Northern Justice: The Memoirs Of Mr Justice William G. Morrow Edited by W.H. Morrow

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Northern Justice: The Memoirs Of Mr Justice William G. Morrow Edited by W.H. Morrow

8vo. pp. xxiii, 222. 1 map & 16 pages of b/w illustrations. index. hardcover. dw. (near fine - small nick with a short tear to dust wrapper cover). Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and The Legal Archives Society of Alberta, [1995].

ISBN 10: 0802007880 / ISBN 13: 9780802007889

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One of the first Canadians to champion the legal and cultural cause of the North's indigenous peoples, William George Morrow, the senior partner in an eminent Edmonton law firm, seized the opportunity to go to the North in 1960 and act as a volunteer defence counsel for $10 a day. Morrow took on the quest for greater justice on behalf of the northern Natives long before this had become part of the national conscience. In these memoirs, he describes his daily struggles - first as a lawyer, and later as a judge - with the question of how an alien law should be applied to Aboriginal culture.
At the height of his career, Morrow was travelling more than 50,000 kilometres a year over bleak, snow-swept terrain to set up makeshift courtrooms in remote communities. He once had to interview a client in the only room where he could be assured privacy - an outhouse. A zealous reformer and a brilliant legal strategist, he fought and won many difficult legal battles with the government. He succeeded in bringing about sentencing that took into account the shorter life expectancy of northern peoples, the provision of local penitentiaries enabling prisoners to serve sentences in their own communities, greater tolerance of Native and Inuit cultural values in interpretations of the law, and the creation of juries made up of men and women from the community of the accused.