Roderick A. Macdonald
F.R. Scott Professor of Constitutional and Public Law
It is with great sadness that we announce that Professor Macdonald passed away on June 13, 2014.
If you wish to share memories or your condolences, see our guestbook.
Montreal Gazette - Roderick Macdonald had profound impact on Canadian legal community
Canoe.ca - Décès du professor Roderick Macdonald
CTV News Montreal: Roderick Macdonald, Legend of Law, Dies at 65
CBC News Canada: Influential law prof. Roderick Macdonald dies of throat cancer
CBC Ideas with Paul Kennedy: Rod Macdonald - A Just Life
Outgoing CALT president Shauna Van Praagh: Open Doors - Rod Macdonald at the 2014 CALT conference.
Download: Curriculum vitae & list of publications [.doc] (Oct. 2013)
Rod Macdonald awarded the McGill University Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement (McGill Reporter, May 2014)
Announcement: Rod Macdonald named an Officer of the Order of Canada (Jan. 2013)
Focus online: A lifetime commitment to legal education (Dec. 2011)
McGill Reporter: Rod Macdonald: A lifetime educating, not indoctrinating (Dec. 2011)
Talking Teaching Profiles: Exploiting Failure
McGill Teaching Snapshots: Roderick Macdonald
Professor Roderick Macdonald, O.C., teaches and publishes in the areas of civil law, commercial law, administrative law, constitutional law, jurisprudence and access to justice. He was Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1984 to 1989. He chaired a Task Force on Access to Justice of the Ministère de la justice du Québec (1989-91), and has been a consultant to the Bouchard-Taylor Commission (2007-2008), the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991-1992), to the Ontario Civil Justice Review and to the Federal Department of Justice on the interaction of federal law and the Civil Code of Québec. From 1989 to 1995 he was Director of the Law in Society programme of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and from 1997 to 2000, he was the founding President of the Law Commission of Canada.
Between 2002 and 2004 he was a consultant to the World Bank in Ukraine and drafted that country's current law on secured transactions. In 2003 and 2004 he was a consultant on civil judgement execution with the CIDA-sponsored Legal Reform Project in the Republic of Vietnam. Since 2002 he has been a member of the Canadian delegation to UNCITRAL and is on the team drafting the legislative guide to secured transactions law.
On October 6, 2006, Justice Minister Yvon Marcoux announced the creation of an expert panel to examine if any measures to prevent Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) should be adopted, to be headed by Professor Macdonald.
In April 2007, Professor Macdonald was awarded a Killam Prize, Canada's most distinguished annual award for outstanding career achievement in research. In September 2007, he was honoured with the University of Ottawa Section de droit civil's Ordre du mérite and in November 2007 he received the Sir William Dawson Medal for the Social Sciences by the Royal Society of Canada.
In November 2008, Professor Macdonald was elected the 111th president of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) at its annual general meeting in Ottawa. He is the first law professor ever to have been elected president of the RSC and served from November 2009 to November 2011.
Professor Macdonald received the Canadian Bar Association's (CBA) 2010 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Law in recognition of his contributions to the law.
In October 2010, he was awarded an LL.D. (honoris causa) by the University of Montreal, and in June 2011 he was awarded an LL.D. (honoris causa) by Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.
In November 2011, Professor Macdonald was named to the Charbonneau Commission, which has been charged with examining allegations of corruption in the construction industry. That same month, during the Fall convocation ceremonies, he received McGill's Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Learning. In June 2012, the McGill Law Students Association awarded him the 2012 John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence prize.
Professor Macdonald has lectured widely across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia and has held visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School, the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the Australian National University, the University Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand, the University of Aix-Marseilles, and the London School of Economics.
In November 2012, Governor General David Johnston announced that the new reading room in Walter House, the Royal Society of Canada's headquarters in Ottawa, would be named the Macdonald Room in Professor Macdonald's honour. In December 2012, he was named Officer of the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, and in February 2013, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
On May 28, 2014, at Law's Spring Convocation, he was awarded the McGill University Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement, one of the University’s highest honours.
Honours and Awards
2014 McGill University Medal for Academic Achievement
2013 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
2012 Officer of the Order of Canada
2012 John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence Award, Law Student Assocation of McGill
2012 Médaille Paul-André Crépeau, Canadian Bar Association, Quebec division
2011 LL.D. (Honoris causa), Osgoode Hall
2011 Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Learning, McGill University
2010 LL.D. (Honoris causa), Université de Montréal
2010 Ramon Hnatyshyn Medal, Canadian Bar Association
2009 Elected President, Royal Society of Canada
2007 Ordre du mérite, Faculty of Civil Law, University of Ottawa
2007 Sir William Dawson Medal for the Social Sciences, Royal Society of Canada
2007 Killam Prize for the Social Sciences, Canada Council
2006 Elected Secretary, Academy II, Royal Society of Canada
2004 Elected Associate Member, International Academy of Comparative Law
2004 Elected Member, Insolvency Institute of Canada
2004-07 Fellow, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation
1996 Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Canada
LL.M. (Toronto) 1975
LL.L. (Ottawa) 1974
LL.B. (Osgoode Hall) 1972
B.A. (York) 1969
F.R. Scott Professor of Constitutional and Public Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1995-
President, Law Commission of Canada, 1997-2000
Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1984-1995
Director, Law in Society Programme, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, 1989-1994
Dean of Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1984-1989
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1979-1984
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, 1977-1979
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, 1975-1977
Law Society of Upper Canada,1978-
Barreau du Quebec, 1983-
Areas of Interest
Administrative law, secured transactions, jurisprudence, legal pluralism, access to justice.