A team of Bond University law students have made history by becoming the first ever international team to place in the Wilson Moot, claiming third prize in the prestigious law moot held in the Federal Court in Toronto, Canada.
Bond law students Kirsten Olden, Lisa Brass, Felicity Young and Joseph Corriero finished behind teams from law schools ranked in the top three universities in Canada, with the University of Toronto claiming first place and McGill University taking out the silver medal.
The team joined eleven other Canadian law schools in this year's moot at the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto. Founded in 1992 in honour of Canada's first female Supreme Court Justice, the late Bertha Wilson, the Wilson Moot promotes justice for the disempowered within the legal system and explores constitutional rights issues concerning women and minorities.
Joseph Corriero, President of the Canadian Law Students Association at Bond University, said this year's case dealt with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the issue of incarcerated women raising children in prison.
"We were required to address a fictitious amendment to the Mother-Child program that prevented women convicted of any violent offence from accessing the program," said Mr Corriero.
"As the team had to moot both sides of the issue, Felicity and I argued that denying access to women convicted of a violent crime violated the Charter rights of the mothers and children affected, while Kirsten and Lisa argued, in the name of safety, that it was a constitutionally valid and necessary amendment.
"As the only team in the competition from outside Canada we were truly considered the underdogs, so to finish third was a testament to the entire team's hard work and dedication."
The Bond team was supported by student coach Ashley Rooney and faculty advisor Lisa Bonin.
"We are thrilled with the result, which is made ever more exceptional considering that none of the team members had completed Canadian Constitutional Law when the team was selected in late 2014," said Ms Bonin.
Bond University hosts Australia’s largest contingent of Canadian law students who study the Bond Juris Doctor, with Bond Law teaching the core Canadian subjects required by the National Committee on Accreditation. In 2015, Bond Law celebrated the 1000th Canadian law student to enter its Juris Doctor Program.