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Moot Trials in the Metaverse with University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa’s, (uOttawa) Faculty of Law became the first university in possibly the world to bring moot trials to the metaverse.

When the pandemic spread across the world in 2020, the Faculty of Law, Ottawa decided that they were going to assemble a team, ‘Tech Fellows’. The goal for this tech-savvy group of students was to identify areas where they could digitize elements of the curriculum.

With the transition to hybrid learning primarily complete, the ‘Tech Fellow’s team has recently taken the leap by bringing moot trials to the metaverse.

What is a moot trial?

A moot trial is a competition that simulates a court hearing. Participants will analyze a problem, and research the relevant law. The students have a limited time to present their oral argument in front of a panel of judges. This year’s panel of judges included:

  • The Honourable Ian Binnie, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada(speaking in the video above)
  • Justice Jodie-Lynn Waddilove of the Ontario Court of Justice
  • Mr. Ron LeClair of Principal of LeClair and Associates and Sponsor of the Moot

Why use the metaverse for moot trials?

The way we interact and collaborate has changed in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There’s a growing demand for remote and hybrid collaboration among teams. The ability to bring people together from anywhere in the world while simulating a real-life experience is one of the advantages.

As our world becomes more digitized, more people will begin to interact in 3D spatial worlds. Just like with any evolution of society, crime will happen in the metaverse, from theft of intellectual property to harassment. This means it is important for future lawyers to have an understanding of the metaverse and its capabilities.