Tribute to Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin

Practice Point


CLEBC would like to pay tribute to The Right Honourable Beverly McLachlin, PC, Chief Justice of Canada upon the announcement of her retirement from the Supreme Court of Canada.

In addition to her incredible contributions as Canada’s longest-serving, and first female, Supreme Court of Canada chief justice, Chief Justice McLachlin has also always been a great friend to CLEBC since she first became a volunteer with us in 1986.

At the time, even though she had just been appointed to the BC Court of Appeal for a few months, Chief Justice McLachlin nonetheless took time to pen and present her CLEBC paper “The Trilogy Today” which compared the assessment of personal injury damages before and after the “non-pecuniary trilogy” judgments from the Supreme Court of Canada.

Soon after, she shared her views on evidence with BC’s legal community through her discussion of reasons for rules limiting court testimony, tests for competency, and rules on compellability in her CLEBC paper “Competence and Compellability” in 1987.

Throughout the years, Chief Justice McLachlin has made numerous contributions to CLEBC by sharing her opinions and analyses of the latest legal developments to help the BC legal community look to the future.

Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin and Chief Marilyn Baptiste

Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin and Chief Marilyn Baptiste

In particular, we would like to commemorate her important participation in CLEBC’s 2012 Indigenous Legal Orders and the Common Law conference, in which she delivered her keynote speech “A Country:  Its Peoples and Its Law”. The conference also included significant, memorable moments in which Chief Justice McLachlin and the BC Court of Appeal’s Chief Justice Lance Finch were blanketed by  Indigenous leaders Grand Chief Edward Akile Ch’oh John, Grand Chief Stewart Philip, Chief Robert Joseph, Chief Marilyn Baptiste, Chief Douglas S. Kwulasultun White, Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem, Leah Sisi-ya-ama George-Wilson, and Ray Harris, signifying the respect and relationship between Indigenous leaders in BC and the leaders of Canada’s courts.

Most recently, Chief Justice McLachlin delivered another keynote speech entitled “Administrative Law is Not for Sissies: Finding a Path Through the Thicket” at CLEBC’s Administrative Law Conference 2015, in which she shared her prescription for navigating the thorny matters of administrative law.

CLEBC would like to express the greatest gratitude for all that Chief Justice McLachlin has done for our country as a judicial leader, and also for everything that she has contributed to the continuing education of BC’s lawyers as a CLEBC volunteer author and presenter. We wish her all the best in her retirement.