Monday, July 20, 2009

Charles Doherty Gonthier, August 1, 1928 – July 16, 2009

The Supreme Court of Canada today released the following statement on the passing of a former Justice of the Court, Charles Doherty Gonthier:

OTTAWA, July 20, 2009 – The Honourable Charles Doherty Gonthier, formerly a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, passed away in Montreal, Quebec, on July 17, 2009. Born in Montreal, Justice Gonthier received his Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University. He was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1952, and subsequently practised law, first with the firm of Hackett, Mulvena & Laverty, and then with the firm of Hugessen, Macklaier, Chisholm, Smith & Davis, later known as Laing, Weldon, Courtois, Clarkson, Parsons, Gonthier & Tétrault.

Justice Gonthier was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 1974, and elevated to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 1988. Less than a year later, on February 1, 1989, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. He served on the Supreme Court of Canada for fourteen years, retiring on August 1, 2003. Since his retirement, Justice Gonthier served as counsel in the law firm of McCarthy Tétrault, as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law at the Law Faculty of McGill University, and as Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, on behalf of the members of the Supreme Court of Canada, mourned Justice Gonthier’s passing, “Charles Gonthier was an eminent and highly respected Canadian jurist. His development of the notions of equity and good faith, particularly in the area of contract law, has benefited all Canadians. But Justice Gonthier’s contributions extended far beyond the courtroom. His active dedication to the arts, and to issues such as sustainable development, demonstrated a unique interest in the welfare of both current and future generations. Members and employees of the Court extend their deepest condolences to his family.”

Reference: Jill Copeland
Executive Legal Officer

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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