Gérard La Forest

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The Honourable Mr. Justice
Gérard Vincent La Forest
60th Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
January 16, 1985 – September 30, 1997
Nominated by Brian Mulroney
Preceded by Roland Ritchie
Succeeded by Michel Bastarache
Personal details
Born (1926-04-01) April 1, 1926 (age 88)
Grand Falls, New Brunswick
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Gérard Vincent La Forest, CC, QC, FRSC, LL.D (born April 1, 1926) was a Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from January 16, 1985 to September 30, 1997. He is currently counsel at Stewart McKelvey in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, to J. Alfred La Forest and Philomène Lajoie, he first studied at St. Francis Xavier University and then went on to study law at the University of New Brunswick, obtaining a BCL in 1949. Following law school he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and attended St John's College, Oxford receiving a BA in 1951 and an MA in 1956. He then went on the study at Yale University, completing an LL.M in 1965 and an LL.D in 1966. He was called to the Bar of New Brunswick in 1949 and was designated a Queen's Counsel in 1968.


From 1952 to 1955 he worked in the federal Department of Justice then later as a legal advisor. In 1956 La Forest began teaching at the University of New Brunswick, moving to the University of Alberta to become Dean of the Faculty of Law in 1968.

From 1970 to 1974, he went back to work for the federal government as Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Canada (Research & Planning). Afterwards he was a member of the Law Reform Commission of Canada, until 1979 at which point he returned to teaching at the University of Ottawa.

In 1981 he was appointed to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. Then on January 16, 1985 he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, staying until September 30, 1997. In 2000, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1975, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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