Thursday, April 10, 2008

Law Library Fan Justice Michel Bastarache Retires from Supreme Court of Canada

As most legal observers in Canada know by now, Justice Michel Bastarache announced yesterday that he will be retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada at the end of the spring 2008 court session.

OK, so everyone says he is a brilliant jurist, one observer even saying that Bastarache is to judging what Wayne Gretzy is to Canadian hockey.

But few people know that the man, the former dean of law at the University of Moncton, is a strong believer in the role of law libraries.

He has sat on the Library Committee at the Supreme Court of Canada and is said to have taken an active interest in collection development issues, in particular, the balance between common and civil law materials.

People are already speculating about who may be selected by the Prime Minister to replace Bastarache, as indicated in Kirk Makin's article Judge's surprise retirement leaves 'serious void' in the Globe and Mail:
"Those mentioned most often yesterday to replace Judge Bastarache were New Brunswick Chief Justice Ernest Drapeau, and Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal (former executive legal officer to then-chief justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada). "

"Based on interviews with eight senior lawyers and academics yesterday, other early favourites include:
  • Nova Scotia: Chief Justice Michael MacDonald and Mr. Justice Jamie Saunders.
  • New Brunswick: Mr. Justice Joseph Robertson of the Court of Appeal, an expert in administrative law
  • Newfoundland: Madam Justice Gale Welsh, of the Court of Appeal, whose appointment would not just give the province its first Supreme Court judge, but would lead to the Supreme Court for the first time having a majority of women; Mr. Justice Leo Barry, of the provincial Supreme Court (trial division), one of the few judges in the province appointed by a Conservative government. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:25 pm


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justice Gale Welsh never had a chance. While having a Justice from Newfoundland or a majority of the Court being women would be a welcome development for progressive social policies, it won't happen. Justice Welsh's involvement and handling in the Turner case was so egregious that it is remarkable that she maintained her role on the Court.

12:27 am  

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