Chief Justice Strathy and Associate Chief Justice Fairburn recently released a statement encouraging junior counsel to be involved in oral argument at the Court of Appeal:
The Court of Appeal has a rich tradition of welcoming submissions from counsel at all stages of their career.
Opportunities to address the Court are essential to the development and the retention of junior and intermediate litigation counsel. While the ultimate decision of who speaks on behalf of the client in a particular case belongs to counsel and their clients, the Court welcomes the chance to hear from newer counsel, who have often played a significant role in drafting written submissions and have in-depth knowledge of the case before the Court.
The practice of senior counsel sharing a portion of oral argument with more junior counsel not only enhances training and mentorship for newer advocates, it also contributes to the vibrancy of the Court as a public institution and increases public confidence in the justice system. The courts have an important role to play in fostering an environment that makes space for, and welcomes hearing from, all members of a Bar that is increasingly reflective of the diversity of the province it serves.