Special Advisor on Wrongful Convictions Appointed

From: Department of Justice Canada

Special Advisor on Wrongful Convictions Appointed

News release

December 6, 2018 – Ottawa, ON – Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the appointment of the Honourable Morris Fish. QC, CC, as Special Advisor on Wrongful Convictions.

Mr. Justice Fish has had a long and illustrious career in the law, most notably as a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 2003 to 2013. Since his retirement from the Supreme Court, he has worked as an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at McGill University, lecturing on criminal evidence and procedure and advanced criminal law.

Mr. Justice Fish will advise the Minister on applications under the criminal conviction review process to ensure that reviews continue to be thorough, effective and impartial.

The appointment is effective immediately.

“While Canada’s justice system in among the strongest in the world, it is important that we provide channels to remedy potential wrongs. I am pleased to have Justice Fish’s advice on addressing wrongful convictions, and believe that his insight will help further strengthen our criminal conviction review process and, by extension, promote greater fairness in our justice system.”

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Quick facts

  • Section 696.1 of the Criminal Code provides that a person who has been convicted of an offence and who has exhausted all appeals may apply to the Minister of Justice for a review of his or her conviction.

  • The Special Advisor is appointed by Order in Council and serves to provide independent advice to the Minister of Justice on criminal conviction review applications.

  • The new Special Advisor will have a mandate to review applications and make recommendations to improve the review process and address any systemic problems identified during that review.

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