#Legalhistory: Osgoode Hall Law School students argue first case using Twitter


TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 – Students from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School will make their case in increments of 140 characters or less, in what’s billed as the world’s first Twitter moot court (@Twtmoot).

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, five teams from law schools across Canada will argue a moot court case entirely on the popular social media platform. The event, hosted by West Coast Environmental Law, begins at 1pm EST; its hashtag is #twtmoot.

"140 characters is a great way to focus legal arguments and ideas,” says Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin, himself an avid tweeter (@DeanSossin). “This is a novel and timely initiative. Congratulations to West Coast Environmental Law for initiating the project and good luck to the mooters, especially Team Osgoode. We'll be following this groundbreaking moot with great interest,” he says.

The public is invited to participate by following @Twtmoot, watching the action on the Twitter Moot list (@WCELaw/twtmoot) or on its Twitter feed (no account required), and posting with the #twtmoot hashtag – comments, discussion and heckling welcome!

Teams of two students from law schools at Dalhousie University, University of Ottawa, University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, and York University will argue a mock appeal of a recent precedent-setting environmental case, West Moberly First Nations v. British Columbia. The case raises issues related to the survival of an endangered caribou herd threatened by coal mining and ongoing industrial development.

Osgoode Hall Law School students Nikki Petersen and Emelia Baack will represent the West Moberly First Nations in the appeal; they will argue that the Nation's Treaty right to hunt should extend to protecting a particular herd of caribou from coal mining impacts.

Petersen hopes the social media aspect will help connect people who are passionate about issues stemming from the case.

“Twitter is a great way to let many people share their views. I see the moot as a spark to get a discussion going about environmental law issues in Canada. The response to Team Osgoode has been very positive,” she says.

The Twitter Moot will be presided over by a panel of three judges: William Deverell, Omar Ha-Redeye, and Kathleen Mahoney.

For more information about the Twitter Moot and how to participate, click here. Team Osgoode is sponsored by Saxe Law Office.

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Media Contact:
Melissa Hughes, Media Relations, York University, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097, mehughes@yorku.ca