The case was heard in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
The Appellant, Jack Leonard Hatfield, was charged with hunting without a license and possessing a deer carcass, which were activities prohibited by Nova Scotia's Wildlife Act. In his defence, Mr. Hatfield argued that as a Métis person he had an Aboriginal right to hunt which was protected under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Mr. Hatfield's defence was not successful at trial in the Nova Scotia Provincial Court, because the trial judge held that Mr. Hatfield had failed to establish that he belonged to a Métis community that could assert the right to hunt as he had in the area where he had been hunting. For that reason, Mr. Hatfield was convicted.
Mr. Hatfield appealed his conviction in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, where he argued that the trial judge had not applied the correct legal analysis to his assertion of Métis Aboriginal rights. After assessing the decision of the lower court, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal held that the Provincial Court had applied the relevant test correctly and had come to the proper conclusion. For that reason, the Court dismissed Mr. Hatfield's appeal.