Frederick William Bissett

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Frederick William Bissett
Frederick William Bissett.jpg
Born1902 (1902)
Died1978 (aged 75–76)
NationalityCanadian
Alma materDalhousie University (1926)
OccupationLawyer, judge.
Years active1926–1977

Frederick William Bissett (1902-1978) was a lawyer and later a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Canada. He is mostly known as Viola Desmond's lawyer.

Personal life[edit]

Bissett's parents moved from St. John's, Newfoundland to Halifax, Nova Scotia when he was 3 months old. He graduated from Dalhousie University in 1926. He was Desmond's lawyer[1]. He later became a Justice of Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 1961. He retired in 1977 and died the following year.

Legal defense of Viola Desmond[edit]

Bissett's decision to opt for a judicial review rather than appeal the original conviction proved disastrous. Furthermore, Bissett chose to focus the case on the issue of tax evasion and not on the basis of racial discrimination.[2]

When dismissing the case, Justice William Lorimer Hall said:

Upon losing the case, Bissett refused to bill Desmond and his fees were donated back to William Pearly Oliver's Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Backhouse 1999, p. 252
  2. ^ Backhouse 1999, p. 266
  3. ^ "Dismisses Desmond Application". The Halifax Chronicle. April 15, 1947. p. 14. Retrieved February 20, 2015.

Bibliography[edit]