The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple travelled to Canada from London in September for their 2019 Amity Tour and stopped in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto. Two distinguished Canadian jurists were made honorary benchers of the Middle Temple during this tour: uOttawa grads Sheila Block LL.B. 1972 and the Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, LL.L. 1979.
Middle Temple is a modern institution in England with a long and distinguished history. Their membership is comprised of students, barristers and senior members of the Bar and Judiciary. The core functions of Middle Temple include teaching, training and calling students to the bar.
The highlight of the Ottawa stop was when Justice Rosalie Abella delivered a wonderful speech at the NAC that left many in the audience teary-eyed and inspired. Speaking from the heart, she contemplated the state of the profession, its future, and her role in the profession over the past 40 years. Those in attendance will not soon forget Justice Abella recounting her parents' early struggles and triumphs.
The Tour made its way to Toronto next, where barristers teamed up with Canadian lawyers, Guy Pratte and Sheila Block LL.B. 1972 to put on a mock court demonstration. It was presented to the Chief Justice of Ontario, the Honourable George R. Strathy, the Honourable Kathryn N. Feldman, the Rt Hon The Lord Judge, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and the Hon Justice Graeme Mew, Superior Court of Justice. Professor Anthony Daimsis, our moot court Director, was accompanied by several or our Common Law moot alumni to attend the mock court demonstration.
On Friday night, uOttawa grads Chief Justice Richard Wagner, LL.L. 1979 and Sheila Block LL.B. 1972 were “benched” and became Honorary Benchers of the Middle Temple. Proud uOttawa graduates were present to join in the celebration at Osgoode Hall.