Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

June 15, 2009 17:17 ET

Ipperwash Inquiry Commissioner Receives Honorary Doctorate

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 15, 2009) - The Honourable Justice Sidney B. Linden received a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.), from The Law Society of Upper Canada today at a Call to the Bar ceremony held at the London Convention Centre.

Justice Linden was recognized for his many contributions to the administration of justice throughout his distinguished career. "We honour Justice Linden today as an innovator and trailblazer," said Law Society Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar. "Justice Linden's dedication to the public interest has been demonstrated by his creation of new agencies to serve the people of Ontario and his invaluable work as Commissioner of the Ipperwash Inquiry."

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 London Call ceremony welcomed 98 of the province's new lawyers to the profession, and was the first of five such ceremonies being held in the province this month. More than 1,200 new lawyers will be called to the Bar this month at ceremonies across Ontario.

Justice Linden was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1966. He practised as a lawyer, primarily in criminal and administrative law, appearing at all levels of court until his appointment in 1980 as the first Police Complaints Commissioner for Metropolitan Toronto and chair of the Police Complaints Board. In 1985, he was selected as the first executive director of the Canadian Auto Workers Prepaid Legal Services Plan.

In 1987, he was appointed as Ontario's first Information and Privacy Commissioner and, in 1990, Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice. During his term as Chief Justice (1990 to 1999), he reformed and modernized the court. From 1999 to 2003, he served as the first chair of the board of Legal Aid Ontario. In 2003, he was appointed Commissioner of the Ipperwash Inquiry. His report, released in 2007, was hailed as a landmark report on Aboriginal, police and government relations. In 2007, he was appointed Ontario's Conflict of Interest Commissioner.

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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