On June 6, 2013, the bench and bar of B.C. honoured Chief Justice Lance Finch with a dinner as he retires from the Court of Appeal. The dinner was very well attended, with approximately 1,100 lawyers and various judges and Chief Justices from across Canada, including Chief Justice McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada and Justice Robert Bauman, the Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Finch gave a speech, which can be found here, in which he thanked the many people, family, friends and colleagues, for the support he has received over his career. He also gave important insights into the functioning of the judicial system in B.C. and how it can be more accessible.
Chief Justice Finch recognized the contributions of both the bench and the bar in making the justice system more accessible to the underprivileged. In particular, he highlighted two initiatives of the legal profession in making the justice system more responsive and accessible: the Public Commission on Legal Aid, chaired by Len Doust Q.C. and the Access/ Pro Bono Society. He expresssed concern that in two years, the other branches of government had not enacted recommendations from the Doust Commission. He then commended the legal professsion for providing millions of dollars in legal work for no fee whatever. He applauded Access/Pro Bono Society for facilitating this work.
Chif Justice Finch is succeeded by Chief Justice Robert Baumann as Chief Justice of B.C. and the Yukon.