Labour law has a unique advocacy component, not always found in other types of litigation. In 1999, Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark envisioned a way to promote labour law and help Canadian law students become proficient in this area of law. So began the annual Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark National Labour Arbitration Competition. Fifteen events later, it is a great success and anticipated by members of the labour community and law students alike.
Every January, teams from law schools across Canada join Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark for a weekend to compete in a simulation of a grievance arbitration hearing before tri-partite panels. Truly a national event, competitors include teams from British Columbia, Nova Scotia and everywhere in between. The oralists, coaches, panellists and other invitees from the labour law community gather at Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark for an opening reception on Friday night. The competition then officially begins Saturday morning at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Each team presents once as union counsel, and once as management counsel.
Based on the panelists’ scoring, the Moot Committee determines the two finalists, who are announced at a Saturday night banquet. These finalists then go on to compete against each other for the Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark National Labour Arbitration Competition Trophy on Sunday morning.