The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin To Receive the CBA President’s Award

  • February 12, 2019

OTTAWA – In recognition of her significant contribution to the legal profession, the Canadian Bar Association and her years of public service and commitment to making Canada a more just society, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin will be presented with the CBA President’s Award at the President’s Dinner on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 in Ottawa. 

Beverley McLachlin is a legal pioneer who has steered Canada’s justice system into the 21st century.  Her almost three-decade career, nearly 18 of which she served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, has had a profound impact on Canada’s justice system and a tremendous influence on some of the most important judicial issues our country has faced to date.


“Coming to the court a few years after the repatriation of the Constitution, and the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Beverley McLachlin has been an important part of the jurisprudence that has grown up around both documents”

“Beverley McLachlin has played a role in shaping our understanding of the constitution and our rights many times since 1989, and especially in her 17 years as Chief Justice. Her court took on questions that helped define how Canadians think about themselves, helped define the Canadian ethos.”

- CBA President Ray Adlington

Ms. McLachlin has been praised by her fellow justices for her ability to blend theoretical principles of law with practical applications.  As Chief Justice, she sought unanimous decisions among the nine justices wherever possible and extolled the virtues of an independent court whose role is to act as a check on democratic excess while respecting the ultimate supremacy of elected officials.

Quick facts:

  • In 1981, Beverley McLachlin was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and in 1984 she was named to that province’s Court of Appeal.
  • In 1988 she was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
  • In 1989 she was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • In 2000 she was named the 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the first female Chief Justice of the Commonwealth.
  • In December 2017 she retired, having been the longest serving Chief Justice in the history of Canada.
  • Her first novel, Full Disclosure (May 2018) was an instant national bestseller.
  • Ms. McLachlin was born in Pincher Creek, Alberta.

Related links:

The CBA President’s Award

The Canadian Bar Association

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About the CBA

The CBA is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement and the administration of justice.  Some 36,000 lawyers, notaries in Quebec, law teachers and law students from across Canada are members.