Smith Shield Moot

The Smith Shield Moot is the premiere mooting event of the academic calendar with a tradition dating back to 1927. Smith Shield competitors are chosen from the top mooters in the compulsory second-year moot.

The Case:

Our mooters will be arguing Dickson v Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.

The Legal Issues:

Ms. Dickson, a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN), wants to serve on her community’s Chief and Council. Her problem? The VGFN’s Constitution requires all Council members to reside on their settlement lands within 14 days of being elected, and Ms. Dickson wants to remain in Whitehorse. She challenged the residency requirement as violating her section 15 Charter rights.

The VGFN has stood their ground. As a First Nation with a self-government agreement, and operating under inherent governance rights, they deny that the Charter applies to them without their express consent. Even if it does, they argue that the requirement to reside within their 7,744 square kilometres of traditional territory does not offend the Charter, especially given that this is their long-standing cultural practice and that Ms. Dickson has a place to live in the territory.


  • For the Appellant – Ms. Dickson
    • Jacob Ezeard
    • Elizabeth Matheson   
  • For the Respondent – Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
    • Kelsey Warr
    • Nicola Hibbard

The Judges Panel:

  • The Honourable Chief Justice Michael J. Wood, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
  • The Honourable Justice Jamie S. Campbell, Nova Scotia Supreme Court
  • Tuma T. W. Young, Q.C., President, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society


Student Interest, Faculty Interest



Room W105.

Additional Information

All students and faculty are welcome. However, seating will be limited.