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The Coxford Lecture Seek the Good: Professional Trust, Justice, and the Rule of Law

  • David Johnston

Abstract

When I was asked to serve as Governor General of Canada, I discovered I had much to relearn. Despite my background as a law student, professor, and dean, I had to revisit the legal principles and conventions of our constitution, especially as they relate to the authority and function of the Crown in Canada. My re-education enabled me to develop an even deeper admiration for how precious the rule of law is in our country, how thin and vulnerable its veneer can be, and how vital it is in moving closer to justice. Even more, my re-education revealed for me anew that the study and practice of law is a hollow pursuit if we do not use it to strive toward justice.

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References

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1. The Right Honourable David Johnston, Canada’s 28th Governor General 2010-2017, delivered the 10th Annual Coxford Lecture on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at Western Law.

2. MacLennan, Hugh, Voices in Time (McGill—Queen’s University Press, 1980) at 121.

3. Law Society of Ontario, By-law 4, s 21(1), available online: https://lawsocietyontario.azureedge.net/media/lso/media/legacy/pdf/b/by-law-4.pdf.

4. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Pub L 107-204, 116 Stat 745, enacted July 30, 2002).

8. Charles Dickens, Bleak House (Bradbury & Evans, 1852).

9. Cheryl Marie Webster & Anthony N Doob, “Everything in Its Own Time: A Preliminary Examination of Court Processing Time in Canadian Criminal Court” (2003) Report presented to the Criminal Law Division, Department of Justice, Canada, Ottawa.

10. Ibid.

11. Anthony N Doob, “Headlines and Conclusions” (2002) 4:6 Criminological Rev 1 at 1.

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The Coxford Lecture Seek the Good: Professional Trust, Justice, and the Rule of Law

  • David Johnston

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