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Charter Challenge

The Charter Challenge is Ontario’s only mock appeal for high school students. Each semester, OJEN releases a mock judicial decision in which complex Charter issues are raised on appeal. Students all over Ontario form teams and choose one side of the appeal to ‘represent.’ They research and write a factum with legal arguments in favour of the appellant or the respondent. OJEN staff review all the factums we receive and identify the best ones from each side. Those students are invited to make their arguments in person at the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto, before a panel of real judges.

The Fall 2020 program examines drugs and weapons charges and the constitutionality of police searches of smart phones during detention and arrest.

Download the Fall 2020 Charter Challenge case scenario here.

Registration for the 2020 Fall Charter Challenge competition has now closed.

2020 Fall Charter Challenge – tentative dates:

September 25 – Registration Opens

Week of October 12 – Materials Distributed

October 23 – Registration Closes

Week of October 26 – Message Boards Open

Week of November 9 – Online Mentors available

November 20 – Submissions Due

December 4 – Finalists Announced

Early January – Finale held via Zoom with judges and staff from the Court of Appeal for Ontario

What is the Charter Challenge about?

To have a better idea what the Charter Challenge is about, we encourage you to download the facta of the two 2020 Spring Charter Challenge winners and to watch the recording of the Court of Appeal hearing (because of COVID-19 the hearing was held online).

Defendant: LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER BLOOR from Bloor C.I. (Download factum)
Appellant: DON RIVER LAW SOCIETY from Marc Garneau C.I. (Download factum)

Students who liked our mock trials will love the Charter Challenge!

We choose Charter Challenge topics to appeal to students’ interests while touching on current issues with social and legal significance.

To help students, OJEN provides:

  • Detailed guides for how to complete the legal analyses involved
  • Extra help with legal research, writing and citation
  • A factum template to make a professional-looking submission
  • Exemplars from previous competitions
  • Access to an online forum where students and teachers can share ideas and debate legal issues
  • Access to expert legal mentors, who will answer questions about the law and potential legal arguments
  • Dedicated staff to provide one-on-one communication and help for teachers

While the chance to compete for a place in the final appeal motivates many students to do their best, the real value of the Charter Challenge lies in the opportunity to use our materials to engage students in thinking about law, advocacy and society. As a teacher, you are welcome to sign up and use these supports as an in-class teaching and learning opportunity, whether or not your students complete a factum submission at the end of the term.

For more information please contact charterchallenge@ojen.ca

The 2020 Spring Charter Challenge happened! And it was awesome!

 

Who’s Involved:

  • Grade 11 and 12 Law Students
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Lawyer Mentors and Reviewers
  • Court of Appeal for Ontario

Curriculum Links

  • Understanding Canadian Law, Grade 11, University/College Preparation (CLU3M)
  • Canadian and International Law, Grade 12, University Preparation (CLN4U)

Audience

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