Osgoode Professor John McCamus named York’s new ombudsperson

York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri has announced the appointment of Professor John McCamus as York’s next ombudsperson, effective April 1, 2009. 

"It is my pleasure to confirm John McCamus as York’s new ombudsperson,” said Shoukri. “The Office of the Ombudsperson will help ensure fairness and equity for all members of the York community and Professor McCamus is the ideal person for this important position."

Left: John McCamus 

The Office of the Ombudsperson cannot review a complaint until all other avenues have been exhausted. The role of the York University ombudsperson is to provide an impartial and confidential service to assist current members of York University (students, faculty and staff) who have been unable to resolve their concerns about University authorities’ application of York University policies, procedures and/or practices. Under special circumstances, the president may refer a matter for review to the ombudsperson when he determines that such review is warranted. For more information, visit the Office of the Ombudsperson Web site.  

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve the students, faculty and staff of York University as ombudsperson,” said McCamus. “I look forward to helping facilitate open and effective communication between members of the University community.”

In the fall of 2007, Shoukri commissioned a review of the role of the position ombudsperson and director, Centre for Human Rights. Upon reviewing the findings in the report, the president decided that the position should be split into two positions: director, Centre for Human Rights and ombudsperson.

The mandate of the Centre for Human Rights is to assist York community members in addressing and resolving allegations of discrimination and harassment as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The centre advocates for the adherence in both spirit and intent of the provisions of the Code, as well as all human rights policies at York. In addition, the centre will play a significant and expanded role in human rights education by promoting and fostering a culture of equity and mutual respect.

About John McCamus

John McCamus has been a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School since 1971.  Prior to his faculty appointment, he served as law clerk to the Justice Bora Laskin of the Supreme Court of Canada. McCamus teaches courses at Osgoode in contract, commercial & consumer transactions, contract remedies and restitution. He is the author of The Law of Contracts (2005), The Law of Restitution (2004), editor of Freedom of Information: Canadian Perspectives (1981) and co-editor of National Security: Surveillance and Accountability in a Democratic Society  (1989) and Cases and Materials on Contracts (2005), third edition. He has written articles covering various aspects of the law of restitution, contracts, freedom of information and the protection of privacy. He is a member of the advisory committee for the Restatement of Restitution 3d.

McCamus has a notable history of contribution to law reform efforts and is an experienced adjudicator and arbitrator. He served as the chair of the Ontario Law Reform Commission from 1992 to 1996. In 1996-1997, he chaired the Ontario Legal Aid Review.  McCamus served as dean of Osgoode Hall Law School from 1982 to 1987. His academic service also includes former positions as assistant and associate dean and director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Graduate Program. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006 and is currently an associated scholar at a Toronto law firm. In 2007, the Ontario government appointed McCamus to a three-year term as the chair of Legal Aid Ontario.