Portrait of Justice Morris Fish prior to his retirement.
Photo Credit : Paul Alexander
Justice Morris Fish.
Photo Credit : Handout photo
Justice Morris Fish
The Honourable Morris Fish is a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as a renowned educator, who taught at McGill, University of Ottawa and the Université de Montréal.
Born in Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood, Fish grew up in the heart of Montreal’s Jewish community and attended the famed Baron Byng High School. He graduated from McGill University’s Faculty of Law in 1962 with several honours and awards. He pursued doctoral studies in law at the Université de Paris, all the while writing on international events for The Montreal Star. Fish was called to the bar in Quebec, PEI and Alberta. Once called to the bar, Fish was to cease any non-legal work, but he continued writing for the media using pseudonyms from 1959 till 1970.
Fish served on the Quebec Court of Appeal from 1989 to 2003, when he was named to the Supreme Court of Canada. During his career, he ruled on many significant legal issues in Canada, such as safe injection sites, same-sex marriage and the legality of prostitution. He was also active in Legal Aid. Fish served as a Supreme Court Justice until his retirement in 2013.
Fish’s list of awards and honours is lengthy, comprising honorary doctorates, honorary fellowships, and medals for his legal contributions, including the Medal of the Bar of Montreal. His rule of thumb is, “Never cross-examine your family.”