Arvay Finlay LLP proudly announces that Joseph J. Arvay was honoured yesterday by the University of Victoria with an Honorary Doctor of Laws. The University said the following of our friend and partner:
Joseph Arvay’s advocacy—often on behalf of deeply disadvantaged members of society—has shaped the meaning and impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Arvay was lead counsel representing, pro bono, Gloria Taylor in the case of Carter v. Canada, which led to the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling that allows physician-assisted suicide in Canada. He led the legal team that represented Insite, the medically supervised injecting facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, when it won a unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision allowing it to remain open after years of federal government opposition. Arvay’s other notable cases include his work as counsel in the case that struck down laws preventing same-sex marriage, and he represented an organization of sex trade workers in their successful attempt to overturn some of the criminal laws relating to prostitution.His most recent accomplishment was in having the BC Supreme Court strike down Canada’s laws allowing solitary confinement in federal prisons where he again acted pro bono.In a career that has been defined by his personal integrity, skill and humanity, Arvay has been consistently cited by Canadian Lawyer Magazineas one of the most influential members of the profession for his commitment to civil rights and social justice. He has been an architect of change in Canadian society.