The Raoul Barbe and Yolande Larose Graduate Scholarship for the Study of the Judiciary has been awarded to Duff Conacher. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student whose work focuses on the study of the judiciary, including related ethical challenges and matters affecting the impartiality of judges. It carries a value of $10,000.
A former Invited Professor of Political Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences from 2014-2016, Professor Conacher is undertaking Ph.D. research, under the supervision of former Common Law Dean Nathalie Des Rosiers, that aims to ensure an impartial and ethical judicial system by developing best practices for the Canadian government concerning the following issues:
- The process of appointing judges (particularly the role of politicians in this process);
- Security of the mandate of the judiciary (including administrative tribunals);
- Financial investments and other conflicts of interest of judges and members of the court;
- Gifts made to judges and members of the court;
- The independence and effectiveness of enforcement systems for all of the aforementioned rules and processes;
- Unconscious bias on the part of members of the judiciary.
Professor Conacher is the co-founder of Democracy Watch, a non-profit citizen organization advocating democratic reform and government accountability, which he coordinated from September 1993 to June 2011. During this period, he led the organization in influencing more than 110 amendments to federal and provincial laws, and oversaw the publication of dozens of leading reports on democratic issues of good governance and corporate responsibility. Since 2011, he has served as a member of the board of directors of Democracy Watch, as well as a spokesperson for the organization. He is also the co-author of the best-seller Canada Firsts, and More Canada Firsts. He will be a part-time Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law during the Winter 2018 term teaching a course he is developping called Law of Good Government.
The scholarship obtained by Professor Conacher was established in 2005 by the Honourable Raoul Barbe, a graduate of the Civil Law Section (1962) and his wife, Yolande Larose, a graduate of the University of Ottawa. Mr. Barbe was a professor at the University of Ottawa from 1963 to 1971.
During his long career, Mr. Barbe held several positions, including Director of the first volume in French of Canadian and Quebec administrative law; Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly and Assistant to the Associate Deputy Minister of Justice in Quebec. He was appointed to the Régie des services publics du Québec, and became the vice-president during the same year of his appointment. He was also named as a member of the Canadian Association of Public Service Courts in 1978 and 1979. In 1983, he was appointed to the Office of Assessment Review, which became the Immovable Property Section the Administrative Tribunal of Québec.
In 1991, Raoul Barbe was appointed as a judge of the Civil Division of the Court of Québec. Many of his judgments are listed in Quebec jurisprudence. In 2000, he was appointed to the Professions Tribunal.
Congratulations to Duff Conacher on obtaining this scholarship! The Faculty of Law wishes him the best of luck with his ongoing research!