Justice Morris Fish
Supreme Court of Canada

"The Right to Counsel Over the Arc of Time"

January 29, 2004

Hon. Justice Morris FishIn January 2004, the Faculty welcomed the Hon. Justice Morris Fish as this year's David B. Goodman Lecturer. The former justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal, and newest member of the Supreme Court of Canada, discussed "The Right to Counsel over the Arc of Time," and included remarks about his personal experiences as a criminal lawyer, journalist, professor, and judge. Justice Fish reminded his audience that although the right to counsel has been recognized in theory for years, it was almost entirely ignored throughout the 20th century. Only recently did it become common practice with the advent of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Fish argued that the right to counsel following arrest is the linchpin of the criminal justice system - and the ultimate determinate of whether the criminal law process is fair to the accused.