James Chalmers McRuer

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The Hon.
James Chalmers McRuer
Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal
In office
1944–1945
Nominated by William Lyon Mackenzie King
Chief Justice of the High Court of Justice of Ontario
In office
1945–1964
Nominated by William Lyon Mackenzie King
Chairman of the Ontario Law Reform Commission
In office
1964–1966
18th President of the Canadian Bar Association
In office
1946–1947
Preceded by Esten Kenneth Williams, K.C.
Succeeded by John Thomas Hackett, K.C.
12th President of the Ontario Bar Association
In office
1943–1944
Preceded by Kenneth F. Mackenzie, K.C.
Succeeded by Fred Holmes Barlow, K.C.
Personal details
Born (1890-08-23)August 23, 1890
Oxford County, Ontario
Died October 6, 1985(1985-10-06) (aged 95)
Political party Liberal Party of Canada
Occupation Lawyer, judge, commissioner and author
Religion United Church
Military service
Service/branch Royal Canadian Artillery
Rank Lieutenant

James Chalmers McRuer, OC (August 23, 1890 – October 6, 1985) was a Canadian lawyer, judge, commissioner and author in Ontario.

Born in Oxford County, Ontario, he received his law education from the Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1913. During World War I, he served in the Canadian Field Artillery as a Lieutenant. After the war, from 1921 to 1925 he was an Assistant Crown Attorney for Toronto and County of York. From 1930 to 1935, he was a lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School. He ran unsuccessfully as the Liberal candidate in High Park in the 1935 federal election losing to Alexander James Anderson.[1]

Federal Liberal Party candidates in Toronto and York County in 1935, including McRuer (back row, centre of photo)

McRuer was active in the Canadian Bar Association, and served first as President of the Ontario Bar Association from 1943 to 1944,[2] and then as national President of the Canadian Bar Association from 1946 to 1947.[3]

In 1944, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario and in 1945 was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Justice for the Province of Ontario. He resigned in 1964. As Chief Justice he served on various Royal Commissions and was Chairman of the Ontario Law Reform Commission from 1964 to 1966 and Vice-Chairman until 1977. He also served as President of the Canadian Bar Association while on the bench.

He wrote the books The Evolution of the Judicial Process (1957) and The Trial of Jesus (1978).

In 1968, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his services in the profession of law and as a member of many Royal Commissions".[4]

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