in place. It went a lot smoother than most mooting competitions that I’ve seen. We had great feedback from all the competitors, and I was really happy with how it went.”

Dr. Barenthin says that the GH Cup puts UofGH in the company of only a select number of schools that host their own mooting competitions. “Having our own mooting competition is very significant, because there aren’t many schools that host their own competitions, so this makes the University of Guelph-Humber very unique.”

It meant a lot to me to be able to perform so well and represent the skills that this Society and all of its members have really helped me further develop.

Emma Danaher


Emma Danaher

UofGH students place as semi-finalists

UofGH Justice Studies students Emma Aggett (who will be entering her fourth year) and Emma Danaher (who will be entering her third year) teamed up for the competition, and placed as semi-finalists. Danaher also received a Distinguished Advocate honour.

 “When I heard I placed as a semi-finalist at the GH Cup I was overjoyed! A lot of time and work does go into preparing for these competitions, and it feels so rewarding to know when your hard work pays off,” says Aggett.

As the incoming President of the Pre-Law Society, Aggett will be responsible for planning next year’s GH Cup. She says she was happy to have the opportunity to participate as a competitor. “Being able to participate in the first ever GH Cup as a representative of the University of Guelph-Humber was such an honour and a great experience. Likely this was my only opportunity to actually compete in the GH Cup…so I am so happy to have finished my third year at UofGH in such a rewarding way.”

“It’s a great honour to represent the university and help put us on the map,” agrees Danaher, who is the GHPLS’ incoming Vice President of Debate. “It meant a lot to me to be able to perform so well and represent the skills that this Society and all of its members have really helped me further develop.”

Emma Aggett

It was an amazing experience competing against students from Ulster University.

Emma Aggett

An international competition

A highlight of the event was the opportunity for students to compete against two teams from Ulster University in Belfast, who also placed as semi-finalists—making it an international competition.

“It was an amazing experience competing against students from Ulster University,” says Aggett. “It was interesting to see how Canadian law is evaluated and interpreted by international law students who are generally unfamiliar with Canadian statues and legal precedents - the Ulster teams did an amazing job despite this disadvantage.”

“The teams from Ulster University are what really made this event stand out to me,” Danaher adds. “All of the Ulster competitors were so friendly, and did not hesitate to share their experiences with being law students in Belfast. It was a very unique and valuable opportunity to connect with other legal students and hear their experiences, and learn more about pursuing law in Northern Ireland and the differences and similarities in the legal systems.”

The GH Cup will now be an annual event. As a graduating student, Tessier says she’s proud to leave a legacy for future students to build on, and plans to return next year as a judge. “Hopefully we’ll be able to provide students with such a great learning opportunity, and an experience that I was able to benefit from in second year when I started mooting,” she says. It was Tessier’s first mooting experience during her second year that solidified her goal to attend law school, and she’ll be attending UofT’s law school this fall. “My first mooting competition was such a pivotal moment for me, and I’m just so excited to give other students that same experience too, and hopefully another student will have that pivotal moment at the Guelph-Humber Cup.”