Roderick A. Macdonald (1948-2014)

The Roderick A. Macdonald Memorial Fund

In 2014, McGill bid farewell to Professor Roderick A. Macdonald, one of its most generous, brilliant and dedicated members – a wonderful, original, caring and passionate human being and scholar, a model for us all. His bold vision of legal education, his extraordinary energy as a scholar, his ability to redefine and re-imagine the boundaries of law, his deep commitment to justice, his unfailing integrity, and his dedication to his students and colleagues - all continue to inspire us. The Faculty has finalized a project to honour his memory, and we hope that you will be as inspired at we are to make it a reality

Find out more about the project and give to the Fund. Every donation, big or small, will help us reach our goal.

Full Professor
F.R. Scott Professor of Constitutional and Public Law

Roderick A. Macdonald

It is with great sadness that we announce that Professor Macdonald passed away on June 13, 2014.

We received many memories and condolences in our guestbook.

Media links:

Découvrir (revue Acfas) - Hommage à Roderick A. Macdonald : un grand penseur du droit contemporain

Globe and Mail - Roderick Macdonald: a mentor to generations of lawyers

Montreal Gazette - Roderick Macdonald had profound impact on Canadian legal community [see PDF]

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)
Focus online: Looking back at the The Macdonald Symposium (March 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


Biography

Professor Roderick Macdonald, O.C., taught and published 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 had 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. In 2002, he became a member of the Canadian delegation to UNCITRAL and was 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 was 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 lectured widely across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia and 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.

Professor Macdonald passed away on June 13, 2014.

Honours and Awards

In 2014, McGill University awarded Professor Rod Macdonald its Medal for Academic Achievement, one of its highest recognitions.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

Education

LL.M. (Toronto) 1975

LL.L. (Ottawa) 1974

LL.B. (Osgoode Hall) 1972

B.A. (York) 1969

Employment

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.