Government of Canada names Lorne Sossin in judicial appointments in province of Ontario

Image of Lorne Sossin, Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Lorne Sossin will be leaving York University to serve the Government of Canada as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. Sossin’s appointment was announced Dec. 13 by Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Lorne Sossin
Lorne Sossin

The appointment was made under the new judicial application process introduced on Oct. 20, 2016, which emphasizes transparency, merit and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Sossin, a longtime faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School, replaces Justice E.M. Stewart, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Sept. 26.

Earlier this year, Sossin stepped down from his post as dean of Osgoode, which he held since 2010. As dean, Sossin pursued initiatives for accessibility in legal education, the expansion of legal clinics and experiential learning, community engagement and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

“Lorne has made an enormous contribution to legal education generally and to the Osgoode-York community in particular,” said Mary Condon, dean (interim) of Osgoode Hall Law School. “We are going to miss his inspiring leadership, including on Indigenous issues, keen legal mind, inclusiveness and wonderful optimism. We wish him all the best in this exciting new chapter of his career and hope that he will stay in touch.”

Prior to his appointment as dean, he was a professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto (2002-10). He is a former associate dean of the University of Toronto (2004-07) and served as the inaugural director of the Centre for the Legal Profession (2008-10). Previously (1997-2002), he was a faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School and in the Department of Political Science at York University.

His teaching interests span administrative and constitutional law, the regulation of professions, civil litigation, public policy and the judicial process.

After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992, Sossin was a law clerk to former chief justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada, a former associate in law at Columbia Law School and a former litigation lawyer with the firm of Borden & Elliot (now Borden Ladner Gervais LLP).

He was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1996, and holds doctorates in political science from the University of Toronto (1993) and in law from Columbia University (1999).

A prolific writer, Sossin is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 12 books and more than 100 articles and book chapters across a wide variety of legal fields, including administrative and constitutional law, legal process, legal ethics and civil litigation. He was the recipient of the 2012 David Mundell Medal for excellence in legal writing and was twice selected as one of Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers.

Sossin has contributed as a board member to numerous organizations, including the National Judicial Institute, the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Law Commission of Ontario. He also served as the vice-chair of the Ontario Health Professions Appeal & Review Board and the Health Services Appeal & Review Board, and as the integrity commissioner and the open meeting investigator for the City of Toronto. Sossin has been active in several community organizations, including as Chair of Reena’s Board of Directors.

“Teachers, mentors, colleagues and friends here have enriched my experiences in the classroom, in scholarship, in the life of the University and in my life outside the University in more ways than I can count,” said Sossin. “While I am looking forward to the adventures to come, I wanted to express how incredibly lucky I have been to be a part of the Osgoode and York community.”

Federal judicial appointments are made by the governor general, acting on the advice of the federal cabinet and recommendations from the minister of justice.