The Honourable Hugh C. Stansfield, Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia, died May 7, 2009 at age 56, having lived a life richly blessed by family, friends and professional opportunity. Thirty three years of marriage with Jo-Ann provided the structure, fun and purpose of family, from which sprung Hugh’s greatest joy and pride in life, his four beloved sons: Colin (Connie), David, Patrick (Cara), and Matthew.
After UBC Law, Hugh practised law in Vancouver for 13 years until being appointed a judge of the Provincial Court in 1993. Hugh loved judging, and never lost sight of what a privilege it is to serve the public in that role. He served the court in many different capacities, including Associate Chief Judge 1997-2001. Hugh particularly valued his relationship with the National Judicial Institute, and enjoyed offering leadership in continuing judicial education. But his passion was his strongly-held belief in the need for substantial systemic reform to the justice system; his belief that the public deserves more meaningful access to justice emphasizing simple, practical problem-solving and community engagement. Hugh was a pioneer in Canada in opening the court to the media, and providing opportunities for public concerns to be heard. In July 2005, Hugh was appointed Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, an opportunity for which he was very grateful, hoping he might have some small influence in promoting a new vision for justice for British Columbians. Special thanks to Dr. Cindy Toze and Dr. Clay Smith, and all the medical and nursing staff of the VGH Leukemia/Bone marrow transplant team, whose care has been remarkable.
Chief Judge Hugh Stansfield Blood Drive 2009
In Honour of Chief Judge Hugh C. Stansfield, the Department of Justice and Lawson Lundell LLP hereby issue the following CHALLENGE to all law firms in this fine province:
DONATE BLOOD AND SAVE LIVES!
This article was published in the June 2009 issue of BarTalk. © 2009 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.