Jean Beetz

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The Honourable Mr. Justice
Jean Beetz
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
January 1, 1974 – November 10, 1988
Nominated by Pierre Trudeau
Preceded by Douglas Abbott/Emmett Hall/Bora Laskin
Succeeded by Charles Gonthier
Personal details
Born (1927-03-27)March 27, 1927
Montreal, Quebec
Died September 30, 1991(1991-09-30) (aged 64)

Jean-Marie Philémon Joseph Beetz, CC (March 27, 1927 – September 30, 1991) was a Canadian jurist and puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Jean Beetz and Jeanne Cousineau, he earned a B.A. in 1947 from the Université de Montréal and an LL.L in 1950. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and received a B.A. from Oxford University in 1953. Returning to Canada he became an assistant professor teaching constitutional law at the Université de Montréal in 1953. He was appointed by Pierre Trudeau, a former student of his, to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 1973 and was soon elevated to the Supreme Court of Canada on January 1, 1974. He retired in 1988, and in 1989 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.


Beetz's area of expertise was constitutional law. Consequently, he would often take part in major federalism decisions. More than anyone else on the Court at the time, he supported the provinces in the division of powers.

List of judgments (incomplete)[edit]