The Passing of the Honourable Justice Gerald Eric Le Dain

The following is an Supreme Court of Canada news release regarding the recent passing of The Honourable Justice Gerald Eric Le Dain:

The Honourable Gerald Eric Le Dain, formerly a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, passed away in Toronto on December 18, 2007. Justice Le Dain was born in 1924 in Montreal. He served overseas with the armed forces during the Second World War. After returning to Canada in 1946, he enrolled at McGill University, obtained a B.C.L. degree in 1949, and was awarded the Elizabeth Torrance Gold Medal. That year, he pursued his studies in France, at the University of Lyon, and became a Docteur de l’Université in 1950. He first practised law with Walker, Martineau, Chauvin, Walker & Allison in Montreal. From 1953 to 1959, and in 1966 and 1967, he taught law at McGill University. He became dean of Osgoode Hall Law School in 1967 and was called to the bar of Ontario the following year. From 1969 to 1973, he chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs. Two years later, he was appointed to the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court Martial Appeal Court. He was elevated to the Supreme Court of Canada on May 29, 1984. Justice Le Dain served on the Supreme Court for four years and retired on November 30, 1988. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1989.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, on behalf of the members of the Supreme Court of Canada, lamented Justice Le Dain’s passing, “Justice Le Dain served on the Court during an important time in its history, taking part in the challenge of breathing life into the rights guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Justice Le Dain’s decisions in these early Charter cases shaped the interpretation of our fundamental rights, and continue to have relevance to this day. Members and staff of the Court extend their deepest condolences to Justice Le Dain’s family.”

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 28, 2007 at Christ Church Cathedral, 439 Queen Street, Ottawa. The family will receive visitors on Thursday, December 27, 2007 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Chapel, 315 McLeod Street, Ottawa.

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