York honorary degree recipient Charles Dubin dies

Charles Dubin, the former chief justice of Ontario, died of pneumonia on Monday, Oct. 27. He was 87.

Mr. Dubin, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree from York in 1990 and was a graduate (BARR ’44) of Osgoode Hall Law School, may be known for heading up an inquiry into drug use by amateur athletes following the 1988 Seoul Olympics, when Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for a banned substance. As a result of the inquiry, Mr. Dubin put together a comprehensive list of anti-doping recommendations.

In addition, the Hamilton-born Mr. Dubin, an officer of the Order of Canada since 1997, led a federal inquiry into aviation safety in 1981 in which he recommended safety measures undergo more rigorous enforcement.

Mr. Dubin served as chief justice of Ontario from 1990 to 1996, after becoming associate chief justice in 1987. He was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1973. He became a Queen’s Counsel at the age of 29, the youngest person in the Commonwealth to do so.

In his long and stellar career as a public, labour, corporate and criminal lawyer, Mr. Dubin was a major opponent of capital punishment, defending 14 men charged with first-degree murder and successfully preventing their death, before Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976.

Mr. Dubin was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Anne.