TORONTO, June 20 /CNW/ - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented
degrees of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.), to two distinguished members
of the profession: the Honourable Justice Frank N. Marrocco, and the
Honourable Vibert A. Lampkin, at ceremonies held to welcome 874 of the
province's new lawyers at Roy Thomson Hall on June 19 and 20.
Every 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.
On June 19, Justice Marrocco received an LL.D. for his distinguished
legal career and his many contributions to the profession. On June 20, an
LL.D. was presented to former Justice Lampkin for his service to the
judiciary, the legal profession and the wider community in Canada - as well as
his native country Guyana - with integrity and distinction for more than 40
(Please see the attached biographical information for both LL.D.
The Law Society also held two other ceremonies - in Ottawa and London on
June 13 and 16 respectively - to call this year's 293 new lawyers from those
regions to the Ontario Bar.
At each ceremony, Law Society Treasurer Gavin 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:
The Honourable Justice Frank N. Marrocco
The Honourable Justice Frank N. Marrocco was appointed to the Superior
Court of Justice in 2005, following a distinguished law career spanning 33
years. He is well known for his professionalism, analytical skills and quiet
contemplation - skills that served him well as a lawyer and have ensured his
effectiveness as a judge.
Justice Marrocco received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University
of Toronto in 1970 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1972. He practised
criminal and civil litigation law and later developed a subspecialty in
immigration law. A former Queen's Counsel, he was a partner at Gowling Lafleur
Henderson prior to his judicial appointment.
Over the years, he worked on many high-profile cases, which included
defending Lawrencia Bembenek - whose struggles to resist deportation or
extradition to the US attracted much media interest. He also represented
former Toronto City Counsellor Norman Gardner in his dispute with the Toronto
Police Services Board. As well, he was the lead prosecutor in the Bre-X
Securities prosecution, and was the lead counsel for the province of Ontario
in the Walkerton Inquiry.
Justice Marrocco is an accomplished legal author whose credits include
the Annotated Immigration Act of Canada and the Annotated Citizenship Act of
Canada. He has also served as Vice-Chair of the University of Toronto Academic
Disciplinary Tribunal and is a Judicial Fellow of the American College of
He was elected as a Law Society bencher in 1995, and chaired several
committees. He also served as Chair of the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity
Company (LawPRO) from 2002 to 2003.
Recognized for his leadership skills, he was elected as Treasurer of the
Law Society in 2003. In this role, he endeavoured to strengthen the profession
and protect its independence by promoting access to justice and by fortifying
the Law Society's relationships with government and stakeholders.
The Honourable Vibert Arthur Ridley Lampkin:
The Honourable Vibert A. Lampkin is a recently retired judge of the
Ontario Court of Justice. Throughout his career, he earned a reputation as a
leader of the court, a trailblazer and a mentor to the many lawyers who
appeared before him.
Born in Guyana, he earned his first law degree from the University of
London in 1957 and successfully wrote the final examination of The Law Society
of England in 1958. He was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in Guyana in
1959 where he had a general law practice until June 1967. He was admitted to
the Roll of Solicitors in England in 1965, and then called to the Ontario Bar
in 1969. He earned his Master of Laws degree from York University in 1977.
He practised with the firm Rosenfeld, Schwartz, Malcolmson, Lampkin &
Levine until 1982 when he was appointed to the Provincial Court (Criminal
Division), which was renamed the Ontario Court of Justice in 1999. He was one
of the first Black judges in the province.
Until his retirement this year, he served in Newmarket, where he was
known for his knowledge of the law, civility and contribution to the body of
criminal law, with 286 reported cases. Everyone who appeared or worked in his
court was aware of his respect and compassion for people.
Mr. Lampkin's judicial philosophy is summed up in an often-quoted passage
from his mentor, Lord Denning, writing in Packer v Packer in 1954:
What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been
found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to
me in the least. If we never do anything which has not been done before,
we shall never get anywhere. The rest of the world will go on whilst the
law stands still, and that would be bad for both.
Mr. Lampkin was formerly a director of Oxfam (Canada) and is director
emeritus of New Leaf: Living and Learning Together Inc. He is a supporter of
many charitable organizations.
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