Former SCC justice receives highest Order of Canada accolade

Former Supreme Court of Canada justice Ian Binnie received the Companion Order of Canada last Friday.

One of three Canadians named Companion of the Order of Canada, Binnie received the award along with historian Natalie Zemon Davis and musical conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Binnie, who retired from the SCC in October 2011, received the highest rank of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the legal profession, notably as a justice of the SCC, and for his commitment to legal education and the rule of law.

In April of this year he announced he was joining litigation boutique Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP, after much speculation about what he would do after 14 years on the bench. In addition to acting as counsel at Lenczner Slaght, Binnie is a resident arbitrator at the Arbitration Place in Toronto.

Binnie practised for 30 years in courtrooms across the country and in the mid-1980s, served for four years as Canada’s associate deputy minister of Justice. He was later appointed special parliamentary counsel to the joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Meech Lake Accord.

John D. Richard, was also named an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the legal profession, notably as chief justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, and for his service to the community.

Michael Pitfield, a former senator and one-time clerk of the Privy Council was also named an Officer of the Order of Canada. A graduate of McGill University’s law school, he also holds a postgraduate degree in public law.

Click here for a full list of the recipients named on June 29. They will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

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