W I N T E R S   V.   L E G A L   S E R V I C E S   S O C I E T Y

Arthur Winters was charged on November 23, 1993 with assaulting another person while serving a life sentence. He was placed in solitary confinement for 38 days awaiting a hearing, and repeatedly tried to obtain legal counsel from the Legal Services Society.

Winters had only a Grade 10 education. He possessed none of the skills required to conduct a trial. He had very little knowledge of the law, and was facing the prospect of spending a substantial amount of time in solitary confinement. He was also concerned that a conviction for this offence could be used as evidence against him at his parole eligibility hearing.

A Legal Services Society lawyer finally advised him that prison disciplinary hearing charges were not covered by the Legal Services Society Act. He petitioned the BC Supreme Court for a declaration that the Legal Services Society was required to provide him with counsel. The Petition was dismissed, and his case eventually reached the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court agreed with Winters and declared that prisoners in federal institutions facing Disciplinary Court charges are entitled to legal services funded by the Legal Services Society of British Columbia.
  •  John Conroy's Factum presented to the Supreme Court of Canada
  •  Legal Services Society's Factum presented to the Supreme Court of Canada
  •  Attorney General of B.C.'s Factum presented to the Supreme Court of Canada
  •  Decision of Mr. Justice Fraser, Supreme Court of B.C. (December 1, 1994)
  •  Decision of the BC Court of Appeal (May 8, 1997)
  •  Decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (September 15, 1999)

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