The final hearing of Défi de la Charte took place as planned on Monday, January 31, 2022! It was awesome and… it ended with a big surprise! See for yourself :
The finalists were Winston Fournier from ESC Saint Charles Garnier in Whitby on the one hand and Gabrielle La Touche and Anna Licu from ES Norval-Morrisseau in Richmond Hill on the other.
Justice Julie Thorburn of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and Justice Sophie Kassel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice assisted by Erik Arsenault and Jesse Abell, Clerks of the Court of Appeal for Ontario heard the student’s arguments.
After a hearing of almost an hour, where the judges did not spare the participants by bombarding them with very technical questions, the panel retired to deliberate… and was not able to pick a winner!
Justice Thorburn said the panel was so impressed with the quality of the arguments from both teams that it was impossible for them to decide which was better. The balance could have tipped towards the Norval-Morrisseau team because of their judicious answers to the judges’ questions, but the performance of Winston Fournier, who did not let go of anything while he was alone on board, restored the balance.
238 students representing 18 schools across the Province participated in this program. 19 teams completed the exercise and submitted their briefs.
You can download the two winning briefs below:
We would like to thank everyone who participated. The circumstances were particularly difficult and yet nothing could temper the enthusiasm of these young people.
There is no doubt that many of them will embark on a career in the legal profession, which bodes well for the future of access to justice in French in Ontario.
Défi de la Charte will be back this Fall. Stay tuned!
For any questions about the program, please contact Thomas Gallezot.