Each April, the Canadian Bar Association holds events to celebrate Law Week. In past years, these have included short story, essay, photo, video and public speaking competitions.
The CBA events celebrate the signing of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This year’s theme for Law Week is “Access to Justice.”
Of particular interest to English teachers is the Barry Sullivan Law Cup public speaking contest, open to students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 throughout British Columbia. The Law Cup, named in memory of Barry Sullivan, honours his contributions to the legal and educational professions as well as his work in defense of the Charter.
Students choose one of three debate-style resolutions—each of which deals with a contemporary legal or social issue—and then construct a five-minute speech either in support or in opposition to that resolution. The upcoming issue of Update will feature the first and second place speeches from the 2006 competition.
The registration deadline for the speech contest is March 15, 2007, with the contest taking place the week of April 16-22.