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Federal Court Judge honoured for service to Law faculty

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Published: 4 Nov 2009

A longstanding Federal Court Judge has been awarded one the Faculty of Law's most prestigious honours - the F.R. Scott Award for Distinguished Service.

The Hon. James K-Hugessen, BCL'57, accepted the award in front of friends, family and fellow alumni, at a cocktail reception hosted at McGill's Faculty of Law on Tuesday, November 3, 2009. He is pictured here seated with his wife Mary Hugessen, BA’55, BCL’58, BSW’77, MSW’82, and his family, who also attended the ceremony.

Professor Daniel Jutras, the Interim Dean of Law, said the award is reserved for alumni who best exemplify the qualities exhibited by its namesake - Francis Reginald Scott, the Canadian poet, constitutional expert, and former Dean of Law.

"Justice Hugessen's 37-year career as a Federal Court Judge is a source of inspiration to both students and teachers at McGill - but equally commendable is his dedication toward the advancement of disability law, and his continued involvement with the Faculty of Law," said Jutras.

Justice Hugessen graduated from McGill's Faculty of Law in 1957, and was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1958. He practised law until 1972, when he was appointed justice of the Superior Court of Quebec. In 1983, he became a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal, retiring in July 2008.

Hugessen also sat on a number of tribunals and benches - including the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization in Geneva, and the Supreme Court of the North-West Territories.

As a visually-impaired person, he served as Chair of the nation-wide Task Force on Access to Information for Print-Disabled Canadians, which recommended better federal support for the production of information accessible to persons with print disabilities.

Despite such an accomplished and diverse career, Hugessen never left the Faculty of Law behind. He served as adjunct professor from 1962 to 1974, and has continued to support the Faculty and Nahum Gelber Law Library as an advocate, donor and advisor. "Like F. R. Scott, Justice Hugessen has both contributed to the life of the Faculty, and exhibited exceptional service to society," said Jutras.

Photo Caption: The Hon. James K-Hugessen with his wife, fellow alumni Mary Hugessen, BA’55, BCL’58, BSW’77, MSW’82, along with their family.
Photo credit: Jack Malric.

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