Test Case Litigation Project

The Test Case Litigation Project immerses students in the exciting world of test case litigation, an opportunity previously unavailable to Canadian law students. It provides an opportunity for students to learn the theory and practice of using litigation as a tool of law reform and social change, while also gaining hands-on experience assisting leading Canadian litigators and/or organizations engaged in actual test cases.  (Not offered in 2022-2023.)

What You Will Do

In the seminar, which takes place during the fall term, you will be introduced to the major practical considerations involved in conducting a test case. You will also participate in a mooting exercise and travel to court to observe an ongoing appellate case. During the winter semester, your clinical placement will be with a lawyer, NGO, or legal aid clinic currently engaged in test case litigation before a court and tribunal. Due to the variable and complex nature of this type of litigation, students work on cases at a wide range of development, from strategic pre-litigation work through to appeals.  You will spend approximately 12-16 hours per week on your clinical project (which is likely to include research, drafting, and related duties), and will have multiple opportunities during the semester to meet with your placement supervisor.

What You Will Learn

  • areas of law relevant to test case litigation, including justiciability, standing, jurisdiction, and intervention
  • to hone critical research, writing, and oral advocacy skills
  • to identify and deliberate about ethical issues
  • various approaches to fund test case litigation
  • to assess the efficacy of litigation (including different models) as a tool for law reform and social change

Program Director