The Honourable Mr. John H. Gomery and the Honourable Madam Justice Pierrette Rayle were awarded the F.R. Scott Award for Distinguished Service by the McGill Faculty of Law, during a well-attended event on April 2 that celebrated their distinguished contributions to law.
John H. Gomery received a BA (1953) and a BCL (1956) from McGill University. During his studies in the Faculty of Law, he was an associate editor of the McGill Law Journal. He has served the University in many ways, including as Chairman of the Friends of the Library of McGill. Admitted to the Bar of Quebec in 1957, he practised throughout his career with the firm now known as Fasken Martineau. He was named Queen's Counsel in 1972 and appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec in 1982. He was also president of the Copyright Board of Canada between 1999 and 2004.
In February 2004, he was appointed head of the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities of the Government of Canada. In 2005, the Canadian Press declared him Newsmaker of the Year and Time named him Canadian Newsmaker of the Year. In 2007, upon his retirement from the Superior Court, the Canadian Bar Association awarded him the Hnatyshyn Prize in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the law.
Pierrette Rayle obtained an LLB from the Université de Montréal in 1969, where she was awarded the Gold Medal. A specialist in family law, she practised throughout her career with the firm now known as Fasken Martineau.
As a member of the Bar's sub-committee on family law, she was a delegate to the Commission parlementaire du Québec on family law reform (1978-1988). She was elected a member of the Bar Council of Montreal (1989-1993) and became Bâtonnier (1992-1993), the first time this position was held by a woman. During this period, she was also a sessional lecturer at the Université de Montréal and McGill University. She was appointed to the Superior Court in Montreal in 1995, and was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2002.
The F.R. Scott Award of Distinguished Contribution was created by McGill University's Faculty of Law and its Advisory Board in 2004 to recognize those alumni who have contributed in a significant way to law and to the life of the Faculty, and provided exceptional service and leadership to society. The award is named in honour of Francis Reginald Scott, Canadian poet, intellectual, constitutional expert and Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1961 to 1964. John Gomery and Pierrette Rayle are its fifth recipients.