David Cargill McDonald

David Cargill McDonald, lawyer, judge (b 23 May 1932 at Prince Albert, Sask; d 8 Apr 1996 at Edmonton). McDonald was one of Canada's outstanding jurists, combining great intellectual curiosity and devotion to principle with irrepressible energy.

McDonald, David Cargill

David Cargill McDonald, lawyer, judge (b 23 May 1932 at Prince Albert, Sask; d 8 Apr 1996 at Edmonton). McDonald was one of Canada's outstanding jurists, combining great intellectual curiosity and devotion to principle with irrepressible energy. After receiving his early education in Prince Albert, Edmonton and Port Hope, he graduated from the University of Alberta in 1953 and attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (BA, BCL). Returning to Edmonton, he joined the Faculty of Law, where his outstanding contribution to legal education was recognized when he was awarded an honorary LLD by the university in 1985.

McDonald practised law with McCuaig Desrochers from 1957 until his appointment to the Supreme Court of Alberta in 1973 (now the Court of Queen's Bench). He made a significant contribution by acting as the chair of the ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CERTAIN ACTIVITIES OF THE RCMP from 1977 to 1981. Most of the policy recommendations made by the commission were implemented by the federal government. He also wrote many legal articles and in 1982 published his seminal work, Legal Rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Being bilingual, McDonald was able to conduct French-language trials in Alberta while a Justice of the Queen's Bench and he was presiding judge at a French-language criminal jury trial in the Supreme Court of the Yukon in 1992. He was Deputy Judge of the Northwest Territories Supreme Court from 1974 to 1986, Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of the Yukon from 1984 to 1996 and judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada from 1990 to 1996. He was appointed member of the Court of Appeal of Alberta in 1995.

In addition to 22 years on the Queen's Bench, McDonald also served as the first president of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. He also served as President of the International Commission of Jurists and made submissions for the Law Reform Commission of Canada.