Bora Laskin

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bora Laskin , PC , CC (born October 5, 1912 in Fort William , Ontario ; † March 26, 1984 ) was a Canadian judge and legal scholar . He was a member of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1970 until his death and was its Chairman ( Chief Justice ) from 1973 .


Laskin studied law at the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School . In 1936 he received a Bachelor of Laws , in 1937 he graduated from Harvard University with a Master of Laws . Laskin was admitted to the bar, but despite his exceptionally good performance, he was unable to find employment with a renowned law firm because of the prevailing anti-Semitism at the time . Therefore, he decided to pursue an academic career.

Laskin taught at the University of Toronto from 1940 to 1965, with the exception of 1945 to 1949 when he taught at Osgoode Hall Law School. He was Associate Editor of Dominion Law Reports and Canadian Criminal Cases for 23 years . He also published a work on Canadian constitutional law. In 1965 he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal .

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau appointed Laskin to the Supreme Court Justice of Canada on March 19, 1970 . Laskin was the first Jew to hold this office. He specialized in labor and constitutional law, advocated civil rights and, more than any judge before him, was anxious to expand state influence at the expense of the provinces. Laskin was often in the minority, especially at the beginning, and held positions that the Supreme Court took years later.

On December 27, 1973 Laskin rose to Chief Justice ; it was the first time since 1924 that the senior judge had not been appointed. The most important judgment under his leadership in 1981 concerned the complete removal of the Canadian Constitution from the influence of the British Parliament. The court found that the federal government could definitely decide to "bring home" the constitution without the approval of the provinces; However, this does not correspond to customary law. As a result of this ruling, Trudeau's government was forced to negotiate with the provinces. Laskin remained in office until his death.

In 1972 he was elected a corresponding member of the British Academy .

See also


  • Philip Girard: Bora Laskin: Bringing Law to Life . University of Toronto Press, Toronto 2005, ISBN 0-8020-9044-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Deceased Fellows. British Academy, accessed June 25, 2020 .