Brentwood at the Barry Sullivan Law Cup

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - By: Emma M, Hope ‘17; Photo by Ms Rachel Steele-MacInnes

“What limits should be placed on police use of undercover operations when investigating crimes and national security threats?”

This juicy question reverberated within the crowded minds of six Brentwood Debate students as the days accelerated towards the Barry Sullivan Law Cup. The public speaking competition, which would take place in Vancouver, required each participant to write a five-minute speech inspired by the prompt. As we all scrambled to take a stance on the topic and research applicable examples such as Mr. Big operations and electronic surveillance, we all found ourselves learning about a side of the law not often discussed. 

On the bus, then the ferry, then another bus, the six fatigued Brentwood students perfected (or finished writing) their speeches, and a susurrus hum of hastily mumbled allocutions filled the air. When we arrived with a few hours designated to explore Vancouver, most of us elected to sit in a cafe and perfect the delivery of our speeches. At 3:00 we all piled into the historic courtrooms in the Vancouver Art Gallery and composed ourselves for the five minute performance that the fifteen-hour day trip was arranged for. 

The competition was strong and it, unfortunately, revealed that Brentwood was not going to have a representative in the finals. It was unanimously agreed, however, that we experienced a lot in the process of research and writing; we were all pleased with our personal success and a day off school. What did we learn? The line between right and wrong is often blurred in regards to undercover operations, and you should never let Maya J, Hope ‘17 cross the street for Starbucks when you’re waiting for a bus.

Emma M, Hope ‘17

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