Reflecting on the Legacy of Chief Justice Beverley McLachin

Reflecting on the Legacy of Chief Justice Beverley McLachin 

By: Carly A. Deboni


On April 10th and 11th, the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa hosted a conference to mark the retirement of The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. Chief Justice McLachlin began her judicial career in 1981 and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989. She became the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada in 2000 and held this position until her retirement in December 2017.

In honour of Chief Justice McLachlin’s countless contributions to the administration of justice in Canada, the University of Ottawa brought together legal experts and scholars from across the country for two days of reflection and discussion. Elder in Residence, Claudette Commanda, kicked off the events on day one with an opening ceremony to welcome guests and speakers. The Right Honourable the Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond, President of the UK Supreme Court, was in attendance and provided a compelling keynote address. Over the course of the conference, attendees enjoyed an insightful look at the jurisprudence and judicial personality of Chief Justice McLachlin.

The bilingual conference, which was a joint Common Law and Civil Law event, reflected on the legacy of Chief Justice McLachlin and examined her impact on the Canadian legal landscape. Presenters covered a wide variety of topics, including private law, public law, and Indigenous legal issues. The Honourable Louis LeBel, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, was in attendance and provided thoughtful remarks over lunchtime. A fireside chat with Chief Justice McLachlin and an evening reception at the Supreme Court of Canada were among the many highlights of the two days.

Thank you to team at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa for hosting this wonderful event!
© Copyright WestlawNext Canada, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.