R v. Dedam

In Aboriginal Rights/Defences, Fish Cases on (Updated )

This case involved and an aboriginal lobster fisherman from New Brunswick who was charged with obstructing a fisheries officer. At a pre-trial application, the fisherman applied to have state funded counsel appointed to conduct a defence based upon aboriginal rights that was estimated to cost approximately one million dollars. After reviewing the authorities, the court ordered a stay of proceedings pending the provision of state funded counsel. In doing so, the court noted that although a custodial sentence was not likely, a conviction could interfere with the accused’s ability to earn his livelihood. In addition, the outcome of the case “well affect hundreds of native fishers who strongly and fervently believe in their right to fish lobster.”