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Lawyer given life membership to Prison Law Association

Thursday, October 14, 2021 @ 12:34 PM | By John Chunn


The Canadian Prison Law Association announced that it has awarded senior prison law lawyer John Conroy a life membership in the association.

“John is one of the fathers of prison law in Canada,” Tom Engel, president of the Canadian Prison Law Association, said in a news release. “John Conroy was behind a number of the leading cases in the field, including several that he argued before the Supreme Court of Canada. These included such seminal cases as Martineau v. Matsqui Disciplinary Bd. (1980), a landmark ruling in administrative law, which raised the question of the supervisory role of the court over disciplinary proceedings within Canadian penitentiaries; and Cardinal v. Director of Kent Institution (1985), which confirmed that habeas corpus is available to determine the validity of the segregation of inmates and, where necessary, is available to order the release of the inmate into the general population.”

Conroy, principal of Conroy & Company, based in Abbotsford, B.C., has been practising law since 1972, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1996. In 1974 he and others created a dedicated prison legal clinic which evolved into Burnaby, B.C.’s Prisoners’ Legal Services. He has practised not only in the field of prison law, but also in the areas of criminal defence, constitutional issues and administrative law.