Human Rights

Moot Court at St. Thomas University


Moot Court is the fastest growing experiential learning activity for undergraduate students today. Close to 400 undergraduate teams compete across the United States in moot court regional tournaments. STU’s Human Rights Program is proud and excited to be able to offer this opportunity, one of the only ones of its kind in Canada.

What is Moot Court?

The American Collegiate Moot Court Association puts on regional and national competitions where undergraduate students simulate appellate oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States in tournament format. What is interesting and unique about Moot Court is that these competitions use real case law as precedent, though the case each year in front of the Court is indeed fictitious though often loosely based on real laws.

How does Moot Court work at STU?

To compete in Moot Court, students must enroll in Human Rights (HMRT) 3503. The moot court revolves around appellate arguments based on a hypothetical case concerning at least two constitutional issues. Students work in pairs and the students divide the legal issues between them. Students must prepare legal arguments for both petitioner and respondent for their issue(s). Students will learn the Supreme Court precedent surrounding the constitutional issues, practice their oral arguments in class and compete in regional (and hopefully national) competitions.

Moot Court is highly competitive and extremely selective. Each regional tournament limits the amount of teams that participate at competitions. Moot Court at STU is time consuming and will require you to put in hours and hours of weekly preparations. The course officially begins in the fall, but students are expected to do a lot of groundwork during the summer.

HMRT-3503. Moot Court

Moot court cultivates advanced analytical skills while developing leadership qualities in students with an interest in human rights. Students learn how to develop and deliver oral legal arguments by competing in a Supreme Court simulation where they answer questions from a panel of judges. Students focus on Supreme Court precedent surrounding two different issues each year. Students are required to have permission of instructor to register for the course. No other prerequisites are required.

Why take Moot Court?

Moot Court has many more benefits than just better preparing students for law school (where moot court is often mandatory). Students to participate in moot court develop: 1) strong writing, 2) strong analytical skills, 3) strong oral advocacy skills, 4) self-confidence, 5) the ability to work well under pressure, and 6) the ability to better work independently as well as part of a team.

Interested in Moot Court?

Click HERE to apply for the 2017-18 season!