The John Tait Award of Excellence

The John Tait Award of Excellence was established in 1998 to honour, recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Public Sector Lawyers in Canada. Originally named the Inukshuk Award of Excellence, it was renamed in August 1999 to honour an outstanding lawyer, public servant and friend who passed away in the summer of 1999.

The Award will be presented to a public sector lawyer or law office who has achieved the highest standards of professional conduct and competence and made significant contributions to social justice or community affairs, and who exemplifies preeminent public service.


  • Current or former public sector lawyers (e.g. lawyers working for crown corporations, for legal aid offices, for legal services of boards, commissions or agencies);
  • Lawyers employed in organizations fully funded by any level of government;
  • Nominees must exhibit one or more of: high standards of professional conduct & competence; excellence & leadership; commitment & service to the public; achievements in the area of social justice or community affairs, and/or exemplary performance of public sector legal service;
  • Nominees need not be a CBA member;
  • Members of the current PSLF Executive and PSLF Awards Committee are not eligible for this award;
  • There are no posthumous awards.

Nomination Procedure

  • Nominations shall take the form of a letter stating the reasons for the nomination, including a description of the exemplary performance and/or service, the time frame involved, and the impact;
  • Individuals: Letter shall contain full name, address, telephone and fax and e-mail information, as well as years in practice of the nominee and the nominator.
  • Each nomination shall include three reference letters (inlcuding name, title and phone number) familiar with the performance of the nominee.  The references need not be CBA members. However, the person nominating the nominee must be a CBA member.
  • Completed nominations must be submitted online and include all above noted documents.

Deadline for Applications: Monday, September 30, 2019

Apply online

Selection Process

The award is administered by the PSL Awards Committee. All nominees will be notified. The Committee may decide not to offer an award in any one year.


The award takes the form of a statue of Inukshuk (or a direction finder, a symbol of showing the way) by an Inuit artist from Iqaluit, in Nunavut.

Recent Winners

Previous Winners