First Ever Twitter Moot: #Twtmoot

♬ Every day create your history
Every path you take you’re leaving your legacy…♬

Music and lyrics by Michael Jackson, James Harris the 3rd and Terry Lewis; recorded by Michael Jackson.

West Coast Environmental Law logo

Law students across Canada are about to make history. They are preparing to argue a Legal Appeal using twitter.

Marketwire has reported that Yana Banzen and Kowlasar Misir, two students at the University of Ottawa’s Law School, are gearing up to participate in the world’s first ever Twitter Moot, scheduled for 21st February at 1pm EST.

This Twitter Moot is a project of West Coast Environmental Law. Accordingly, it is not surprising that the choice of the case being argued has a strong environmental focus:

The appeal being argued, West Moberly First Nations v. British Columbia, raises issues related to the survival of an endangered caribou herd threatened by coal mining and ongoing industrial development. Banzen and Misir are representing the Treaty 8 Nations of Alberta, an intervener in the appeal.

According to Misir:

“Competitive mooting on Twitter is novel and exciting. It translates oral advocacy into cyber advocacy on a platform that demands precision. This is an interesting, perhaps even revolutionary, challenge.”

Team Ottawa is sponsored by the firm of Ng Ariss Fong. Banzen and Misir will compete with teams from the Universities of Victoria, British Columbia, York and Dalhousie.

The three confirmed Judges for the moot are the lawyer/author: William Deverell (@billdeverell), Slaw’s own Omar HaRedeye @omarharedeye), and from the University of Calgary, Professor Kathleen Mahoney (@ProfMahoney).

The twitter moot teams are as follows:

  • Team Dalhousie: Michele Charles and Kristen Balcom from the University of Dalhousie in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Team Osgoode: Nikki Peterson and Emelia Baack from at York University, in Toronto, Ontario;
  • Team Ottawa: Yana Banzen and Kowlasar Misir from Ottawa, Ontario;
  • Team UBC: Hamish Stewart and Matthew Kalkman from Vancouver, British Columbia;
  • Team UVic: Matthew Nefstead and Jenn Cameron from Victoria, British Columbia;

For more information about the Twitter Moot see The hashtag for the Twitter Moot event is #twtmoot.

For further information please contact: Andrew Gage, Twitter Moot Administrator and Staff Lawyer, (250) 412-9784, or Yana Bansen, Twitter Moot Participant, (403) 701 4128, or Kowlasar Misir, Twitter Moot Participant, (613) 407-8948,

One thing is certain. These law students are creating their own history and leaving a legacy!


  1. Osgoode Hall law students win 1st ever Twitter Moot

    Vancouver. Nicole Petersen and Emelia Baack, two law students with Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, have won the World’s First Twitter Moot (a legal appeal argued entirely over Twitter). The Twitter Moot, held at 10 am PST/1pm EST, saw event Judges Kathleen Mahoney, Omar HaRedeye, and William Deverell grill teams from 5 Canadian law schools over Twitter in a case about First Nations, coal mining and an endangered caribou herd.

    “The Twitter Moot organizers and the judges would like to congratulate Emelia and Nicole on their win,” said West Coast Environmental Law Staff Lawyer and Twitter Moot Administrator, Andrew Gage. “All of the teams did an incredible job and did their universities proud.”

    Nicole Petersen, commenting on her win, said: “Wow! The Twitter Moot was a great experience. Thank you so much to the judges, the other #twtmoot participants and to West Coast Environmental Law.”

    In addition to bragging rights, Emelia and Nicole will split a $500 prize.

    The Twitter Moot was made possible through the generous financial support of our sponsors: (Gold) the Law Foundation of British Columbia (our sustaining funder); and (Silver) Donovan and Company, Iler Campbell LLP, McCarthy Tetrault, Miller Thomson LLP, Ng Ariss Fong, Saxe Law Corporation, Skunkworks Creative Group, and Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP. (See for complete list of sponsors).

    For more information contact:

    Andrew Gage, Twitter Moot Administrator and Staff Counsel at 250-412-9784.
    Nicole Petersen, Twitter Moot Winner, at 647 987 2923 or 604 929 2923.

  2. It’s still not clear why one would bother trying to fit a legal argument into (a long series of?) 140 character message(s). It seems beyond the demands of effective conciseness. So my response is a bit like Dr Johnson’s about the dancing dog.

  3. You presume law requires more than 140 characters for accuracy. The legal edifice is premised on that assumption.(VEG) No time for haiku.

  4. I’ve put together an archive (.XLS) of tweets sent using the #twtmoot hashtag between the start of the moot and the announcement of the judges’ ruling (482 tweets over about 2.5 hours). I also put together a tag cloud to see if anything interesting leapt out. (The word “badger” occured pretty often!)
    It’s too bad that some of the participants did not use the hashtag consistently throughout the moot, since it would have been interesting to see what emerged based on all of the results. Canadian Lawyer Magazine also reports that Kathleen Mahoney had never used Twitter before preparing for the moot!

  5. From my point of view (that of a non-lawyer), this made the moot court accessible. I had only heard of them but never seen one in action. They had always seemed some mysterious thing. To see how they work was educational and fun. So from a public relations point of view alone, I would call this a success.

    I was also impressed that it involved teams from across the country, presumably all from their respective “home” cities. That must have been exciting to the participants.