Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

June 17, 2009 15:18 ET

Distinguished Public Servant Receives Honorary Degree

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 17, 2009) - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.), to George M. Thomson, senior director of the National Judicial Institute, at a ceremony held at the National Arts Centre on June 17. The event was held to welcome the province's newest lawyers to the profession.

Law Society Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar presented the honorary doctorate to Mr. Thomson in recognition of a career that exemplifies the best of the legal profession - public service, innovation, versatility, a commitment to social justice in the fullest sense, and leadership in the public, educational and judicial spheres.

As part of its Call ceremonies each year, the Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished people in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice. Recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers for the graduating classes as they begin their careers.

The Law Society called 219 new lawyers to the Bar during the Ottawa ceremony - including 24 Francophone lawyers. The event was the second of five such ceremonies being held across the province this month which will see more than 1,200 new lawyers called to the Bar.

"We honour George Thomson today as a highly respected problem solver who has served the people of Ontario and Canada in many different roles," said Treasurer Millar. "His long and varied career exemplifies the best of our profession."

Mr. Thomson has enjoyed a distinguished career in public service, serving as the province's Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Deputy Minister of Labour and Deputy Attorney General. Federally, he held the positions of Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General. He is currently the senior director and former executive director of the National Judicial Institute, where he plays a leadership role in international justice reform projects, including projects with the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the Philippines Judicial Academy, the Chinese Supreme People's Court and the Russian Judicial Academy.

Over the course of his career, he chaired an inquiry into reform of social assistance policies and programs, and a review of the appeal process in Ontario's regulated professions.

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and to act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

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