LONDON, ON, June 17 /CNW/ - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented a
degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.), to the Honourable Coulter A.
Osborne, Q.C., the former Associate Chief Justice of Ontario, at a ceremony
held at the London Convention Centre on June 16. The event was held to welcome
the province's newest lawyers to the profession.
Law Society Treasurer Gavin MacKenzie presented the honorary doctorate to
Mr. Osborne in recognition of his many contributions to the administration of
justice throughout his distinguished career.
The Law Society called 89 new lawyers to the Bar during the event. The
event is the second of five such ceremonies being held in the province this
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 inspirational keynote
speakers for the graduating classes as they begin their careers.
"We honour Mr. Osborne today for his professionalism and integrity," said
The Honourable Coulter A. Osborne, Q.C. has garnered great respect during
all stages of his distinguished career, first as a litigator, throughout his
tenure as Associate Chief Justice of Ontario and most recently as the leader
of the provincial government's Civil Justice Reform Project.
Mr. Osborne was called to the Ontario Bar in 1959 after receiving his
L.L.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School and his B.A. from the University of
Western Ontario. He practised in Kitchener from the time of his call until his
appointment to the Supreme Court of Ontario, High Court of Justice in 1978. He
was subsequently appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 1990 and
Associate Chief Justice of Ontario in 1999.
After retiring from the Bench, he continued to serve the public and the
profession. He was appointed the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario in 2001. A
position he held until July 2007. In 2003, he was appointed by the City of
Toronto to review partnership proposals involving the Union Station
revitalization. Also in 2003, he was appointed by the Chair of the Ontario
Securities Commission to examine and report on the Commission's structure in
light of its newly granted powers.
Mr. Osborne recently delivered the seminal Civil Justice Reform Project
report and recommendations. In 2006, Mr. Osborne was asked by then Attorney
General Michael Bryant to lead the Civil Justice Reform Project and propose
options to reform the civil justice system to make it more accessible and
affordable for Ontarians.
An accomplished athlete, Mr. Osborne's passion for sports has driven much
of his extensive community work. In 1956, he became a member of not only the
Ontario Senior Championship Team, but also the Canadian Olympic Basketball
Team at the Melbourne Olympics. In 2000, Mr. Osborne revisited Sydney,
Australia, to participate in carrying the Olympic torch. Mr. Osborne is past
president of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association (Ontario Section), a
former director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Squash Club and a former director of
the Children's International Summer Villages (Waterloo). He is also a former
director of the Ontario Motor League (Kitchener), Young Men's Christian
Association (Waterloo) and the Advocates' Society.
Following Mr. Osborne's address, Treasurer MacKenzie congratulated the
new lawyers and offered some words of advice: "You have joined a noble
profession... We are committed to the rule of law in a democratic society. We
are also committed to an independent Bar and an independent judiciary." He
also told lawyers that the profession has a duty to promote access to justice
for all, through legal aid, pro bono work and other means.
The Law Society of Upper Canada governs the legal profession in Ontario
in the public interest by ensuring that its members meet high standards of
learning, competence and ethics.
The Law Society has a duty 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
For more information about the Law Society, visit us online at:
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