Jules Deschênes

Jules Deschênes, judge (b at Montréal 7 June 1923 - d at Laval 10 May 2000). The son of a notaire, he graduated in law with great distinction from the University of Montréal. In 1946, the year of his admission to the Bar, he merited medals from the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governor.

Deschênes, Jules

Jules Deschênes, judge (b at Montréal 7 June 1923 - d at Laval 10 May 2000). The son of a notaire, he graduated in law with great distinction from the University of Montréal. In 1946, the year of his admission to the Bar, he merited medals from the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governor. From 1946 to 1972, he practised law with various firms and acted as special prosecutor in numerous inquiries. He was named Queen's Counsel in 1961. He was a professor of international-civil law at the University of Montréal, where he presided over the joint commission at the Barreau de Montréal in 1968-69 before becoming a member of its council and executive committee.

In 1972, he acceded to the Québec Court of Appeal until being promoted Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court the following year. He rendered several judgements that made him an authority in the field of law, notably concerning language rights. He retired in 1987, but remained very active as president for America of the International Association of Judges, chair of the Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes in Canada (1985-1987), president of the Royal Society of Canada, and judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1993-1997). A gifted author he published among others: Maître chez eux, Les plateaux de la balance and in 1988, his autobiography: Sur la ligne de feu.

He received many distinctions including the Médaille du Barreau (1989), the annual Canadian Bar Association President's award (1988), Gold medal from the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (1985), two honorary doctorates (Concordia and McGill Universities) and he was named Companion to the Order of Canada.