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Schulich Law students shine at 2019 Law Games Moot in Sherbrooke

Posted by Jane Doucet on January 14, 2019 in News, Students, Awards

Jeremy Ryant (left) and Jason Kirsh (Photo: Jason Gauthier & Philippe Manh Nguyen Photography)

Congratulations to Schulich School of Law students Jason Kirsh and Jeremy Ryant, who won the 2019 Law Games Moot! The Law Games took place Jan. 2 to 5 at Sherbrooke University’s Faculty of Law in Quebec. Twelve teams from law schools across Canada competed in the moot portion of the Law Games, an annual competition that features academic and athletic events. Dalhousie was also victorious in the athletic portion of the Games, earning the overall award for most sports won.

“Representing Dalhousie at moot competitions has been the most intellectually stimulating and challenging aspect of my law school experience so far,” says Kirsh. “It has pushed me to think quicker on my feet and become a more efficient researcher. Better yet, it has been an excellent way to meet and gain insight from esteemed lawyers with years of litigation experience.”

Representing Dalhousie at moot competitions has been the most intellectually stimulating and challenging aspect of my law school experience so far. — Jason Kirsh

For the Law Games moot, each team was assigned a side, either appellant or respondent. The moot problem turned on two issues. First, whether the Quebec government fulfilled its duty to consult with the Etchemin Tribe prior to enacting amendments to legislation that included a licencing and fine regime for fishing along the banks of the Etchemin River. Second, whether the government could justify the limits to the Aboriginal right. Kirsh argued the duty to consult issue and Ryant argued the justification analysis.

Dal and Sherbrooke were both appellants in the preliminary round, and both were chosen as the top two teams to progress to the final round. In the final, Dal and Sherbrooke were required to argue the respondent side. Dal presented its arguments in English and Sherbrooke presented its arguments in French.

The problem challenged us to weave together the legal, sociological, and relational elements of Aboriginal rights into a 15-minute oral argument. — Jeremy Ryant

“The problem challenged us to weave together the legal, sociological, and relational elements of Aboriginal rights into a 15-minute oral argument,” says Ryant. “We were required to argue the appellant position in the preliminary round and the respondent position in the final round, which took place a mere 30 minutes after the judge announced the finalists. While difficult on an intellectual level, this format was rewarding because it pushed us to see the problem from all angles.”

Marie Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, judged the moot. She sent a congratulatory email to Ryant and Kirsh after they won.

“Your team was impressive both in terms of the quality of the arguments and the overall quality of the presentation,” wrote Landry. “You skillfully displayed excellent knowledge of the salient issues. You were passionate and presented with clarity and understandable language. Your command of the relevant law and the cultural context was outstanding. You were respectful, thorough, courtesy, compassionate, and empathetic…You should be proud. You made the Dalhousie Law School shine.”