Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

June 12, 2007 09:45 ET

Law Society Presents Honorary Doctorate at Ottawa Call to the Bar Ceremony

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 12, 2007) - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.), to the Honourable Brian W. Lennox, former Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, at a ceremony held at the National Arts Centre on June 12. The event was held to welcome the province's newest lawyers to the profession.

Law Society Treasurer Gavin MacKenzie presented the honorary doctorate to Justice Lennox in recognition of his outstanding achievements in service and benefits to the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice.

The Law Society called 177 new lawyers to the Bar during the event (17.5 per cent of whom are Francophone). The event is one of five such ceremonies being held in the province this month.

Each year, as part of its Call ceremonies, the Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished persons who exemplify the values held in esteem by the legal profession. Recipients serve as keynote speakers to inspire the graduating class.

"We honour Justice Lennox today as he ends his term as Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice," said Treasurer MacKenzie. "His career has been in the best traditions of the legal profession as a practitioner, an officer of the Crown, lecturer and judge. Under his leadership, the Ontario Court of Justice has garnered great respect in the eyes of the legal profession and the public. Brian Lennox's humility, intelligence and thoughtfulness have earned him the respect of all the members of the Bench and Bar who have come into contact with him."

Justice Lennox completed his eight-year term as Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice on May 4, 2007.

Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975, he received his LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1972 and a Diplome d'etudes superieures de sciences criminelles (D.E.S.), from the Universite de Paris in 1974. Justice Lennox graduated from York University in 1968 with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics.

He was in private practice with the Ottawa firm of Paris, Mercier, Sirois, Paris & Belanger from 1975 to 1978 and then served as an Assistant Crown Attorney from 1978 until 1986, when he was appointed to the Provincial Court (Criminal Division) at Ottawa. He went on to become a Regional Senior Judge for the East Region of the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) in 1990 and became Associate Chief Justice of the Court in 1995.

In addition to his judicial activities, Justice Lennox has also devoted much of his time to teaching. He spent several years as a part-time professor both with the Faculty of Law (l'Art de la plaidoirie) and the Department of Social Sciences (Criminology) at the University of Ottawa. He has also been a seminar leader with the Bar Admission Course (Criminal Procedure) for the Law Society of Upper Canada.

As well, he served as Academic Co-ordinator with the Provincial Division of the Ontario Court's Criminal Law Education Program from 1988 to 1995.

He continues to lecture for the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges, (Conduct of a Trial/Conduite du proces) and is a frequent speaker in the areas of judicial administration, advocacy and criminal law.

Justice Lennox is a member of various legal organizations, including the Advocates' Society, l'Association des juristes d'expression francaise de l'Ontario (AJEFO), the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges, the Canadian Bar Association, the County of Carleton Law Association and the Ontario Conference of Judges.

Since leaving office as Chief Justice, he has been seconded to the National Judicial Institute (NJI) to serve as its Executive Director. Justice Lennox was a member of the Board of Directors of the NJI from 1999 to 2005.

Additonal Call to the Bar ceremonies are being held in London on June 15, and in Toronto on June 18 and 19.

In congratulating this year's new lawyers, Treasurer MacKenzie said, "You have joined a noble profession... We are committed to the rule of law in a democratic society. We are committed to an independent Bar and an independent judiciary. That is what we stand for, and that is what we stand up for."

He also noted that, "There are many others in our society who are less privileged than we are, people who have no access to legal services. We have a duty to them to promote access to justice for all, through legal aid and pro bono work and otherwise.... So please do your honourable profession and this world a favour: give back."

The Law Society governs legal service providers in the public interest by ensuring that the people of Ontario are served by lawyers and paralegals who meet high standards of learning, competence and professional conduct, and by upholding the independence, integrity and honour of the legal professions for the purpose of advancing the cause of justice and the rule of law.

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